Fridays are for Thinking Out Loud?!

Happy Thursday! Oh wait its Friday….

yep this post was 100% completed, set and ready to go but then BOOM blogger meltdown, post eliminated, disaster… UGH!

So what you would’ve read yesterday would have been something along the lines of “my brain is about to explode” so I am linking up with Amanda & thinking out loud!


What you would’ve read was… how on Wednesday I woke up channeling my inner Madeline #somethingisnotright & found a torrential downpour in the bathroom…. #thankyoupolarvortex… blogger thing to do was recording it and uploading to IG @allisoninwellnessland

Left - Ceiling during said waterfall experience  Right - NO WATER!!! #winning

Left – Waterfall in my house?!?
Right – NO Ceiling & no WATER!!! #winning

Left - DURING the rainforest invasion Right = after restoration company had their hand at our house!

Left = torrential downpour swimming pool. 
Right = after restoration company had their hand at our house!

What you would’ve read was… how right now I am in severe need of buying peanut butter/nut butter, I am ALL OUT. #totalfail this will be fixed this weekend. you also would’ve read about how I am thinking about jumping on the Quest Bar bandwagon… seriously everyone seems to be in-love with these little bars of goodness and I have yet to try one. I could wait until I visit Arman, but maybe Ill try a few and make a request for my visit 😉

What you would’ve read was… how excited I am for February and the FitApproach & Lorna Jane challenge. I love a good little challenge and the Move, Nourish Believe challenge fits that bill perfectly. I am excited to try each day’s task and get involved with some of the Sweat Pink girls a little more! If you are interested in joining the fun head over to the event’s page on Facebook!

Do YOU #sweatpink?

Do YOU #sweatpink?

What you would’ve read was… how this “recipe” has been hauled up in my blogger “to do” file for quite a while but I always forgot to photograph the evidence. Lucky for YOU I remembered this time & this will be coming soon to a blog post near you!

Coming soon to a blog post near you…

Coming soon to a blog post near you…

What you would’ve read was… how excited I am for my Birthday next Saturday. I think turning a year older is a pretty sweet thing and kicking off the weekend with some WINE time on Friday is a perfect start!

What you wouldn’t have read was how I quit BCD Thursday after finding out I have a sinus infection. I really enjoyed the first day of BCD but knowing I am fighting an infection on a already compromised immune system I decided restricting my calories on top of that would be a potentially dangerous combination. I do plan to do the reset & BCD combo again in the very near future because I felt great, minus the attack my sinuses had on me.

Hope you have a happy Friday!


  • Did you ever watch Madeline?
  • Whats your favorite way to sweat pink?
  • Are you a Quest Bar Junkie?
  • Need any birthday gift ideas? 😉



Hangry?? nah… just Nap Time! – GPP Reset

WOOHOO!!! Day 4 of the fast is here!!!

I have to say I felt pretty good all weekend but definitely took my napping for granted because Monday was a bit tough with the whole having to be awake & personable for 8+ hours.

I got a lot of questions from my patients at work & some of you lovelies about my energy and the actual break down of the fast so rather than skipping straight to my BCD plan I thought today would be a perfect day to share.

FIRST food since Friday night Selfie was a must!

FIRST food since Friday night Selfie was a must!

GPP Reset Protocol (from the GPP website)

Day 1 – Water Only.
Day 2 – 24 g CHO drink.  We suggest 15 min before your GPP workout.
Day 3 – Add 5 servings of Fruits & 5 servings of vegetables (Google it).
Day 4 – Add 24 g of PRO.
Day 5 – And for the rest of your life – get it right!

What this means to you…

Day 1 – Water Only. –> ONLY WATER!!! Not tea, not water with lemon, just water. Keep it simple peeps  it’s only 1 day and you will survive… remember the purpose of Reset is to RESET your body & metabolism, by pumping it filled of fruity sweetness you are not fulfilling the challenge to its optimal potential.
Day 2 – 24 g CHO drink.  We suggest 15 min before your GPP workout. –> CHO drink is a fruit juice, like 100% real fruit. NOT some apple juice whose 2nd ingredient is sugar… & find something that fits this criteria. I bought an organic 100% fruit juice & when I looked at the ingredients it was all fruit. The macros broke down to being 28g CHO per 8oz glass, so my drink was a tad less than 8oz.
Day 3 – Add 5 servings of Fruits & 5 servings of vegetables (Google it). –> pretty simple, just load up on fruits & veggies…
Day 4 – Add 24 g of PRO. –> this can be a protein of choice. Protein drink to supplement your workout is recommended.
Day 5 – And for the rest of your life – get it right! –> for me this is doing at least 1 BCD cycle.

Personal Tips & Notes:

Day 1 – I did not workout… I intentionally started the fast on Saturday so if I did not feel well, was completely tired or any thing else I could sleep & be at home. I had intentions of working out on the fast however after a really hard week of GPP workouts + the additional 2 mile challenge each day I was pretty sore and my body was telling me to rest. so i listened… over all I felt pretty good, I was not very hungry and just continued to make sure I was drinking enough water. I got pretty cold at one part of the day so I heated up my filtered water so it was warm and felt like something new 🙂 this worked for me!

Day 2 – Again I did not workout. I had intentions to do some yoga but the day slipped away from me. Again I felt pretty good, the only time I felt like I hadn’t ate was when I was at church where I regularly feel lightheaded (Lord help me on my wedding day!)… I again took a couple good naps but then I woke up and got to work on my food prep… I had a few leftover grapes that didn’t fit in my bin so I snacked on those (about 10 grapes) before drinking my juice. SINCE I had some grapes with a CHO factor I drank ~1/4 less of my designated drink amount. I was not extremely hungry but worried I would wake up starving.

Day 3 – My first day working out and having to be social for 8+ hours… I drank my CHO on my drive to the gym, which was prolonged due to a slight snow fight 😉 & felt great during my workout. I had all the energy that I needed and was able to STORM the workout in about 13 minutes. I was bummed that I couldn’t complete the challenge but time dictates. As for energy the rest of the day I had my ups & downs. I can’t say that is much different then a normal Monday but at times it was definitely a low blood sugar low. When I felt this I just went and grabbed a pre-portioned baggy of fruit or veggie and drank some more water. I made it through the work day without feeling horrible or super tired. I did divide my servings, I knew my work day would likely be the hardest so I packed 4 fruits & 3 vegetables to have during the day. I also tried to get fruits that were fiber filled so they would keep me full longer… heres what my day looked like:

5 dates = post workout breakfast Carrots = midmorning & afternoon snacking Broccoli, Apple & Pear = Lunch Grapes = After lunch snacking Cucumbers = Drive home snack

Dates = post workout breakfast
Carrots = midmorning & afternoon snacking
Broccoli, Apple & Pear = Lunch
Grapes = After lunch snacking
Cucumbers = Drive home snack

Day 4 – this is today & because I am writing this monday night it has not occurred yet. I can tell you likely I will be feeling rather hungry, as while I am typing this my little tummy is wanting something more to eat. I can also tell you I feel a lot of accomplishment for completing what I have so far, so I I have come too far to quit now. ALSO I am veryyyyy excited for the first day of Burst on Wednesday because that means SOLID FOOD!!!! 🙂

Overall thoughts on the RESET…. I LOVE IT!! I think it was a great way for me to just flush my body and start fresh. I really wanted to try this just to be able to give you ideas and insight without feeling like a hypocrite for never completing the challenge. But you guys I really enjoyed it. I mean I was DRAINED and am definitely excited for real food but it was a great spiritual challenge for me and commitment for me.

I do see how this would be very challenging and detrimental to someone who is not in the same health state that I am in, so PLEASE consult your doctor prior to performing the fast & PLEASE ask if you have any questions about the fast. THIS is something that you only do ONCE and a great WHILE… it is not something to be performed regularly and was not designed for that intention so please fast responsibly! 

I hope this helps put some of the GPP fast into perspective for you all and gives you the insight you were looking for. I really believe that GPP has your best intentions at heart when providing this program so please understand that this was designed for everyone and to be the healthiest way to jumpstart your metabolism and life. If you have any questions or concerns please email me @ or comment on the GPP blog. There are great people in this community so reach out to them as well.


I’d Love To Know ~~ Have you ever done the GPP fast? What would be your 5 fruits & 5 vegetables? 

GPP Fast & Food Prep

Excited to link up in the FIRST Sunday Food Prep Link Party!


Thanks Lindsay for hosting!

Have you ever done food prep on a completely empty stomach? Well it aint easy to resist taste testing while you prep.

During GPP intensive I was able to learn more about GPP’s Fast & Burst Cycle Diet when we talked Nutrition. To be 100% honest I had seen both of these plans on the GPP website prior to intensive and thought “hmmm that doesn’t seem safe” & “this could never impact me positively“. I said this because on paper the plans seem too minimalist and there is not a lot of additional information.

At intensive Neil talked about how the Fast/Reset is a great tool for blasting through the first two weeks of a new nutrition plan. When people want to make a change in their diet it really takes about 2 weeks for results and changes to be seen, but with performing the fast prior to the nutritional changes your body is flushed and refreshed to take in the new whole healthy nutrients that you are hopefully choosing.

I was hesitant to perform the fast due to my Crohns and the fear that performing this would cause an irritant to my already sensitive gut. BUT after thinking about it drinking water is probably the healthiest way to flush a system and there are no stimulants in water or fruit juice. These are all whole natural foods that I already eat. PLUS for those wonderful colonoscopy’s water/gatorade and a laxative is prescribed, so water MUST be healthier than taking a laxative. So what could it hurt? If I felt horrible or my body decided to revolt I would stop, no harm no foul.

I am one of the mind that if I am going to tell people about something {i.e. coach GPP and inform my clients of the fast/reset} than I should be able to give first hand advice. This is what truly drove me to perform the reset.

Honestly Saturday and Sunday were not that bad. I had a few hunger pangs but I would just grab my water and they would go away. Sunday I was excited to be able to have something other than water but wanted to wait until later in the day to “indulge” in my juice. After going to church I was moderately hungry so I drank some water and took a nap (the perfect thing to take this girls mind off food!).

This  was not me…. Brent got rather HANGRY though.

This was not me…. Brent got rather HANGRY though.

I then food prepped. As my plan was perform the reset followed by at least one round of BCD. I will likely perform 2 rounds ending next week some time before my Birthday!!! (can’t be BCD’ing on my BIRTHDAY!!)

Although I couldn’t eat while prepping I was able to power through veggies, pomegranate and marinaded then baked two batches of chicken. We bought a bunch of fruit & stuff to make wraps rather than sandwiches for lunches so that stuff was ready for easy making in the mornings.


I will be back tomorrow with a break down of BCD and my take on the reset but for now Happy Grammy Night!





What did you food prep today? Do you get Hangry or sleepy?



Back to wrap up my GPP review, if you missed my previous posts you can check them out here:

{Finding Optimal Health — GPP Intensive 1} {Filling My Cup — GPP Intensive 2}

Saturday of GPP intensive started with a great workout at GPP HQ. Keri & I hit the mat and rocked the 8:00 open gym period. It was awesome to workout with all the GPP peeps when I typically do the workouts solo in front of a mirror. After our workout we watched and cheered on some of the 8:45ers.


The rest of saturday was spent focusing on movement patterns and GPP movements. As GPP’s focus is GENERAL preparedness there is a lot of movements that are “different” than the “normal” exercise. The focus of GPP is different therefore performing an exercise with a different movement pattern is allowed, encouraged and sometimes required, because there is a purpose!

No, I did not just lay my fingers on the keyboard and just type gibberish. That crazy “word” is actually an acronym.

Wait! I told you GPP was all about minimalism right?? Well it is and this is the most minimalistic way to instruct a squat. Yep I said it, it is the MOST minimalistic way, least amount of words, least amount of instructions, and most effective way to perform a squat.

TOKOKTOTHJWTH = Toes Out, Knees Out, Knees Track Over Toes, Heels Just Wider Than Hips = initial instructions and proper set up for performing an air squat.

SBTHSTPOB = Sit Back Through Heels & Squat To Parallel Or Bellow = Final instructions for completing the squat… aka the actual squat.


TOKOKTOTHJWTHSBTHSTPOB Jan this reminded me of you 😉


We performed & instructed the squat multiple times and seriously guys this WORKS. I loved throwing a squat on a fellow GPPer and finding “flaws” that we could correct and fix. I look for biomechanics deficits in patients every day so to learn a different way of investigating form with function is really cool to me.

We went through a multitude of movements and seriously y’all I thought I had pretty good form but with almost every movement Master Neil 😉 found something that could use improvement. I really do break out in a cold sweat when I am put in front of a big group of people (12 is big for me) so although I started sweating immediately and probably turned bright red I was really excited to get my form checked and corrected. It.was.awesome.

Throughout the weekend multiple conversations were brought up regarding “the GPP way” and the “rest of the world way” to perform exercises. Some of the “rest of the world” way theories were taught, engrained and beat to a pulp into my brain through my undergraduate and graduate programs.

1. PERFECT FORM – having perfect form is something that as a physical therapist you are taught to ensure. for the “safety” of the patient, because obviously imperfections are 100% not allowed and that imperfection will lead to injury 100% of the time. well lets be logical. I really liked the thought process Neil used  when talking about form, he applied it to our ancestors. You see 100 years ago the science to determine the “perfect” form did not exist, people lifted heavy objects by bending their knees and picking the rock up from its base, they did not think

“Ok, first I am going to approach the rock. Next I am going to make sure my back is perfectly straight, my knees are not over my toes, my hips are below parallel and lift the rock. Finally I am going to hold the rock as close to my body as possible & carefully put the rock on the pile. If I don’t do all of these tasks in this order I am going to get hurt, be a horrible person, die and likely go to hell for poor form.”

NO this didn’t happen. I mean the above form thought process is valid but lets say you have a butt wink (like me!) and your back rounds a little when you get below parallel but you NEED to lift that rock and thats the only way, are you going to get hurt? Maybe, there is a possibly that lifting or performing repeated squats with increased lumbar flexion (rounding) will cause back pain and injury but the likelihood is that I will probably be okay. If my form is corrected immediate every time I perform that exercise will I ever learn how to do it correctly? maybe. but HOW did we get this perfect form? Did our ancestors STOP lifting rocks because they had bad form or did they continue the task and allow their form to adjust as their body adjusted?

I believe & GPP believe that the later is true. Form IS as Form DOES. if you continue to do a task the form will follow, YES you can benefit from instructions and corrections but sometimes we just have to let it be and let the form come.


2. WARM UP!!! — in GPP we do not do a “static” warm up through stretching at the beginning of every workout, and in fact most of the workouts do not even have a stated “active” warm up. WHAT HOW CAN THIS BE??? Wont something horrible, terrible and very bad happen to me because I did not properly warm up my muscles prior to working out?

This is what we are taught so often in school, this is what I was taught when I was in undergrad & PT school. I tell my patients to warm up & stretch when they first get into the clinic. WHY? well my goal of warming up for my patients is to loosen those joints, warm the surrounding structures and relieve some pain that they may have.

The WHY? Stated above is the essential point. In GPP the goal is GENERAL physical preparedness and again we have been prepared from our ancestry to perform tasks without a warm up and in our general life we may have to perform a task without having adequate warm up. I loved how Neil put this and his point was so strong, he said something to the extent of “I sure hope if I was in a situation where I had to run for my life that I could jump up and just RUN, because who ever is chasing me is not going to wait for me to perform a 5 minute jog & 3 stretches.” He also compared this to animals in the wilderness, have you ever seen a video of an animal jump from a dead sleep and start sprinting for their life? They don’t stop and stretch, nor do they suffer the horrible/terrible/very bad thing when they stop because they did not warm up properly.

With GPP we perform a warm up within our first round of exercises, if the program for that day is focused on strict strength training there will be a warm up section to help facilitate that strength building, for the rest of the days the exercises themselves are the warm up. What better way to “warm” a muscle than through using it in the way you had planned!

3. COOL DOWN!!! Similarly to the warm up GPP does not perform a cool down. In the medical field we are taught that proper cool down is essential to muscle health, heart health and to maintain the benefits of the workout previously completed. HOWEVER in practice how often is a cool down actually performed. When I was an athlete I can remember maybe once performing a true cool down, even after the most intense of practices or games a cool down was not performed. I also think about my own exercise and rarely to never perform a true cool down NOR do I stretch after my workouts **gasp!!!!!***

BUT guess what I am still here, I am still alive and I am still strong. Yeah some days I am sore but those days are not dependent on stretching prior or not.


I had to laugh when Neil told us a story about a client he trained prior to GPP, he said the client fell to the ground after a tough workout and just sprawled out relishing in the fact that the workout was complete. Neil (in slight panic) then bent down and told him to stand up, walk around, move because you just finished working out and you need to cool down or elseeeeeee….. this is when he realized the “or else” seemed fishy, I mean he had asked about the “or else” in school the true definition of what would happen but there was never a good answer, all they knew was “its bad” so obviously this means “you are going to die.”

I reflected on this story while our discussion was going on and thought closely about my reaction to a client/patient who “collapses” after a workout, I truly believe that I would react very similarly to Neil. I think the medical world is afraid of injury, afraid of the <1% of people who could have an adverse effect from improper cooling of the muscles. I am sure there is a scientific reason to back the cool down “trend” but I cannot recall strong evidence supporting it. I think a cool down can come in multiple ways and in reality you can (and I did) argue that collapsing on the ground is a cool down, as you are opening your air pathways and allowing your muscles to cool thus decreasing your heart rate, is that not the attempt of a cool down?

I loved the conversations that went down & this quote that came up:


I seriously hope you all have enjoyed learning more about GPP and I hope that you have learned something you did not know. I have a TON more GPP content that I want to share with you all and am planning on incorporating some GPP meets PT into my blogging. It is really cool how well my job (PT) & my passion (GPP) work so well together!

I hope you all have a happy and healthy Friday & fantastic weekend!


I’d Love To Know ~

What else do you want to know about GPP?

What is your passion?

Have a favorite acronym? I am horrible at making acronyms so mine would probably be similar to the above 🙂

Wedding Wednesday – Venue

Hey Yo!!

Popping in for a quick wedding update and interruption from the previously planned GPP recap. I hope you all enjoyed Keri’s post as much as I did yesterday. She has such a sweet passion for life and I am so glad she decided to stop by and share some of her passion with you and me.

Today I wanted to pop in and give you some scoop on our wedding plans!!

After a few weeks of stressing, searching and researching venues in Ann Arbor I decided that the only way to make a decision would be to go and see/feel the places in real life. Nothing looks like it does on the internet in person so I knew I would have a good decision after spending a few minutes in the buildings.

I had narrowed our choices down to two locations. 1. A local park with a barn and farm house on the property which is rented out for parties. I loved the fact that the barn was very rustic on the outside but finished and clean on the inside. I ALSO loved that there was a balcony that I could see myself throwing my bouquet from here. 2. A historic building that was used by Henry Ford for soybean harvesting and is located in the town my mother grew up in. I knew the building was beautiful and the pictures online were fantastic. The reviews we read were a little disheartening for BOTH locations so let the heart do the walking 🙂

We went to both, liked both, but LOVED one. As soon as we walked in the building we all (Brent, Me, Dad, Step Mom) gasped and ooh’d/ahhh’d. There were a few (minor) negatives that we identified but overall the 4 of us could only say “this is soooo pretty” or “oooooo did you see this, can you see how pretty this will be in the spring”. I was really excited and increasingly nervous. Y’ALL this is real this was the first big wedding decision that we made and 

After looking around we went and talked dates. Y’all I never thought after getting engaged that looking for dates OVER a year in advance would be such a tricky process but places go QUICK and that can easily stress a sister out. I asked about May 2015, and there was only a couple dates remaining which were already occupied at the Church, so we moved to JUNE and there was ONE SINGLE Saturday available. I said “write me down, hold my spot & I will call you!” then I quickly called the church & sent an email when I didn’t get through. Seriously stressed out sister table for one. 

Monday morning I got the good news, the church was available on that day!!!


OH did you expect this to be the part where I tell you where and when?


JUNE 13, 2015

Wellers Carriage House

Gardens & Gazebo where cocktails & dancing will take place

Gardens & Gazebo where cocktails & dancing will take place

Interior of the Carriage House!!!

Interior of the Carriage House!!!

The Bar… this won Brent over :)

The Bar… this won Brent over 🙂

I just love the history of this room!

I just love the history of this room!

So thats that folks! We’ve set a date and picked a place. Now to just start playing with the details… But first this girl is going to enjoy knowing I get to marry THIS GUY next summer 🙂



Until next time, I wish you all happy and healthy days filled with love and laughter.





I’d Love To Know ~

Anyone getting married or have an anniversary on June 13th?

What is your favorite color & WHY!? 🙂 I am sick of talking about me!

Have you ever ate a soybean?

Filling My Cup – GPP Intensive 2

Hey Guys!
I am glad you all enjoyed yesterdays post on GPP Intensive and my take on the first few points presented. I cannot wait to share more about GPP with you all but first I wanted to share a little more about Optimal Health.

I asked you all what your definition of Optimal Health is, because although there are 6 components we all interpret this differently and that interpretation is extremely important for our individual achievements.

While at Intensive I met so many amazing people. One of the girls I got close with is Keri. Keri came to GPP from New York City and had an absolutely amazing energy from night one! I was really excited to get to know her better and even more excited after getting to spend more time with her. I asked Keri if she would stop by and share some insight on Optimal Health specifically spiritual health as she is a holistic health coach and has a great outlook on spirituality, which I told you all is one of my weaknesses.

Keri is a health, wellness, and fitness enthusiast, meditator, and spiritual seeker.  Upon graduating college with a degree in finance and faith, peace, and justice, Keri became a Peace Corps volunteer.  Following that, she worked in the non-profit sector in developmental finance and eventually worked as a renewable energy project finance credit analyst at a corporate bank.  Keri came to the realization that in all the different organizations she had worked for, the thing that mattered most to her was always the people, so she decided to change career paths.  She is now certified as a holistic health coach and GPP Fitness trainer.  Keri has a passion for teaching people how spiritual, emotional, and mental health is linked to physical health.  She is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social-Organizational Psychology at Columbia University, where she works full-time.

So without further ado I am going to hand it over to Keri~~

As a holistic health coach, I believe nutrition is made up of both primary foods and secondary foods.  All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy that we feed our body, but optimal health requires that we also feed our soul.  The fun, excitement, and love of daily life have the power to feed us so that food becomes secondary.

Remember a time when you were deeply involved in an exciting project. You believed in what you were doing and felt confident and stimulated. Time seemed to stop. The outside world faded away. You forgot about food and were high on life.

Now think of a time when you were sad or your self-esteem was low; you were starving for primary food. No amount of secondary food would do. You ate as much as you wanted, but you never felt satisfied.  All you really needed was a hug or someone to talk to.

Primary foods feed us, but they don’t come on a plate. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity, outlets for creativity, and honest and open relationships all constitute primary foods.

Optimal health requires that we establish a good balance between the nourishment we feed our bodies (secondary foods) and that which we feed our souls (primary foods).

In order to get adequate primary food nutrition, I have established a morning routine that fills me up with joy to take with me throughout the rest of my day.  It begins with a Morning Prayer:

Dear God,
I give this day to You.
May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.
May I not be tempted to stray from love.
As I begin this day, I open to receive You.
Please enter where You already abide.
May my mind and heart be pure and true, and may I not deviate from the things of goodness.
May I see the love and innocence in all mankind, behind the masks we all wear and the illusions of this worldly plane.
I surrender to You my doings this day.
I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world.
May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go.
Make me the person You would have me be.
Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me do.
Make the world a safer, more beautiful place.
Bless all Your creatures.
Heal us all, and use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.

– from Illuminata, by Marianne Williamson

Following this Prayer, I read my daily inspiration, which currently is coming from Melody Beattie’s book, The Language of Letting Go, and A Course in Miracles Workbook. 


Then, I take out my journal and record my dreams from the night, reflecting upon their meaning, I write ten things I am grateful for, and then I just write about anything that’s on my mind – any issue I am struggling with, things I am learning, how I am feeling; whatever has moved me.


Afterwards, I get on my zabuton and meditate for 20 minutes.


Post-meditation, I put on my running shoes and go for a little run to get my muscles warm and end my run at the gym, where I do my GPP Fitness workout-du jour.




Afterwards, there is only one more thing I need to fill me up and that is a big, beautiful, nutritious breakfast.  One of my favorite breakfasts involves cooking oats with egg whites, and then adding some Greek yogurt and whatever else I am in the mood for (nut butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, fresh or dried berries, mini chocolate chips, etc.).  I call it my Morning Love.

And, then, and only then, am I finally ready to go out into the world and shine my light in service to others.

XOXO ~Keri


Thank you so much for stopping by Keri! I seriously love all that you have to share and give!

See you guys soon with more GPP love 🙂





How do you fill your cup?

What can you do today to give yourself some self-love?

Finding Optimal Health — GPP Intensive 1

Have you ever had a story or experience youve been dying to tell someone but life is so cray cray you hardly have time to stop and check yourself out when walking by the mirror??? please tell me I am not the only one who does this 🙂

WELL last week was one of those weeks and my little fingers have been itching to tell you all about my weekend at GPP Intensive. I shared my amazing eats from Utah on Wednesday & about my skiing adventures & misadventures but I haven’t even touched on the whole GPP deal. So.Here.It.Goes!

I am sure most of you have heard me talk about doing GPP workouts on here or in real life, but here is a little of my back story. I started doing GPP in the fall after reading about the program from Meg. I was looking for some more challenge to my workouts while continuing to have a strength, core and cardio component. After giving GPP a try, I fell in love with the workouts. I had a hard time completing them some days and would sub or switch exercises that were too hard or challenging for me. Y’all I worked out regularly, daily before starting GPP but these workouts are not a joke!

I contacted Neil after performing the workouts for a while and he invited me to the Intensive to see what it was really all about. I eagerly accepted his offer and could not wait to learn more about the theory and practices of GPP.

When arriving at GPP Headquarters (the original GPP located in Centerville, Utah) I had little expectations as to what the weekend had in store, but I could not wait. I love learning new fitness ideals and if anything else was excited to take away some knowledge to make my workouts better.

Friday night of intensive, we talked a lot about the theory of GPP the founding principals and the reason why GPP is different. Neil posed a question to us right away, a question that as “fitness” enthusiasts we should be able to answer right away without any hesitation, a question that every personal trainer asks their clients at the initial interview. A question that has more meaning than I ever anticipated.


Why? Some of the answers our group threw out were

  • Weight loss
  • Decrease stress
  • Improved functionality
  • Social
  • Sports and athletic endeavors
  • Aesthetics/looks/events
  • Increased energy
  • Disease prevention/ overall health

Next Neil asked HOW do you get there? We all said going to the gym. Well Duh right… I mean you workout to get those benefits and you start a workout routine, which you believe will give you these results. How many of you know someone who starts at the gym January 1st and stops going 2-6weeks later because “It wasn’t working”?

Is it the gym that’s not working or is it the program that they are following that “has to work because _____ is doing it” that is failing them? Is it that they are exercising to reach a goal that is NOT the goal they had intentions of reaching? If the goal was to decrease weight for disease prevention and overall health but they were going to the gym and killing themselves on cardio equipment (running training) or performing weight training (bodybuilding) do you think they will ever achieve that primary goal of weight loss & disease prevention? The likelihood is they will achieve some weight loss, which will decrease their disease potential, but they have not reached that healthy lifestyle that they really are yearning for and therefor they will likely quit and feel as though they failed.

This concept of working out is deemed “SPP” in the GPP world. Or Specific Physical Preparedness… you lift to gain muscle hypertrophy (mass) in that one area for that one specific skill (i.e. biceps strength while performing an isolated bicep curl), or you run a million miles to be able to be an elite runner and compete in races. This works for people whose goal is specific such as marathon runners and bodybuilders, but for the general population whose goal is improved health performing specific exercises is not going to change their overall wellbeing.

THIS is how GPP is different. Through focusing on general physical preparedness the single goal of GPP is achieving optimal health.


Optimal Health…. whoa a strong, intimidating, intriguing, powerful phrase. At least to me it is. When this was first presented my mind went a little crazy, I thought about a class I took in PT school which inspired me to impact my patients further than their diagnosis and I thought about my own health & the health of my very “fit” friends.

Does fitness = health? Does being extremely fit mean you are healthy? Are they mutually exclusive of each other?

I would argue (along with most GPPers at intensive) that the answer to those above questions is a resounding no. You can absolutely be fit without being healthy, healthy without being fit and that they are absolutely not mutually exclusive. Have you ever met a bodybuilder who is completely ripped but after the gym states he goes to a fast food restaurant and eats 4 huge burgers & fries? Is this health? Is that who you want to be when you think of someone healthy? Can you not get those calories from a heart healthy source?

Well the theory of Optimal Health would agree that fitness and health are not the same, and that health has a lot of other components which are essential in having a balanced healthy self.

The definition we like is

“Optimal Health is the perfect balance of 6 things
Social Health
Emotional Health
Mental Health
Financial Health
Spiritual Health
Physical Health”

Physical health is the base, the conduit of all the others. This is because you can touch, feel and impact your physical health each and everyday. Physical health can be “PUT ON YOU.”

I love this definition of health. I believe health is truly a combination of all these things and without 1 you cannot be truly healthy. You might be close but you’ll likely feel as though something is missing. I personally have a hard time balancing my emotional health & spiritual health, which often makes me, put a larger impact on my physical health. I would argue that I am still healthy but have not reached optimal health, which is OKAY, if I had reached optimal health what would I be striving for?

The next concept Neil introduced was GPP’s mission.

  1. To help others reap all the benefits of healthy living
  2. To help others to avoid all the potential pitfalls of unhealthy living

As a physical therapist I believe my jobs “mission” is very similar. I try to help individuals reap all their benefits & avoid further injury or pitfalls. So why wouldn’t I look for a exercise program / lifestyle which would do the same for me? I want to practice what I preach and GPP allows me to practice and preach this fantastic mission.

Additionally GPP is focused on minimalism. Such that we are devoted to doing all that is necessary to obtain Optimal Health but Therefore GPP must be effective and efficient in the workouts and programming.

*note that is a Stability Ball Chest Press bruise on my shoulder!

*note that is a Stability Ball Chest Press bruise on my shoulder!

Lastly to touch on the GPP movement principals which are based solely on out definition of Optimal Health.

  1. Based on “OH” or “Ah Ha!” — ever think there may be another purpose for an exercise? in GPP there is often multiple reasons for perfuming an exercise.
  2. Strive for GPP – general physical preparedness
  3. Broad, General, Inclusive of all — sure we do bodybuilding, marathon training, endurance training… we are striving for general preparedness and overall health we can & do DO everything.
  4. Constrained only by Efficiency & Effectiveness as we are at the heart minimalists — we perform exercises to the extent that is necessary and not one time more.
  5. Five days of Training per week — BEST for optimal health… suggested that if unable to attain 5 days due to health status, medical condition or new to GPP we suggest that you ATTEND 5 days of the workouts but scale the exercises to allow for you to reach optimal health and maintain accountability with the community.

PHEW!!! A lot of GPP knowledge just unloaded and I cannot wait to share some more. I have more GPP related posts planned for the near future but wanted to share some of the basics to get y’all started on the program. I loved GPP before intensive and have truly fallen in love with it since leaving intensive. I hope that through reading my recaps you are all inspired to try the workouts and learn more as well.

Make sure you check out the GPP website, they have tons of articles and information on there that will help broaden your knowledge base as well!





Have you tried GPP?

What would your definition of Optimal Health be?

Are there areas of GPP that you would like me to explain further?

WIAW Utah Edition

Happy Wednesday!!! I am *finally* feeling back to normal after traveling over the weekend. I think I may be the worlds worst traveler as I always feel extremely fatigued and out of it for a day or two after returning home. It … Continue reading

Moguls, Frozen Toes, & Skiing!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Popping in for a quick post while sitting at the hotel breakfast table ski lodge. Yesterday I woke up super early to head to the airport to catch my flight to Utah. Once I got to town and … Continue reading


Happy FrozenTuesday!

I am sure the majority of you all are stuck somewhere in this massive frozen Earth we are on. I seriously am just glad my car started each time yesterday. I got to the gym bright and early yesterday morning and did the first day of GPP’s HELLth week, and when I got back to my car it was FROZEN. On. The. Inside. So that was a fun 10 minutes of shivering 🙂

scrapers don't work inside… :(

scrapers don’t work inside… 😦

Ok enough of my wining about the cold, I know a lot of you are experiencing it also, so I will get on with this blog post.

This is real life before 8 am… OK seriously done whining!

This is real life before 8 am, as I was leaving the gym… OK seriously done whining!

As many of you know I started doing GPP workouts in the fall and have loved the variety the workouts provide. The mix of core, cardio, strength, lifting and power lifts really provide for a whole body experience which leaves me wanting more each week. I mentioned Sunday that I am heading to Utah on Thursday to spend the weekend with the GPP gang and learn as much as I can during the weekend, along with some killer workouts I.Am.Sure.

This week Neil (GPP guru) set us all up for a major challenge to start this New Year off right. He is challenging us with killer workouts, and deeming it a GPP HELLth week. I am still a relatively new GPPer so this will be my first week participating in HELLth week and would be lying to y’all if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous ((insert fear before reading tomorrows workout))

all bundled up bright and cold!

or just a bitterly cold Allison on the way to the gym!

In addition to the promise of 7 days of workouts, sure to leave you sweaty, tired and possibly sore. Neil also challenged the community to a week without SUGAR. This is exactly what I, along with probably most others, need after all the holidays. Sugar is a staple of the holiday season and seems to bring with it a never ending cycle of over-eating, sugar cravings and over-eating. I try to limit my daily sugar consumption as it is but have noticed almost everyday after lunch I am craving something sweet. If there is a cookie or chocolate around my office I will eat that or I will turn to gum, and “chain” chew sugar-free gum. It.Is.A.Problem… I am a gum-aholic…

Neil asked those of us interested in participating in the challenge to VERBALLY…. ehhh writtenly… commit to the challenge 100%. By putting it out there in the community you are more likely to fulfill your commitment and not quit when the going gets tough, because obviously people are counting on you and you seriously


SO I am here to commit twice. I first committed on the GPP website to both the sugar and workout challenge. I am going to forego my gum-obsessed chewing and give my jaw a break. I am also going to push myself physically and mentally and tackle each of the HELLth week workouts. I may have to alter the exercises to make each workout the safest that I can so I ensure that I do not do myself bodily harm. But I will do the workouts 100% and fully commit to let this week work.

Yesterday was Day 1 of the week… The workout was “AMRAP S, Sw, Sh, B, T

AMRAP in 40 min. (AMRAP = as many rounds as possible)

4 ten meter high knee sprints
20 lunge switches (R+L=1)
20 OH DB presses 15/20 ea.
20 DB biceps curls 15/20 ea.
20 OH triceps ext 15/20

If you are unsure of what these workouts are, follow the link to watch a youtube video for further instructions. If you are still confused or need a modification please leave a comment or send me an email and I will help the best I can

My Modifications were as follows:

  • Heavy resistance band sprint to 60 high knees at max resistance… there wasn’t anywhere conducive to 10 meter sprints so I got creative and made it work! ((tried & failed at making a video of this for you guys… womp womp))
  • Stepping lunges … I have been battling a bit of a hip issue and I knew jumping lunges would be the end of me. I made sure my form was on spot each lunge and went for full range of motion.

I completed 7 rounds in 30 minutes. I had to cut the workout short due to time constraints and wanting to have enough time to let my car warm up.

WOOHOO Day 1 DONE!!! #redfacenhappy

WOOHOO Day 1 DONE!!! #redfacenhappy

Day 1 Sugar Free — well after lunch I was longing for something sweet, but instead of grabbing a piece of gum I grabbed my toothbrush (yep I had one with me) and gave my teeth a good brushing. It really helped my reject my initial craving for something sweet. I had to tell myself a few times the rest of the day that I didn’t need anything sweet and to just drink some water or tea but I was able to avoid all sweets on day 1!

I am already nervous and excited for Day 2’s challenge of power squat cleans and burpees. I really love PSC’s but am not such a fan of Burpees… I mean is anyone? I am sure I will be 300% dead at the end of the workout but feel 10000x better than when I walked through the gym door.

Have a wonderful Tuesday friends, make sure it is a healthy & happy one!






Are you doing GPP HELLth week? Whats your favorite type of gum? Are you a burpee fan?