Compliment Confessions

I thought it would never come… I just hope April brings SPRING!

OH & Happy April Fools DAY!! I am so not a prankster so my April Fools will probably be spent avoiding getting tricked!

This post has been written & sitting in my draft file since November. I was not confident enough to post it back then but with some changes, serious growth and acceptance I decided I needed to clear out the closet and post this bad boy.

I have been wanting to start some more post about Physical Therapy, I mean it is my job & I definitely believe it is helpful! I think often times PT gets a bad rep from the fitness community because many times therapists have to give the news of holding off of working out or stopping workouts completely. I also think that once you go to PT (and a good one!) your views on therapy can be completely changed. You (hopefully) will realize that most therapists are fitness enthusiasts & our main goal is to get YOU back to YOUR GOAL!


I posted some background for you about my journey to become a Therapist HERE.

The real reason I started writing this post was to talk about complements! I am the #1 worst person at taking a compliment, I am great at giving them, I really am a professional cheerleader 24/7, but receiving is a completely different situation.

Since I have been a full time clinician I have been blessed to have patients who I’ve been able to get better. I have been blessed to impact so many lives & give my focus and attention to these individuals who are putting their care in my hands.


But all these people have truly blessed ME.

I am completely 100% grateful and blown away when someone tells ME “thank you for helping me” or “thank you for listening to my problems” or “you are really smart” or “you’ve made such a change in my life” or “you are really great at what you do”… Seriously I usually blush and say THANK YOU and then something negative about myself “I’m really not that smart” or “you’re doing all the work!” or “thanks, I am just doing my job”…

A few weeks months ago (sorry this post got lost in my insecurities) I had a meeting down with our corporate office & my regional VP complimented me in a room of multiple clinicians some with 10+ years of experience, while I am sitting here with 9 weeks months of experience. After the meeting he came up and when we were talking he gave me another genuine compliment on my clinical skills, I seriously turned bright red (dang! poker face blown) and brushed it off. He obviously noticed this right away and told me he was being honest. OK point made I need to be better!

The next weeks & months followed with continued amazing compliments from my patients. And honestly each one blew me away. When someone tells me they “brag” about me to my boss or their friends I really don’t know what to do. I am truly thankful & glad that I am able to give people a better quality of life. But why is it so hard for me to take the compliment???

Why is it so hard for me to say, “Thank you so much” followed by continued normal human conversation rather than flubbing with my words, stuttering and feeling lost in what to say next.


So its something I am working on & something I think many people have problems with. I have honestly been trying to be more open to accepting the honest compliments from my patients, family & friends. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life & by blowing off their compliments makes me seem less than appreciative. Which is completely NOT TRUE, I take each statement to heart, internalize them & often replay it over the next days. I do this with negative remarks or remarks I take as negative, I usually replay them 10x more and seriously internalize them to help me be better at whatever it was regarding.

I hope that by sharing my struggles with compliments I will be able to help others with their struggles too. I feel like a compliment is a simple task & shouldn’t take as much work but for me it is a challenge & a work in progress.





Are you an April Fool’s Day expert?
What Physical Therapy Topics of interest?
How are you at taking a compliment? Any Tips? 

{{I am working on a follow up to this post with some tips & tricks to improving my skills at accepting a compliment so stay tuned}}


Marvelous Weekend of Firsts!

I cannot believe it is already Monday. Wasn’t it justtt Friday?
I think the weekends go by faster and faster but at least this weekend was a fun & productive!

So lets get started with this marvelous of mondays by thanking Katie!

As Always Thank You Katie.

Saturday started bright and early with my, new, running buddy Amy. We planned on meeting and doing a (easy for her) 4 mile run. Amy is a rockstar runner who is showing me the ropes holding my hand while I attempt this whole running thing.

We hit the treadmill at an easy pace and chatted, well she chatted I panted, the 4 miles away. After about 3.2miles I was starting to get pretty tired. My legs felt great but my lungs were struggling. I also have been significantly congested so breathing was occurring 90% through my mouth, not ideal!

I dropped my pace for a 1/2 mile and then started to build my speed back up so I could finish strong. I was really happy with my 35minute time and felt great after.

4 mile runFIRST 4 mile run = CHECK!

We next headed to brunch for a very necessary refuel, at Eggsclusive Cafe, a new local restaurant! It was amazing and soooo much food!

You had me at Mimosa!

You had me at Mimosa!

Since it was the first nice day of the year, hello sights of spring, I opened all the windows in my house, and started cleaning like a mad-woman. It felt great and spring fever definitely hit!

Kiwi Muffin

I then baked up some AWESOME muffins! I followed the Gracious Pantry recipe and made her Kiwi muffins with some adjustments, and then loosely followed her recipe and made these orange poppyseed guys! (recipe coming soon)

recipe coming soon

recipe coming soon

FIRST Spring muffins of 2014 = CHECK!

Sunday started with another FIRST… my first Spin class… I feel like I am officially a HLB (healthy living blogger) because I have now gone to an RPM class and saw the other side. I felt a little clunky and like I had ZERO rhythm during 96% of the class (the other 4% was spent sitting and peddling, I can do that!) so I definitely have to go back and find my stride peddle.

First Spin Class

First Spin Class

RPM was followed by a CX group class which was another first for me. I really liked the quick 30 minutes of core and was glad I felt like I could redeem myself from the less than stellar spin performance.

CX Core Class

CX Core Class

FIRST spin & cx class = CHECK!

Amy made some BOMB cookies on saturday so we did a little bake swap. I brought her muffins & she brought me cookies… Obviously the IDEAL post-workout refuel was a cookie. It happened and I am embracing it!

Cookie Monster!

Cookie Monster!

The rest of sunday was spent cooking for the week, creating a new recipe (hopefully good enough to share) & working on a presentation.

Tonight I am presenting to Female Athletes at a local high school on Female Athlete Triad. As a Physical Therapist, who treats a lot of the kids from these schools, it is important that we are properly educating our athletes so they understand how to not only have Optimal Performance but to achieve Optimal Health.

Like the optimal procrastinator that I am I waited until the night before to put all my thoughts together in a presentation. {blog version coming soon}

FIRST High School Presentation = CHECK!

For the past few weeks months? We have been out of Cumin… Everytime I went to the store I could never find any… While in the pantry looking for Cinnamon I found this. Apparently I’ve forgotten a few times that I had bought the cumin. Lots of mexican recipes coming your way?


Oh and we watched the Michigan vs. Kentucky game… I am sad that the season is now over for my beloved boys in blue but I am very grateful for how well they performed this year especially given how small of a team they are. I never called myself a basketball fan, but the last two years have made me a bit more excited about it! Until next year GO BLUE!

Phew what a weekend of Firsts!! I am so loving the spring weather, it makes me feel so much more productive and happy. I hope it sticks around!


What were some first you had this weekend?
Are you a spin junkie?
Does the spring weather make you more productive?

Five Things Friday!

Happy Friday!!!!
I don’t know about you all but I am SO glad its friday. This week seemed extremely painful and long. I am excited for a weekend of relaxation and hopefully catching up on everything I feel behind on.

1. Yesterday I got a text from my aunt with this great quote. I love the quote and how true it really is… we have a history of wine drinking when we get together and I love it, it is beyond therapeutic 🙂


2. Wednesday I deviated from the typical GPP workout of the day and did my own thing. I have been trying to run more frequently which has meant changing up a GPP day to fit my time constraints and meet my running needs. Wednesday I decided to forego the cardio workout and just run. Well after my run I decided I wanted to do something more so I hit the weight room for some back, hips and core strengthening.

Overhead Curtsy Lunge

Heres what I did:
Plank Rows 4 sets, 20-26 reps/set (R+L=2)..
I upped weight once and then maintained since I was aiming for high reps each set. TIPS: maintain a neutral spine and try to maintain a stable pelvis with minimal hip rotation with each row. This is a GREAT move for core stabilization along with back strengthening.

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Overhead Curtsy Lunges

Rack a bar overhead and perform a lunge with a twist (see video below).
I started with a 30# bar to make sure I could perform the move safely and maintain good balance. After performing a couple sets of 10 reps on each leg with the 30# bar I moved up to the 45# bar and performed another couplet sets of 10.
This is a seriously super pumped move. I love the shoulder strengthening and stabilization you have to put into the exercise to maintain the overhead positioning but the move is 2% shoulders, 10% hips and 88% core. Your lateral (outer) hip stabilizers (abductors, lateral rotators, glut med) are pounded during this move along with pulling through quads to achieve upright position & I am feeling the soreness in my hips for sure. MOSTLY this is core and that is GREAT!!! you hit your obliques and transverse abdominus (my favorite muscle!) with all parts of this motion, from maintaining bar overhead to the twist to returning to neutral!

3. THIS trail mix!!! I was at the store the other day and the bulk nuts & berries caught my attention. I bought a few of my favorites that were reasonably priced and knew a trail mix would be in my future. I whipped up this batch one morning before my workout.

Trail Mix

Cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dried blueberries, rasins and Enjoy Life chocolate chunks.

4. Progress! I feel like my strength is definitely improving and I am able to perform more challenging moves that were previously very difficult for me.


progress!! 🙂

On Monday I was able to string THREE (yes 3) kipping pull ups! I was seriously beyond excited. I realize that 3 kips is not a lot but for me this is a big gain. They still are not perfect but they are getting there. Then the other day a girl at the gym told me that whatever I was doing was working because I looked great! I LOVE this! I was not feeling my greatest that day so to hear from someone who I know from working out that she has noticed changes for the better is really nice to hear. Thanks SUE!

5. Spring Fever week at work! I told you all that I was putting on Spring Fever week for my patients this week at work. It has been a total success! I love that my patients are really getting involved and enjoying the little challenges and themes each day. I am shocked by the people who are participating and it makes me so happy to see all my patients take part in the community bonding experience (even the sometimes grumpy ones). Todays is LUAU day and we are doing a hula hoop contest!

Top = animal print day Alligator Bottom = Jazzercise throw back!

Top = animal print day Alligator
Bottom = Jazzercise throw back!

Welp thats all I got for today! Off to work in my Grass Skirt!

Happy Friday Friends!


Are you a good hula hooper?
Have you ever done a curtsy lunge? 
What are you loving today? 

Facing Fears & Obstacles

“Hey you. You know who you are. You looked at this workout and said ‘I can’t do any of those so Im not going to the gym today.’ Get yourself down there. NOW…”

Have you ever had those thoughts before when looking at a workout, or going into a new exercise for the first time? I know I have, more so than ever since starting GPP.

When I first started GPP, as a satellite member, I often found myself fearful of writing on the community wall because my “scores” were not as good as others.

GPP Community

I would first scan the comments to see how I matched up and if I felt adequate I would post my score/time/weight/reps… I rarely would read the comments written by other people rather just see the times/score/weights/reps and feel either accomplished or defeated.

I always felt great after a GPP workout but often felt an irrational sense of competition and failure was often itching at my back. It wasn’t until I went to GPP intensive and felt the energy around me that I realized the people there were real people and they just worked really, freaking, hard to accomplish the scores/times/weights/reps that they were hitting.


I now find myself reading the comments on the GPP website for inspiration and drive, rather than comparison and judgment. I find that reading the struggles and triumphs of others helps me find my passion in GPP and find the internal fire that makes the whole thing more worth it.

The other last week our workout was the TRIFECTA. I seriously read this workout the night before and thought to myself “fail fail fail fail fail, fail city tomorrow” I then sent my coworker a text saying “I am going to be one epic fail after another tomorrow, I am not excited” talk about some positive thinking to make the whole workout go a little better.

*See link for videos of each exercise*

*See link for videos of each exercise*

I woke up the next morning and continued to think “UGHH today is going to be rough, Ill just run after to feel like I got a good workout.” Instead of negativity I decided during the drive to the gym that I needed to say only positive things, and that positive talk would be the only thing that would help me succeed.

I took a deep breath and walked through the gym doors. I got to work first on the Hand Stand Push Ups. I knew that performing a completely inverted push up would be extreeeemely challenging so I told myself, just get up, and assume the position. I tried. Failed. Tried failed. And after the fear of breaking my neck (as I was alone) took over I got to thinking “OKAY so handstand position isn’t happening on its own, how can I make this work?”

"I Can't quite do a HSPU yet so I subbed with a HUGEEE box where I could #safely perform an inverted push-up... I then progressed to simply attaining a #handstand and maintaining this position #aslongaspossible... #progress is key and it won't happen over night. My first time doing a #HSPU so I am 100% happy with what i did this morning! 50 inverted supported push ups & 6 sustained handstands! NOT yet #gpptrifecta but progress is progress! Able to get some strung pull ups too!!"

“I Can’t quite do a HSPU yet so I subbed with a HUGEEE box where I could #safely perform an inverted push-up… I then progressed to simply attaining a #handstand and maintaining this position #aslongaspossible… #progress is key and it won’t happen over night. My first time doing a #HSPU so I am 100% happy with what i did this morning! 50 inverted supported push ups & 6 sustained handstands! NOT yet #gpptrifecta but progress is progress! Able to get some strung pull ups too!!”

I grabbed a BIG box (I think 3 foot) and put it by the wall to give me some support, I initially thought I could kick up to the handstand position from the box, but rather once I was there decided to get some push ups in. I then added another 12inch box to get me even more inverted and did a bunch more push-ups. With a spotter and a little help I was able to get into the handstand & although I was paralyzed in the position I felt a great sense of accomplishment just getting up there!

That night I got on the GPP website and started reading some of the comments from the day. This one struck me hard. I seriously think Judy was talking directly to me or just channeling my inner thoughts from the night before.

Trifecta Comment

Under this post were 3-4 comments on how this was talking right to them, and how they struggled with the movements as well. Actually most people struggled with all the movements because this workout was NOT supposed to be easy, it was not supposed to be simple but it also was not supposed to be something that you quit on.

I am SO glad that I have the GPP community to help pick me up when I feel demoralized and help me remember that I am human. Some of these workouts are for the bionic and I know they were programed that way. It’s not to make you WORSE it is to make you stronger.

How cool is it that a workout can literally make you physical and emotionally stronger? I know I say it too many times but I am so grateful to have found GPP and the community. I work on my fitness each and every day but the people involved in this organization seriously make me a better person each day. I find inspiration in their instagram posts, the motivation through their times & scores and a healthy amount of drive to push harder next time.

I feel a bit of embarrassment to say that I was previously scared/nervous/intimidated to post on the GPP site because these people are real.

So Thank You GPP Gang for helping me storm harder, stronger and safer!

Now I am off to practice handstands!


Can you handstand or handstand push up? 
Tell me a time when you had similar thoughts regarding a workout or activity!

A Week In Review

Happy Internet Monday!!!

I am very glad we finally have our internet back up and running even if I have 1/2 a head of gray hairs from the cable company.

I officially despise dealing with cable/internet companies… But thankfully our internet is back and my fingers have been itching to write! So instead of complaining I decided to share some random rambling’s for your Monday.

Since having internet is a marvelous thing I am linking up with Katie on this marvelous monday!

These picture’s/outtakes from St. Patricks weekend still make me smile ear-to-ear. I just wish I had known about the super fast shudder speed on iPhones, next time leaping leprechaun next time.

Lep. Leap Marshall

Lep. Leap Brent


Lep. Leap


I am so ready for spring and this teasing weather has really gotten on my nerves. BUT at least it is starting to stay sunny outside and the snow is melting! I think everyone is getting major spring fever which is why I am having “Spring Fever” Week at work this week. I love doing silly things & involving my patients while doing them, so I can’t wait to get a little wild and have some extra fun at work this week! Today is Animal Print day and I may or may not be wearing a sweet Alligator hat & socks 😉

Spring - Wet Plants

I saw this on Facebook and couldn’t resist!

I gave meat up for lent and have still been struggling some with finding a healthy amount of proteins and fats in my diet. Last week I made these little corn tacos with a black bean & tomato salsa, eggs and guacamole.. THEN a couple days later went to Chipotle and got the sofritos bowl, and still craved mexican the next day. I love black beans & guacamole its true.

Lent Eats

Last week I ran my VERY FIRST 5k! Okay so for all my marathon running bandit of friends this is not very much but for this girl who is a complete 100% self-proclaimed non-runner it was a big accomplishment. It honestly felt great, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and finally felt like I could do something more. I know that running on a treadmill is no where near the same as running outside but when its still freaking cold outside you’ve gotta start somewhere.


I am excited & nervous to take my running outdoors and start signing up for some races for the year!

To end lets just say that this GUY right here makes me so happy. I mean we obviously take life extremely seriously and have no fun at all!


Okay thats all I’ve got for today. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a less random more thoughtful post!


How was your weekend?

Happy St. Patricks Day

This Monday is especially nice as it is St. Patricks Day!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday especially one which involves a good party and good food. Growing up it was a huge treat to get Corned Beef & Cabbage but it did not come just on St. Patricks day.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

The weekend started out with some M&M goodness. I was at Target and spotted  mint M&M’s and They were amazing btw.

As Always Thank You Katie.

St. Patricks Celebrations are definitely MARVELOUS. Thank you Katie for the weekly link love!

This year Brent & I made the short trip to Chicago to spend the weekend with our friend Marshall and fully indulge ourselves in the spirit of the weekend. Our goals for the weekend included 1. See the River turn Green & 2. Have a good time. I think Marshall had a third but I forgot it 😉

Timer Mode #Selfie Success!

Timer Mode #Selfie Success!

We definitely saw the river turn green… well after standing and waiting for what seemed like forever


we took a little walk down the river and saw the bright green river! I was kind of expecting a more magical experience but I think we were too far down river to see the transformation. It was still really cool!

Green River

After grabbing a bite to eat we made our way to the “Parade” or what we thought would be the parade. We ended up being in the middle of a HUGE “frat” party. It was crazy stupid and I was scared for my pretty life rings life! (I turned my engagement ring to the inside of my palm because I was scared it would fall off from the cold & masses… *paranoid*). After a quick detour through the masses we turned around and made our way to a bar. I definitely needed a drink after that craziness.


We toured a few bars before making our way back to Lincoln park for a quick nap and phone recharging.


Marshall wore these sweeeett green sneakers and I joked that they would be our “Ruby Slippers” and bring us good luck if he did the heel click leprechaun leap. It was a photojournalist success. However I had multiple photographer #fails.

Click your Heels

Brent however was a photo genius… did you know on iPhones you can do rapid shooting? well I didn’t (obviously!) He also was by far the BEST heel clicker, but like I said #photographerfail

we are the THREEEE best friends!!

we are the THREEEE best friends!!

To end the night we met up with my friend Meganne for a couple more drinks, laughs & some dancing. I love meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and it was SO good to see this girl.

We made our way home (IN THE SNOW…) and finally found our beds.



Sunday we woke up had brunch and made the drive back to Rockford. When we got home we took a nap and then went into Brent’s office to get some work done. Our internet has been out at our house for almost a week, which would be why I blogged twice last week. SORRY!



Since I gave up meat for lent I was excited to go out and get some Corned Beef for dinner. Sundays are not included in the lenten fast so it is a “free” day, but I am trying to limit my “cheating” for 1 meal per Sunday.

So Jason’s Deli it was for a seriously HUGE Reuben! I got 1/2 of the sandwich & a cup of tomato soup. It was delicious & I was 5000% stuffed…
As good as my sandwich was it still was not as good as homemade. Thats on my todo list 🙂

It was a long but fun Chi-rish Weekend and I am SO glad we went!


How do you celebrate St. Patricks Day?
Are you an expert Heel Clicker?

Wedding Wednesday – Bridal Party

Happy Wednesday!!!

I have been waiting to write this post for weeks but just finally got around to it, and couldn’t be more excited!

Remember when I shared this preview picture?

bridesmaid boxes

Well those boxes had my invitations/proposals to the girls who I wanted to be in my wedding.

I knew when we first got engaged that I wanted to do something special for the girls who were going to be by my side and especially after seeing all the Pinterest inspiring pictures/ideas I got to work.

I took a trip to Hob-Lob one night after work and after spending 30 minutes in the scrapbook paper aisle I figured out my wedding colors. Yep! I picked my colors based on scrapbook paper. OK, so I knew what color theme/palette I wanted so it was more a matter of just picking out which ones worked best.

Wedding Palette

I then found these FRAMES which I think were painted with me in mind. Basically my color palette on a frame, SCORE!!! From there I found some gem letters and knew what I was going to do. Well mostly…

Bridesmaid Proposal

I cut the dresses out by hand and made the little flowers then just carefully wrote out the words and made the “Proposal” card. I am pretty sure this was the MOST successful Super Bowl sunday ever!

Then off they went to the postoffice with lots of fingers crossed for happy responses and safe travels to Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas & California.

Proposal Card

The first to respond was my Maid Of Honor in New York! I was so excited to see her happy response and to get some IG lovin’!

christmas & wine whats better?

christmas & wine whats better?

My Maid Of Honor will be Catherine, my sister. Catherine is currently finishing grad school at Cornell and will definitely be the person I go to for style advice. Catherine and I are known to hit up the Coach outlet mall or go shopping together when we are at home and always rock some awesome christmas gifts! I am so excited that she will be a part of our big day! 


Next up was my Matron Of Honor in Michigan. I was really surprised that Stephannie did not get her package first but she swears it could’ve been on the porch for a day or two.

wine country weekend love

wine country sisters weekend throwback

Stephannie is my oldest sister. She has definitely been by my side through the biggest of life’s ups and downs. We always seem to find something to laugh, cry or argue about when we are together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We couldn’t be more different but those differences make us the perfect pair of sisters. I was honored to be Stephannie’s Maid Of Honor in 2010 and I cannot wait to have her partying with us.

Third was my college roommate in Pennsylvania.

fish-face & stunna shade wedding musts!

fish-face & stunna shade wedding musts!

Heather and I became fast friends freshman year of college and were basically inseparable for a year plus when we were roommates. Between the two of us we have covered a lot of miles and oceans in the 4 years since graduating college, but we have stayed incredibly close. I was honored to be in her wedding last summer and spend a week in Miami celebrating. I am so happy she said she would be a part of our big day!

IG Lovin'

IG Lovin’

The fourth phone call came just a couple hours after Heathers and was from my High School girlfriend Amalia.

das' boot for her bachelorette party

das’ boot for her bachelorette party

Mal’s and I were an unlikely pair of volleyball partners, as she was always the shortest and I was the tallest girl on the team. We spent many bus trips and hours together in high school but it wasn’t until she moved to California for college that we became extremely close. The two of us would meet each time we were home for holidays and became closer than ever. Amalia got married last summer as well and I was blessed to be her Maid Of Honor. Her wedding was seriously breathtaking and every time Brent & I talk about wedding plans we compare to her big day!

Last but not least was my girl Kori from Grad school.

rocking the doctor caps!

rocking the doctor caps!

While Kori and I haven’t been friends as long as the above 4 girls we have a friendship on a different level. Kori and I spent many long hours studying together, she helped me find fitness, and went through many awful first dates together. This girl helped me find red wine and learn that cowboy boots go with every outfit. I am so honored that Kori will be making the trip up to Michigan to celebrate, especially since we will be getting married on her birthday. (I promised free wine/beer, a free meal & a good party… she said she was down!)

So there they are… the girls who will be standing up in my wedding. I feel like now I can rest and let the rest just fall into place. Although that doesn’t seem to be happening…

Ok next step is finding a photographer… any advice for Ann Arbor Photographers?

Have a happy and healthy Wednesday!

Know any good Photographers?
When did you start getting a lot done on your wedding?

The Science of Muscle Soreness

Ouch!!! Remember the other weekend when I told you how soreeee my body was after Thrust-O-Rama? Well it got me thinking, and got me a bit mad. I also felt like a bit of a hypocrite because I tell my patients every day that exercise should not induce pain, and if it does cause pain they are doing themselves more harm than good.

Muscle soreness is something we all experience. It is something that as athletes or new fitness enthusiasts experience and are told from a young age that the pain/soreness associated with the exercise is normal.

I cannot count the number of times in high school that my, very well meaning, coaches said “No Pain. No Gain Ladies” when we were all whimpering about the workout that we were undergoing. Just for us to come to practice the next day extremely sore. This soreness was interpreted as a “reward” you worked hard enough at practice the day before that you got sore, therefore you did it correctly.


 When I was in college DOMS was introduced to me, we went over the lactic acid build up, the ways to decrease the effects and truthfully it all went straight over my head. I heard DOMS and knew DOMS was bad, but outside of the classroom I did not correlate DOMS with the muscle soreness that I assumed was normal with an exercise or workout.

Then I went to Physical Therapy school and DOMS was introduced again and elaborated on some more. I again heard, absorbed and internalized some of the facts regarding the process but did not put my knowledge into action. That is until I became more physically active.

When I started working out and making exercise a priority, I noticed that there was a stark difference between DOMS & Muscle Soreness. The difference is the severity and intensity, where muscle soreness is just that soreness, DOMS is a painful experience and pain is never good.

Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something more is going on. Pain is not the first physiological response this means that when we finally experience pain our body has already undergone further damage and is now trying to correct for the injuries that have occurred.


 I think a fundamental error in our development is understanding that exercise does not, let me repeat that, does not have to be painful to be effective. You can do a “hard” workout and walk out of the gym in zero pain, have zero soreness and 2 days later feel 100% fine, this does not mean you did anything wrong, rather it means you exercised smart.

So you’re saying no muscle soreness is good?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I am a huge advocate of having soreness but soreness is not always painful. Where DOMS becomes a problem is when you are in pain.

I hate to be in pain and I get mad at myself when a workout that I didn’t intend to be painful makes it hard for me to walk, or move. This means my poor muscles are torn, they have baby tears in them and my body is trying to heal them. It also means that other than an active rest, performing vigorous exercise on these muscles is not a healthy decision. And I HATE to be told to slow down or stop.

Ok so DOMS – What is it? Well lets start with the name Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Typically occurring 24-72 hours post exercise.  The severity of DOMS can vary based on your body, fitness level and the type of exercise/muscles elicited. Not all DOMS is created equal, however we do know that DOMS lasting greater than 72 hours can have a potentially detrimental effect.

Muscle soreness is not the conduit to health or to a higher fitness level. However understanding soreness can help you find that health and fitness level at a faster rate.

How to Reduce or Combat DOMS:

GPP’s Neil Anderson has a few tips:
Start with slow movements, low volume and light intensity. Build gradually!
Continue to exercise!!! As I said earlier an active rest or active exercise is an ideal way to relieve the DOMS/soreness… There is a cool theory called “exercised-induced analgesia” (exercise induced pain relief) that helps to temporarily suppress soreness. Note the word temporary… Extreme muscle soreness will not be eliminated from further exercise. Thus exercise smart

My friends at Applied Fitness Solutions have a few more tips on DOMS:
Take an NSAID (if this is something your body tolerates, if you are unsure seek a physician first) – although the research is a bit conflicted on this topic my professional opinion & knowledge would point to the fact that DOMS is occurring due to an inflammatory process and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Aleve) would help to decrease the pain associated with inflammation. All inflammation is painful to some extent.
Supplementing your exercise with sugar intake & high quality proteins. This helps to decrease the recovery time and elicits a productive use of nutrition in your exercise regime.

Take Home Message

Muscle soreness is a normal part of increasing your exercise routine and regime however it is not something that should decrease your tolerance to daily tasks, activities or limit your ability to continue to exercise. If you are experiencing DOMS at a level of increased severity you need to check yourself and your exercise routine before you wreck all the progress you’ve made.

Train Smart, not Sore!

How do you combat muscle soreness?
Do you judge a workout by how sore you are the next day?
General thoughts/discussion is welcomed!

International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day 2014!

I honestly can tell you that until just recently I did not even know such a day existed but when I was approached by Jan to participate in celebrating today I was more than excited!


The theme for this years IWD is Inspiring Change and as healthy living bloggers Jan thought it would only be appropriate for us to share our health & fitness tips/thoughts that help to inspire change.


I was going to talk about the wonderful bloggers who I’ve met who have helped to inspire change in me.

I was going to write this post about how to make friends in the gym… because I don’t have many friends in my town, but am learning!

I was going to write about how my fitness level has inspired me to be a better person and fueled my own fire in the gym…

I was going to write a few motivational tips on how to help you get started on your path to change… but then I remembered you could just look here

Instead I decided I would talk about how to create your own change.

How to be your own inspiration.

Be Your Inspiration

1. Find your passion(S)
Find something that you love. You might not know you love it but keep looking. The passion, the something that makes you wanting more, makes you searching for better, reasons and explanations. Find.That! this will be your inspiration

…Once you have that then you

2. Explore your Passion…
find different classes, exercise programs, blogs, recipes, social groups, friends, coworkers, journals, books, magazines, courses, education… find whatever you can find on your passion and explore it. dive head first into the world of what you love. this will help to inspire your change 

…Once you have that then you 

3. Share with your Loved Ones
the people who matter the most will be the ones who are most excited to hear about this passion, the fuel and your fire. they will be the supportive companions during your journey down your inspiration road and they will be huge supporters for you. find these people and share, shout, show this passion with them. this will inspire change

…Once you have that then you

4. Relax, Share, Explore
Its really that simple… just remember to share, because your passion will definitely, 100% help to ignite someone else’s & help to pass the inspiration on!

How I did it Started .

My passions are multiple but centered around a simple theme, health. I am beyond passionate about health and optimal health that when I meet with physicians they tell me that I am more passionate than most people they have met.

I want to share my health with the world. I would love to have infinite time and energy and supplies to adequately share with the world how healthy they can be.
I found my passion (optimal health) when I was a young girl in the form of physical therapy and with the help of playing sports (passion). I then grew into a student of physical therapy (passion) and found exercise (passion). Since I always had sport the three really have combined to become a massive passion. I then found nutrition (passion) and fueling my body in a sound, safe, effective way. This added to the storm, my passion was multiplied and strengthened.


I experimented with different exercise programs, found different health/diet programs and then found the blogging community. From there I read more, exercised more, shared with family/friends more and then finally decided to share via this little blog.
I haven’t even started to reach the place I would like to be with my passion but each and every day I feel my fire burn hotter and grow larger. This fire is my inspiration and it is inspiring me on a daily basis to change myself and help others make a positive change within themselves.


I truly believe that there is not a single person who can inspire you more than the one who you see in the mirror, but I do believe that with the right tools and the right people your inspiration should never end and your passion should continue to grow.

So go out there and find your passion, find the fire and let it grow, let it burn and let it help you be the change you want to see in this world.


We only have one life to live, so make it an inspiring and impactful one.

Happy International Women’s Day my beautiful friends & thank YOU for inspiring me each and everyday.






Where do you find your inspiration?
How will you celebrate International Women’s Day? 


Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Woohoo Its WEDNESDAY!!!
I went to write an inspiring post last night on a few different topics floating in my head, but at the end of a long work day with too many new thoughts floating around I decided to post a new recipe.

Last week Brent & I had a good eating week (read: actually cooked meals).

I seriously have no better excuse than to blame the weather but lately (read: Since 2014 started) I have not had the energy/motivation to cook meals each night. Since Brent goes to the gym after work he typically packs a “dinner” and then has protein when he gets home so I have been left to throw together deliciousness when I get home from work.

This works for me (usually) but over the weekend, a couple weekends ago, I decided I needed more, wanted more, yearned for more! And so the decision to make stuffed chicken breasts was born!

We went to the grocery gathered all the ingredients, pondered over the different cheeses until our mouths watered at the idea of the meal.


Then we decided to have Bagels & soup for dinner… Whomp Whomp!
Sometimes a quick meal and the Olympics trumps something delicious that takes work.

Well luckily for us the next day we had everything we needed to make a dinner, lunch, lunch, lunch & dinner.

I was worried it would be a mess to make & eat but it really wasn’t. Plus the chicken stayed moist (sorry if you don’t like that word, but its true) & had tonssssssss of flavor!


We made 2 flavors mainly because we couldn’t make a solid decision. One we made with Feta Cheese & fresh Rosemary & the other made with goat cheese and dill. The Feta ones stayed together a little better as the feta did not melt or become as soft as the goat cheese, but I thought the goat cheese ones had more flavor. basicallyyyyyy both were amazing!


You could easily use your favorite herbs & cheese to make these bad boys your own!

I cannot wait to make these guys again, as this might be my new go-to chicken recipe. This would be great to serve for friends/family and could easily be doubled or halved per your needs. I did not use exact science to develop this recipe, it truly was what sounded good to us and what I had on hand.

Feel free to modify the recipe per your dietary wants & needs. Then let me know so I can try your version too!!!

This wonderful recipe was definitely enjoyed over a wednesday lunch with some roasted brussel sprouts. Whole picture missing but still worth linking up with all the wonderful wednesday eaters out there thanks to Jenn!


Hope you enjoy!


Whats your favorite way to cook chicken?
Do you cook more or less in the winter months?