A Return To GPP

Hey guys & happy Tuesday! 

Do you ever feel like you just need a change, a break or to basically just start over? I am completely in that frame of mind right now, I’ve noticed that I’m unhappy with a few things in my life right now and find myself wishing for more, for change and education. 

Over the past few weeks when I go to the gym I’m unmotivated & feel pretty “blah” so I decided I would pick Fitness as my first place to start finding happy in my life. I look back on my fitness journey and know that I do the best when I’m constantly challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone SO I decided to take a 1 month GPP challenge & here’s why:

1. Feeling plateaued – I’ve enjoyed  focusing on lifting and lifting heavy however I feel like I’ve been focusing on the same lifts/movements TOO much and I’m no longer making gains. Similarly to eating the same food/calories/Marcos and expecting a change it just doesn’t happen that way. Our body’s are too good and adapt to the environment they are in and the best way to break plateaus is by CHANGING your routine & the best way I know how to do that is to focus on something else and get “secondary” strength gains by making OPTIMAL HEALTH my goal not pure strength! 


2. Feeling bored/unmotivated – as I said lately I dread going to the gym, I get there and enjoy some of my workouts but leave wanting more & not knowing what more to do so I end up leaving bored and feeling blah

3. Seeking a challenge – to piggy back off #2 I am feeling stagnant in our workouts and my creative juices aren’t flowing to add new exercises in, I LOVE that each day with GPP is a new challenge and I miss waking up and having something to tackle each day!

4. Feeling unbalanced – because of our workout, work & travel schedule I don’t feel like I am able to work ALL my muscle groups each week and often skip cardio & core due to time constraints. I love powerlifting and the feeling that you get from pulling/pushing a heavy weight but variety is the spice of life ūüėČ

5. Chronic hip pain – I’ve pretty much always had some hip issues but the past 6 months or more, it has been getting more consistent. Thus resulting in me limiting my leg and lower body workouts and even having trouble with other lifts. I know that this tacks on to being unbalanced and having some general weaknesses… There’s a possibility that something more is going on, even though I have had an awesome PT check it out, but I think the bigger issue is not focusing on a push-pull-SQUAT-CORE movement during most/all of my workouts. My hip issues started shortly after I stopped doing GPP & Crossfit (which just isn’t in our budget to return to right now) so I am hoping that by returning to these balanced and challenging workouts that my body will bounce back and find the stabilization that it needs. Plus I’m only 27 there is no reason for me to have flipping hip pain! 

6. It looks good on! – if I look back at my last year of my fitness journey I felt the best about myself for the longest period of time when I was doing GPP consistently. Beyond looking & feeling good there is something about looking at a seemingly impossible workout and getting after it THEN feeling on top of the freaking world once you smashed it! 

So there you have it! A step in the direction that I need based on current goals and feelings in my life. I am pumped to get back to challenging functional fitness and push myself in ways that I haven’t been pushing in a while! Plus I miss my GPP friends and can’t wait to reconnect. 

I know that returning to these workouts are going to be challenging mentally and physically which is just what I’m looking for! I plan on keeping my lifting strength up by joining Brent for a primary lift each/most days too. This complements GPPs shaping bias as well.

Alright I’m off to the gym for day 2 of my month of change and I can’t wait it looks like a great one!!! 

If you’re looking for a change in your fitness routine check out GPP I promise it won’t disappoint! 



Tailgate Challenge: Mediterranean Dip

With layers of hummus, couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers,
onion, olives & feta
this 7 layer Mediterranean dip will leave
you satisfied and your tastebuds BUZZING!!! 

Hey Hey!!!

It’s time for another delicious tailgate recipe… In case you haven’t been tuning in to my weekly recipes check out these posts too!

Tailgate Challenge

Tailgating Challenge: To bring something healthy to each tailgate all season to help fuel myself and my friends with some sort of healthy nutritionally rich food! I’m not following any diets or sticking to 100% clean foods just making a healthy option for everyone.

Last week we were in Michigan for the game against Northwestern & our first afternoon home game of the season. I was thrilled that we got to sleep in a little bit & go to the farmers market to buy fresh produce before the game.

Mediterranean Dip Mediterranean Dip

Our tailgate theme was Kebabs and things that go with them. I decided to make a dip of sorts to complement the kebabs. When I think kebab I think Mediterranean flavors and lots of fresh veggies so I decided to go with those two ideas into a blended delicious dish!

Kebabs before they hit the grill!

Kebabs before they hit the grill!

I wanted to do a little more than just hummus and veggies AND I wanted to stay away from a yogurt/cream layer since we were going to be outside all day and I didn’t want it to warm up too much. So I beefed up the dip with a layer of Israeli Couscous & it was a brilliant idea.

Mediterranean Dip

I mean look at all those layers!

I mean look at all those layers!

Starting with Sabra original hummus I layered everything in a high-walled baking dish, I think mine was a 8×11 dish with 3in walls.


Nothing like trying a new recipe on a bunch of people & not knowing how it would turn out…

pin me for later!

pin me for later!

This dip was a HUGE hit! It was so fresh and seriously delicious. I thought it was good & my dad said it was good but he is always going to complement my food, well almost always, but when 4-5 people came up to me and said they really liked it… Then I knew it was a success!

I cannot wait to make this again for the next party that I have to bring a dish to pass. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

Happy Tuesday Friends!

I have been having whirlwind weeks and weekends and then I sit down to blog and talk with you guys and I feel like I keep repeating myself each week. I swear one day I will come up with new content but rather than forcing topics and content with you all I figure sharing our week/weekend is a pretty good use of this blog, if only for me!

We had another fun weekend of football and family time. Brent & I headed to Michigan for an amazing game on Saturday. We both were amazed at all the food that was at the tailgate and enjoyed the AMAZING unseasonably warm October weather. The game was ELECTRIC and if you didn’t see it than I’ll give you the spoiler alert… Michigan won making it their 3rd shut out game in a ROW & the first time that has been done at Michigan since the 1980’s.

Once we got home we all crashed watching the end of the Cub’s game and some football. It felt good to be throughly exhausted!

Sunday we got up and my uncle dropped his dog Stoli, off for a little play date with my dad while he went to lunch with a friend. I’m pretty sure my dad hears the word DOG and immediately thinks, “Sweet a walk in the woods!” I’m pretty sure its his favorite thing to do! Brent, my dad & I all headed out to take Stoli for a walk in the woods by the golf course my dad is a member of. Stoli is still a bit of a puppy and is not coordinated enough to perform stairs, jumping or getting in/out of cars. Im not sure if its because he is a puppy or because he is scared of it, either way the poor dog had some troubles!

We got to the park and because Stoli is so well trained it took him about 15-20 minutes before he was comfortable walking off the leash and leaving the three of us, but after a while he was getting much more curious and would wonder off justttt far enough where he felt like he was being daring but close enough he could still see where we were! Seriously the best dog EVER!

Once we got home I joked that we would move back to Michigan and have my uncle train our dog & then drop it off at my dads house so Grandpa could walk em!

After the walk in the woods we met up with my cousins for a fun little pumpkin patch afternoon! I thought the place we were going was an apple orchard in addition to a pumpkin patch but it wasn’t… so we took the tractor ride, they picked out their pumpkins and we treated ourselves to apple cider donuts!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition 

It was fun spending time with the four of them and doing something seasonal. I love these kids and the fact that they aren’t too cool to hang out with their lame cousin & her husband! I cannot believe that they are old enough to DRIVE and meet me places though!!!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

After our fill of cider & donuts we headed back to Illinois. Brent & I also treated ourselves to some Apple Pie Bread, I had never heard of it but it was basically Monkey Bread with apple pie filling throughout, it was pretty amazing not going to lie… We enjoyed that as dinner Sunday night!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Fall Edition

With Love & All Things Fall!

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Tailgating Challenge: Sweet & Spicy Poblano Coleslaw

Hey Guys!

Sorry I slacked and never posted my tailgating challenge recipe last week. Like I said on Monday my work schedule changed and my blogging time was cut short. Enough excuses I am here today to share a delicious and EASY recipe for you!

Tailgate Challenge

Tailgating Challenge: To bring something healthy to each tailgate all season to help fuel myself and my friends with some sort of healthy nutritionally rich food! I’m not following any diets or sticking to 100% clean foods just making a healthy option for everyone.

For the third home game of the season we had another morning game and well to be honest we were all over breakfast. So instead of having another breakfast themed tailgate we went for a lunch and had Chili Dogs with all the fixings.  

I decided to make a coleslaw for the occasion, but coleslaw from a restaurant where you would get a chili dog from is not the type of coleslaw I enjoy. Im not a huge creamy dressing person and often feel like the coleslaw at restaurants is just watery, bland and blucky! So I was determined to make a flavorful slaw with a vinaigrette dressing rather than a creamy sauce.  

I got the basics and then got inspired when I saw the Jalape√Īo & Poblano peppers in the produce section. A spicy slaw with a sweet and tangy sauce sounded PERFECT!


The slaw comes together really easy with the use of your food processor, if you don’t have a food processor it will take a little more elbow grease but won’t take that much time. I didn’t measure the vinaigrette… blogger fail… so the recipe is the basics…play with the flavor until it tastes good to you!  

So there you have it! A fun twist on the traditional coleslaw! I highly recommend it topped on your hotdog for an extra crunch.  

We are off to Michigan again this weekend for another fun filled weekend and I CANNOT WAIT!! Plus I need to think of a grilled kebab companion recipe, so if you have any requests let me know! 



It's beginning to feel a lot like FALL!

Hey Guys!

Can you believe its already October? In the medical world we have been preparing for a big change on October 1st and I remember earlier this year when they started talking about it, and then the emails that I continued to get regarding the changes but I never really accepted that October was coming up on us until it arrived in full fall force on Thursday!

We went from an unseasonably warm end to September to brisk fall weather with chilly mornings, warmish afternoons and then chilly evenings. I have been enjoying the cooler nights and letting the fresh fall air into the house. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year.

Last week¬†I felt a little out of it when we were in the gym and I contribute it to the change in weather and a change in my work schedule. But on Wednesday we did a leg day workout and I went for optimal glute strengthening… which equaled major glute and leg soreness!


For the bandwalks I used a blue tubing band around my knees and made sure to stay in a squat position through the whole walk, which was super hard. The 200ft is discretionary I walked the clear space distance in my gym and counted Down & Back as ONE lap, probably about 200ft. During the elevated hip thrust I put my shoulders on a 22in box (whatever you have in your gym) and did bridges/thrusts really focusing on squeezing my glutes at the top. For the single leg I also was focusing on keeping my hips as level as possible.

On Saturday Brent & I had a fun day planned with our friends Rich, Anges & Hayley. We actually set up the date in the middle of the summer and it was another date that felt SO far away but came so quickly! We originally had plans to go to Morton Arboretum but decided to head down town and go to the Zoo. But first FOOD!

Brent, Hayley & I on the boardwalk

Brent, Hayley & I on the boardwalk

We headed to RJ Grunts for lunch. Apparently we had the same idea as about 100000 other people and had a bit of a wait so we headed over to the zoo and took a walk around the water and worked up a serious appetite. After a little longer wait it was time to EAT! Since we were all absolutely starved we took full advantage of their salad bar.

I love a good salad bar and the one at RJ Grunts did not disappoint. We stocked up on salad, premade pasta/grain salads and a delicious cream of spinach soup before getting our actual MEAL! WHAT!!! Yes we got a salad bar and a burger, it was insane and probably not the smartest idea but man oh man was it good! I got the green chile burger and it was delicious, I ate 1/2 of it and was completely stuffed.

Brent & I both took home 1/2 of each of our burgers, when we ordered I said “should we just split a burger” but Mr Hanger said no, so we didn’t… but we should’ve! Oh well some homeless man got a good meal from us because after walking around the zoo our leftovers didn’t seem very appealing any more so we left them for someone who needed them more than us!


We had a fun afternoon walking around the Lincoln Park Zoo, I was a little disappointed because it was “fall fest” at the zoo but it was kinda lame. I guess if you were a little kid it would be fun but oh well! We got to see a few fun animals and had great company! After we got a little too chilly at the zoo we walked over to Molly’s Cupcakes for a cupcake and coffee to warm up!

Brent & I got Chai Lattes and split a pumpkin & a chocolate PB cupcake. Both were AMAZING! We also took a chocolate blackberry home for later… we couldn’t decide which ones we wanted so get got all three… #noshame


After warming up and getting a good sugar fill we headed to meet my parents & sister for dinner at Rockit bar in River North. My parents were in town helping catherine move into her new apartment downtown so we had plans to meet up and watch the Michigan football game and have dinner. Well the Michigan game time was changed because of the weather on the east coast so we just had a nice dinner. Brent & I were still stuffed from the earlier eating adventures so we split a hummus platter which was delicious and perfectly satisfying!

Lentil Hummus Platter

Lentil Hummus Platter

Once we got home from the day in the city Brent & I plopped down and watched American Sniper. I know we are super late to the party but we don’t rent movies or go out to the movie theater very often so it was free on demand with HBO so we took advantage of it and enjoyed. I really liked it!

Sunday we got up and did our usual sunday stuff, church, costco, food prep and football. Then we headed to target in search of everything pumpkin! Actually we went just for the pumpkin mini-wheats but ended up with a few other fall flavors which didn’t disappoint.¬†The mini-wheats are AMAZING just incase you were curious. You should definitely go get some!

Give me ALL the Pumpkin!

Give me ALL the Pumpkin!

A¬†little Sunday Cocktail when I was working on our meal prep… this bad boy was super simple and super delicious. Just 3/4C frozen blueberries, coconut water, chia seeds & 1tbsp honey all blended together and topped with a few extra chia seeds! I enjoyed it out of my Moscow mule mug because why not!


The rest of Sunday was spent just relaxing and enjoying a weekend without 8hours in the car! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying this crisp fall weather as much as we are.

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