Fitness Lately – AMP Trainer

Happy Wednesday!

I thought I would update y’all on what my fitness routine has looked like lately. In the fall I started to feel pretty stagnant with my workout routine, I wasn’t loving what I was doing and felt pretty uninspired, you can read more on that here & here. When I still couldnt get my mojo back I decided to turn to Bodybuilding.com and see if there was a program that seemed to fit.

In December I did a 4 week program which was just what I needed to get out of my rut and change up my routine a bit. It was a good program but I wanted more variations, I felt like I was doing a lot of shoulders and wasn’t significantly challenged. Once I finished that program I decided to try a different program that was a bit longer.

Currently I am doing the Marc Megna AMP program from bodybuilding.com and I have been really enjoying it. I technically started on Dec. 28th but after a week of over indulging after the holidays I decided to restart it on Jan 4th. So I am on my second week right now.

Day 1: Marc Megna Trainer

Day 1: Marc Megna Trainer

What I am enjoying a lot is that the lifting days are FULL BODY which I have not done in foreverrrrr and then there are dedicated cardio days which has been a fun change. I really do not enjoy doing indoor cardio, and have to talk myself into outdoor cardio to be honest, so doing cardio after a lifting day almost never happens. Having a designated cardio day really helps me focus on getting it done.

Day 5: Marc Megna Trainer - AMPed up the Split Squat lift by elevating my rear foot & adding a 35# weight!

Day 5: Marc Megna Trainer – AMPed up the Split Squat lift by elevating my rear foot & adding a 35# weight!

I also like that the lifting days have been 5sets of 5reps so I am able to amp up my weight a bit and know that I “only” need 5 reps. It’s a fun change and challenge!

The lifting workouts take about 45-50minutes depending on the day and the bodybuilding.com body space app is a great companion at the gym, its on my phone and makes tracking the workouts, weights and time so easy! The app has definitely improved since the last time I tried it a couple years ago and its much more user friendly. I love that it tells me what weights I did last week so I 1. don’t slack and pick the lighter weight 2. I can remember where I was last week because I never remember!

Bodyspace app is a lifesaver!

Bodyspace app is a lifesaver!

 

The cardio days are 40-45minutes right now and I have been doing the elliptical since I’m dealing with some Achilles Tendonitis that is much worse with running, so the low impact of the elliptical is way better. I have been bringing my iPad and reading Kelley Starret’s “Becoming A Supple Leopard” while on the elliptical, the book is all about improved mobility, stabilizing your spine and properly engaging and stabilizing your muscles when working out or lifting. It’s a total PT nerd book and I love it! I never understood how or why people read when they were working out but it really does make the time go by and I can zone out, similarly to how I zone out when running outside.

Cardio day! Ending cardio session in the steam room is my favorite!!!

Cardio day! Ending cardio session in the steam room is my favorite!!!

Saturday & Sundays for me are rest days, I took advantage of not having a programed workout on Saturday and hit up a yoga class for some active rest. I was a little disappointed at first because the yoga teacher I thought was teaching was out of town and it was in a “normal” temp room rather than a hot room but it was still a really good class and I am starting to feel more comfortable being told “now flow yourself” because before that would just make me mad. I am trying to make getting to at least 1 yoga class a week a priority because my muscles and joints really need that active recovery that you get during a yoga class. Plus I always feel like a happier person after I get done!

Yoga & some ankle mobilizations to put some deposits back into myself and get a little extra out of each day!

Yoga & some ankle mobilizations to put some deposits back into myself and get a little extra out of each day!

We are all up to speed so I guess its time to head to the gym and get my full body lift on. Tell me what workout program you’re doing right now!

Happy Lifting!

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The Year of No Expectations

Happy 2016 Guys!

We are 11 days into 2016 and I hope you all are off to a great start! I have loved reading friends and families New Year’s goals and resolutions over the past week or so and it has got me thinking about goals of my own.

2015 was all about getting married and getting to June. Then the rest of the year was adjusting to our new normal and finding the right balance, which I don’t think I did at all but life is always about adjusting right?!

For 2015 I did not set a bunch of goals but rather I set a word for the year, to practice more SELF LOVE. While this word sort of went by the way-side as they year progressed looking back on 2015 I feel that I did a pretty good job of practicing this.

On Jan 2 of this year I went to a Yoga class at my gym and the instructor set our class intention as “No Expectations” and I thought that it was the perfect phrase for 2016.

The Year of No Expectations

I often find myself putting these grand expectations on myself and then when I am not able to live up to those expectations I feel defeated and it takes me a while to get back on my feet. I think that with the social media world and within the beautiful blogging community we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other and this can often put a lot of unnecessary stress and expectations on yourself. I know that I fall into this trap a lot!

SO for 2016 I am not setting any grand goals, I just hope to live this year doing my best and accomplishing the goals that I have in my head one day at a time without a timeline because this is the year of No Expectations. The year of achieving and doing t for ME and no other reason than that.

What are you going to achieve this year? What word or phrase resonates with you?

Cheers the happiest and healthiest 2016 possible, I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us all.

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Farewell 2015… Hello 2016!

Hey friends remember me? I blogged here… 28 days ago… And before that semi regularly…

  

Well the last month… Uh 6… Have been filled with lots of other stuff leaving not a lot of time to dedicate to this blog. I also honestly just felt uninspired which didn’t lead to GREAT posts or topics, and I don’t want to blog just to put something on the page and say I did it. That’s just not my style 😊

I hope to be more consistent in 2016 but to be honest life is more important and I want to enjoy it to the best of my ability so if that means not as much blogging that might be the case. I am going to do a blogging challenge starting in January so hopefully that’ll help! 

OK the real reason I’m plugging in today is to share my 2015 year in review! I was reflecting on this year, how much happened, changed and the growth that has occurred. I wrote up an Instagram post that’ll be up later but I wanted to capture it on the blog today too! 
  
❄January❄️ A new year and new fitness goals & achievements… we started the year strong with Crossfit and achieving some handstand goals
❤️February❤️ My birthday month and celebrating the love and marriage of our good friends Kelsey & Sean. Celebrating their wedding was definitely the highlight of the month!

🍀March🍀 Some, short lived, warm weather meant outdoor running and handstand/shoulder strengthening. March was also the start of showers and wedding crunch time!

🌹April🌹 The birth of my precious niece Juliette, she has brought a lot of joy to our family and it’s been so fun to watch her grow. April also brought some new found faith between Brent & I as we celebrated our first Easter both Catholics. 

  
🌧May🌧 The month of “showers,” wedding showers that is, I was blessed with two beautiful showers thrown for us by our friends & family. May also brought the challenge of MURPH that my Aunt & I accomplished together!

  
👰🏼💍June💍👰🏼 

WE GOT MARRIED!!! I married the love of my life and was blessed with a beautiful wedding celebration with all our family and friends. looking back on June brings so much joy & happiness, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day! We also traveled to Mackinaw Island and enjoys a few days of Pure Michigan Bliss!

  
🎉July🎉 

More fitness fun running in the Mastadon Challenge with our family was so much fun! we finally stopped traveling so much and got to enjoy life married. I took very few pictures in July so I’m sure we had a nice relaxing month… Maybe?

☀️August☀️ 

The month I took the most photos… Lots of fitness photos as we finally got back on track after a few months of enjoying life and hit the gym hard! Outdoor running, sunshine and enjoying the summer in Chicago. Definitely my favorite time of year!

🍃September🍃

Football games and enjoying time with our friends with a few trips to the city and to Michigan. With having season tickets we started new traditions of going to the Michigan Games and spending a lot of time on the road. We also spend Labor Day with our friends in the City enjoying all the fun that Chicago offers! 

🏈October🏈 

Another month of travel! We went to all the Michigan Football home games, tailgated our butts off and enjoyed spending time with great friends! At the end of the month we jet setted again, in October we had plans every weekend with staying in Illinois only 1 weekend of the month!

  
✈️November✈️ 

SAN FRANCISCO!!! we traveled to SF for 10 days of relaxing and enjoying each other! Our trip was so much fun, you can read about it here, taking a belated honeymoon was so worth it! we also celebrated Brent’s 30th birthday in style, at the Michigan-Ohio Stare game and then with a great dinner downtown Ann Arbor  😜

🎄December🎄

A great pre-holiday Advocare challenge that helped to cleanup our diet and I avoided a lot of pre-Christmas junk food. Sadly I have been enjoying those treats now that the challenge is over, that’s to end Monday! December also meant lots of fun holiday celebrations with family. We ended the year in style with Brent successfully growing (and shaving) a beard and ending the year on a really happy and satisfied note! 

There are things I can’t wait to achieve in 2016. Goals and achievements that are just dreams waiting to become reality but looking back on 2015 & I can honestly say we lived EACH month to its fullest and enjoyed every bump and bruise we encountered along the way! 

Cheers to 2016!

  

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Hey!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! We enjoyed Thursday with our friends Chris & Kristina and their sweet little girl Brianna. It was so nice to spend the day with friends who have become family & eat ALL THE FOOD.

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Seriously guys we had so much food, I think everyone says that but when you make a turkey, ham & all the fixings in 9×13 pans to feed 4 people you have A LOT of food!

Brent & I had a lot of fun making food to bring for our dinner and had such a great sense of accomplishment to say that we helped make thanksgiving happen. Really we made a WHOLE thanksgiving meal to bring to our friends house, who were also making basically a whole meal!

Brent was in charge of the stuffing and ham. He made an awesome sausage butternut squash & herb stuffing that we all loved. It was similar to a recipe we had made a couple years ago and I think it’s my favorite thing ever. He found the recipe online but I am not 100% sure where, I’ll look for it and let you guys know!

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

I was in charge of the cranberry sauce & salad. I made an easy roasted brussel sprout kale fall salad which was delicious but I made WAYYYY too much and the leftovers didn’t save very well 😦 anyways the salad had roasted kale & brussel sprouts, pomegranate seeds, green apple, walnuts, goat cheese and romaine lettuce. I made a quick orange Dijon mustard vinegrette which was super good and super easy to make!

For the cranberry sauce I got a little adventurous and combined a couple recipes that I found on Pinterest to make my own delicious concoction.

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You guys I was SO scared to make cranberry sauce, for some reason those little berries intimidated me (and still do) but this sauce was SO easy, flavorful and delicious on the turkey. It could easily become my favorite part of a holiday meal, when previously I would stray away from the cranberry sauce goo that comes from the can.

Cranberry Cherry Wine Sauce

Plus any recipe where wine is involved in cooking means wine for DRINKING too!! That’s my kind of recipe 🙂

Happy Holidays Friends! Here’s to some delicious food!

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Getting Back on Track

Hey Guys!

With all of the traveling and weekends away this fall I’ve been feeling really off when it comes to the gym and the food that I’ve been putting in my body. I think everyone goes through periods of time when food and fitness become a chore rather than a pleasure and thats where I am suck right now.

image source @keri_lynn_badach on Instagram

I have been struggling with wanting to love my workouts and have been eating the same boring food for months and while they are healthy they don’t really satisfy us so often I find that we go out to grab “a snack” or opt out of eating at home and grab takeout or a sandwich. All of this leads to a vicious circle of being upset and angry with myself and playing that dreaded comparison game.

image source @keri_lynn_badach on Instagram

A few weeks ago I talked about how I was going to get back to GPP as I really do love the programming and the workouts, I had a great week of workouts following the programming and making them work but then we went on vacation and didn’t workout (but we walked a lot) and then I got sick. So here I am almost 4 weeks later feeling the same as I did then.

WELP its time to recommit and get focused finding my inner happiness which I know can come from a good workout and positive talking.

Image source @keri_lynn_badach on Instagram

I was chatting with my friend Keri about this on Friday when I was feeling less than motivated to get my sweat on at the gym. She reminded me that I can never achieve the goals that I have in my head if I can’t find inner happiness first. Its one thing for someone else to tell you that you’re strong, fit and amazing and its another thing to FEEL those feelings yourself.

Since my seriously cleansing chat with Keri I decided to give up on this negative “i can’t” “I’m not” “i wish” talk that I kept finding myself going to and start to DO the things that make me happy.

image source @keri_lynn_badach on Instagram

SO I getting back on track by cleaning up my diet & cleaning up my attitude at the gym. Even if my workouts still struggle, because a rut sometimes is just a rut, I am going to COMMIT to getting to the gym & doing the best that I can during the rest of the hours of the day.

I challenge you to spread POSITIVE talk to yourself and remember that YOU are AMAZING no matter what the social media pressure wants to tell you, no matter what that reflection in the mirror or the amount of weight on the stack shows, YOU are here doing the BEST that you can and ROCKING IT!

Image Source @keri_lynn_badach on Instagram

Also if you are still in need of some positive talking and help in finding the best healthy way for you, check out Keri’s website & her new blog, she is a certified holistic health coach and a seriously amazing person with the best spirit and energy possible!

With Love & Positivity,

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San Francisco Vacation

Hey Guys long time no chat!

Sorry about that… the past few weeks have been a bit crazy and honestly this little blog got pushed to the way-side. But I’m back now and here to share our trip to San Fran!

Since Brent & I opted out of a big extravagant honeymoon right after we got married and made our way to Mackinac Island for a little R&R we decided to take a trip in the fall. Our amazing friend, Gwen, lives in SF and invited us to her home while she vacationed in Mexico with her sisters. It was the perfect opportunity to get away and spend some quality time together!

 

We got to San Fran late Friday night for a full week of exploring & while we had ideas and things we would like to do/see in mind we had almost ZERO agenda which was nice!

If you followed me on SnapChat (mywellnessland) or Instagram you have a pretty good idea what we were up to during our trip, I tried to stay off social media through the trip except to capture memories by posting on snapchat. For those of you who don’t follow me, grab a cup of coffee this could take a while 🙂

Day 1: Napa

On Saturday we spent the day with Gwen before she left town, it was so nice to catch up with here and go up to Napa together!

We headed to a neighborhood resturant Just For You Cafe for a filling breakfast. The cafe was cute & busy on a gorgeous Saturday morning. We waited for our table and then enjoyed a great breakfast.

Once we were fueled for the day we headed back to the house got our stuff together for the trip up to Napa & got on the road.

DSC_0615 San Francisco

Our first winery was Bell Wine Cellars which was a complete coincidence and Brent & I were beyond excited to enjoy OUR winery! We probably took so many pictures of this winery because everything was branded “Bell” and we were obsessed! Plus they had amazing wine, a bit pricey but absolutely delicious. We went home with a bottle of their reserve wine & two wine glasses… Because BELL, duh!

San Francsico San Francisco

After Bell we headed to B Cellars which was just down the road & a winery which Gwen belonged to. We took a tour of the grounds where they not only grow the grapes but they have bees for honey, a gorgeous herb garden & fresh vegetables to use in their kitchen. The vineyard was build on a hill so they had tunnels and caves which we toured as well, they had a wine barrel on tap which was pretty awesome!

San Francisco

Once our tour was completed we sat down for a food & wine paring, and I decided I wanted a personal chef! The food was divine and the wine was pretty dang good too. We took home a bottle of their Syrah.

San Francisco

San Francisco

Later that night we headed out to Plouf for a Halloween seafood dinner. Brent & I decided to split a bucket of Coconut Milk Mussels & the Sea Bass special. The sea bass was pretty good, I had never ate sea bass before and really enjoyed the texture and flavor. BUT for me the star was the Mussels. I could’ve ate the whole bowl, the sauce was so flavorful and rich it was a totally new take on mussels for me & I loved it!

Day 2: Brew Tour

Sunday started early when we took Gwen to the airport & then relaxed a bit taking our time to get up and going. After a homemade omelet breakfast we decided to seek out the different breweries in the city.

San Francisco

We started out walking from the house and just hit different breweries as we went along. We ended up walking to 5 different breweries, almost 7miles round trip. It was fun to go to some of the smaller places and chat with the bartenders about the area and local brewery scene. At our last stop we had a bit of a hike back home which took us up some serious San Fran hills and in some not so great neighborhoods, by the time we got back to the house it was 8+ hours later and we were exhausted.

Here’s where we went & my humble opinions 😉
1. Triple VooDoo I loved the vibe of this bar, it was very industrial, which went great with the neighborhood, and had  huge selection of beers. Including some that I enjoyed since I am a picky beer drinker! I could definitely see hanging out here or going here for happy hours and enjoying the environment.

2. 21st Amendment – They also had a large selection of beers & were more of a “brew-restaurant” rather than a hard core microbrewery. We split a sandwich here which was mighty delicious! The beer was tasty and if you’re looking for a brewery with a sports-bar feel the upstairs here is just what you want!

3. Black Hammer Brewing – the environment here was super chill, family friendly and really cute. It had big open windows, community style tables and while its a pretty little place it was super comfortable & dog friendly! I was not a big fan of the beer here, but again I’m picky, but Brent enjoyed the flight that we had and the sour I got wasn’t bad!

4. Local Brewing Co. – We spent the longest time here because we sat at the bar and visited with the bar tender. Local is a relatively new brewery and the bar had a very industrial feel, Brent kept saying it reminded him of Five Guys because of the Red & Black. They had a nice selection of beers & the bartender was very well versed in their beer along with other local breweries. We enjoyed a flight of their beers & I actually liked quite a few!

5. Southern Pacific Brewery – Our last stop was Southern Pacific which was again more of a sports bar/restaurant than just a brewery. It was rather spacious and had a nice big patio which would be a fun place for a night out with friends. They also had a good beer list with house beer & otherwise which was nice to see some other local beers on the menu. We ate dinner here and the sandwiches were delicious.

So there you have it! I would go back to all of these breweries & there were a few we didn’t make it to (Magnolia, Harmonic, Speakeasy & Cellarmaker) but heres a start for your next trip to San Fran!

Day 3: Trolley Ride, Lombard St & Painted Ladies

After the wine tastings and brew tour all the alcohol had Brent not feeling the best. I woke up at 5:45am, thank you DLS, and read while Brent caught some extra sleep. Again we had a slow start to the day but it’s vacation and I was enjoying relaxing!

It took a while but we eventually got up and moving but once we did we decided to walk down to Union Square and do a trolley ride up to Lombard Street.

San Francisco

The trolley ride was more entertaining than I had expected. Watching the driver conduct the trolley, working the brakes and turning was pretty impressive, I guess I thought they just went along the track without any work! Also the hills were extreme I felt like I was on a tame rollercoaster.

San Francisco

Once we hopped off the trolley at the end of the line we walked back up Russian Hill to Lombard St to take pictures and be tourists!

Lombard Street

Lombard Street

Painted Ladies - As seen in the opening credits of Full House

Painted Ladies – As seen in the opening credits of Full House

After a million pictures we started walking towards the Painted Ladies. It was a bit of a treck but we were up for the task and had plenty of time! Drying our walk we got to see a lot of neighborhoods, stopped for a coffee break, witnessed a fight & avoided it, walked through a couple pretty parks, and finally got to the Painted Ladies as the sun started to set.

San Francisco

San Francisco

Both of our legs were pretty tired from the walk so we grabbed a Lyft and relaxed the rest of the night with some delicious take out Pizza from Long Bridge Pizza down the street from where we were staying.

Day 4: Alcatraz Island, Ferry Building, Fishermans Warf, Pier 39 & Ghiradelli Square

Alcatraz Island was the ONLY thing we planned ahead of time. I had been told by basically everyone that we had to do Alcatraz & to order in advance. We did both, plus per online recommendations we booked the first ferry to the island. Since we aren’t traveling during the big tourist season the island wasn’t super busy but it was nice to get there right away and not have a ton of crowds.

San Francisco San Francisco

The island tour was completely worth it, I learned so much about the history of Alcatraz and was so impressed with the audio tour.

San Francisco San Francisco

We took the boat back to San Fran and were both STARVING!!! So in search of food we headed toward the Ferry Building Marketplace go find something to eat. We settled on burgers from American Eatery which were the BOMB!! I don’t think I’ve ever ate a burger from a “fast food” place which was so good.

San Francisco

Cute Shops & The Ferry Building

San Francisco

Cute Shops & The Ferry Building

We then stopped at Pier 39 and watched the sea lions for such a long time, they are really entertaining & we loved standing and watching them adding our own commentary when they would make their different noises.

San Francisco San Francisco

After we had our share of the sea lions we walked down to Fishermans Warf and up to the Ghiradelli Square to split a sundae!

San Francisco San Francisco

We enjoyed some down time just relaxing, people watching and recharging our phones so we would have enough juice to make it home 😁 that evening we just relaxed and let our legs rest from all the walking!!

Easy Quinoa Pasta Dinner after a long day of walking!

Easy Quinoa Pasta Dinner after a long day of walking!

Day 5: Muir Woods

We got up Wednesday and after some breakfast we headed out to Muir Woods to see the California Redwoods! We wee both pretty excited to see the big trees but I was prepared to be underwhelmed because all the reading I did said “these are NOT the ones you drive through or see on TV.”

San Francisco

After some tight turns and winding roads we made it to the park and started our walk through the red woods!

San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco

I must admit I was seriously impressed with the massive size and presence the trees took on, they were seriously gorgeous & if they aren’t as BIG or impressive as the ones you see on TV than I can’t even imagine how big those would be.

Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach

Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach

Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach

Pacific Ocean @ Muir Beach

Once we got back to the city we got sandwiches from an awesome little southern restaurant down the way from us and then hit the grocery store for more breakfast & snack food for the remainder of the week.

Ice Cream with Granola a perfect end to a day!

Ice Cream with Granola a perfect end to a day!

Oh and some ice cream too! 😍

Day 6: Anchor Brew Tour

On Thursday we headed to Anchor Brewery to get our Beer Nerd on. It was so interesting to hear about all the history of the brewery, the fires & challenges that they had to overcome over the years. Also hearing about what STEAM beer was & getting to taste some was pretty cool too!

Anchor Brewery

Anchor Brewery

After the tour we enjoyed a hearty tasting… Well Brent enjoyed the tasting the most, while I liked a few of the beers they had I wasn’t the biggest fan so Brent did the drinking & I walked us home at the end.

San Francisco

After a trip to Whole Foods because I had a SERIOUS craving for a big salad!

San Francisco

And let me tell you that salad hit the spot! We literally lounged the rest of the day, we both got colds while out there so a day of rest and relaxation was completely necessary.

Day 7: Chinatown, Union Square & Financial District

On Friday we had plans to rent bikes & bike around the city however since we were both a bit under the weather we slept in and got a late start so we deferred biking to Saturday & went to walk around Chinatown.

San Francisco

It was fun to walk through the city on a busy Friday around lunch time, the city was buzzing and alive which was awesome to see. We walked through the financial district, around Chinatown & though Union Square for a few hours which was such a fun easy afternoon!

A HUGE chopped salad definitely satisfied our hunger at the end of the day!

A HUGE chopped salad definitely satisfied our hunger at the end of the day!

We both were feeling a little under the weather so we headed back home for an evening of just relaxing and taking it easy which was perfect!

Day 8: Bike the Bridge & The Blarney Stone

Saturday was our last day in San Fran and we got up bright and early to head downtown to rent bikes for the day. Once we got fitted for our bikes we headed out along the trail by the bay up to the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco

We stopped a few times to take pictures, once to grab a warm drink & then up to the big bridge! It was quite a ride to the bridge and so once we were up there I was shocked how tough it was biking across it. We made it 3/4 across the bridge & decided due to time we would turn back and go to our next destination.

San Francisco San Francisco

I was kinda bummed because I had heard so much about Sausalito but I didn’t want to ride over just to FLY through and not enjoy it, plus we would’ve had to ride back across the bridge before getting to the bar which sounded hard on my already tired legs (& congested lungs). Now we just have something to do the next time we go to San Fran 😉

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The BEST Bartenders in Town!

The BEST Bartenders in Town!

Once we turned back we headed towards The Blarney Stone which is a Michigan Alumni bar & our destination for the afternoon. We made the 5 mile ride to the bar and once we got there settled into our seats at the bar to watch the game and enjoy the atmosphere! The bar tenders and environment was amazing and a great place to watch the game. I would highly recommend going to Blarney Stone if you’re looking for a cute neighborhood bar!

Street food never tasted so good!

Street food never tasted so good!

Once we dropped off our bikes we walked through the Warf and picked up a bowl of clam chowder soup and a crab roll from a street vendor for dinner before walking home. The soup & sandwich were AMAZING and definitely a delicious way to end our San Francisco adventure!

Day 9: A sad flight home to chilly Chicago!

PHEW so there you have it! 8 days in San Fran and a ton of stuff! We didn’t spend a lot of time eating out at the wonderful restaurants in the city, because we had a kitchen at our disposal and often just grabbed something when we were hungry rather than making plans for dinner and feeling stressed about it.

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I already can’t wait for our next vacation! 😉

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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 😉

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.

 

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:56]
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!

Signature 2

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!

Signature 2

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 Jalapeño & Poblano peppers in the produce section. A spicy slaw with a sweet and tangy sauce sounded PERFECT!

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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! 

XO

~Allison