Healthy Living, Healthy Eating

Several of you have commented or messaged and ask for more information on healthy eating, healthy living, what I do for fitness and healthy living and so forth, so this post will be all about those topics! Hopefully you find this helpful. I will always share things I’m passionate about and access to and consumption of healthy food is at the forefront of my passions. I will not stay silent on the fact that children are handed happy meals before and often instead of a sensible, healthy meal or snack and I cannot for the life of me understand why.  In the following paragraphs, I will share what I have found that works for ME, but I am by no means an expert in the nutrition or fitness fields so please don’t think you also have to live the way I choose to.

For me, it all began in the fall of 2009. I read a book that literally changed the course of my life, called The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. While reading this book, I decided to try vegetarianism for 30 days. After learning during this time of “trying” vegetarianism I was lactose intolerant, I decided to, for the most part, live a vegan life. Now, for me it means I am a pescatarian who also doesn’t consume most dairy. I will probably always eat eggs, though when I buy them they are cage free/free range/organic, but I don’t get weird about eggs when I’m traveling or eating at restaurants or someone’s house. I eat all seafood and can’t imagine my life without fish! I don’t eat any meat and again, other than eggs I don’t cook with any dairy. I use almond milk, vegan butter and so forth. I have never gone back, so I’ve now been a pescatarian for 11 years.

About five years ago when I got serious about fitness, I read a book that reshaped (no pun intended) the way I thought about working out, food, etc. by celebrity trainer Erin Oprea. It is called The 4 x 4 Diet. Her tabata workouts are intense and amazing, and after reading this book, I decided to try intermittent fasting – something my husband and I continue to this day. For me, it means during the week I don’t eat after 7pm, and I don’t eat anything (other than coffee and water) before 10am. This has been a game changer for me, health-wise. My husband usually goes a bit longer but as I’m running around earlier in the day than he is, it’s all I can do to go without food until 10am. =)

I also read a book called Eat Right for Your Blood Type that helped me better understand why some “good” foods weren’t actually good for ME, and why other foods were. It was life changing, regarding what I eat.

My husband and I live by the 80/20 rule. During the week we usually eat at home every night. For him it’s usually grilled chicken and steamed broccoli and for me, dinner is usually a spinach salad with cucumber, tomatoes, some form of veggie protein (I LOVE morningstar Farms Veggie Buffalo Chicken patties) and chipotle/Garlic olive oil and Strawberry balsamic vinegar for dressing. **I do not buy ANY store bought dressing, ever. Only local oil and vinegar (this link takes you to my favorite store in my hometown in NC) for me! I also sprinkle Vital Proteins Collagen on everything. We consume no alcohol, no sweets, rarely do we go out to eat, etc during the week but then on the weekends we allow ourselves to indulge with whatever we want – in moderation, of course! For him, its usually pizza and beer, for me its truffle fries, or something sweet and a Truly hard seltzer or 2. What’s funny is, after being so healthy all week long, we find ourselves not wanting to “splurge” like we used to. Now, we will often share a side order of fries and still not finish them all, or instead of a double scoop, double chocolate fudge ice cream sundae, a dairy free popsicle will usually do the trick, for me! For my husband, a trip to the gym every day during the week is the norm, for me I’m lucky if I get to the gym 2-3 times a week, but I hit over 10,000 steps everyday without even trying! I also take a shot of Bragg’s Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar every morning, and I swear by Young Living Ningxia Red  and Inner Defense which I also take everyday. I use essential oils all over my house in diffusers, and when I travel. I put drops of peppermint essential oil in my water, and I rub oils all over as needed. They have helped my allergies tremendously. I recently began taking Sea Moss (help support small businesses!) and for the past three months I’ve been totally off all my allergy medication and I feel and am breathing better than I ever have! It’s truly a game changer (and it MUCH cheaper than all my allergy medicine!)

For those of you (and yes, some of you have literally asked me this!) who asked what my grocery list looks like, here is a sample:

Crunchmaster GF crackers (Any flavor is good but my fave are the sea salt ones!) 


Fruit (ALL the fruit. There isn’t any fruit I don’t like so I usually go crazy. I spend more money on fruits and veggies than anything else) – I like to buy everything and come home, cut it up and make a huge fruit salad for the week. But I also buy apples and eat at least one apple, everyday.

Vegetables (Zucchini, squash, Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, are staples) – Again, I buy the whole veggie, not pre sliced or frozen, though sometimes I do also buy frozen if its a busy week, come home, chop everything up, dump it in a big bowl, toss it in chipotle/garlic olive oil, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and whatever other spices sound good, then throw it in the oven on a cookie sheet on 400 for about 15-ish minutes. Then I throw it in the fridge for a quick snack, or to toss in with whatever protein we make for dinner. It’s a quick and easy, healthy side!

Tempeh! This is a must. It is like tofu, except I HATE tofu, and I love this. It takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking so it’s a great way to get some extra protein with whatever else we have.

Quinoa (I always try and keep a big bowl of this in the fridge for a dinner side)

Bagged spinach (this is my choice for salads. I don’t care for romaine lettuce) and/or kale

Ezekiel or other GF Bread (I don’t eat much bread but when I do, GF helps my stomach not get upset)

Morningstar Farms veggie protein. I try to not eat it very often since I focus on “real” foods but out of every brand, this is the best and is my favorite. 

Daiya and Wicked Brand dairy free ice cream and popsicles (I also like Halo Top Dairy Free)

Fage Greek Yogurt (it’s the brand with the lowest sugar. You’d be AMAZED at the sugar in most brands of yogurt! It’s not nearly as good for you as you may think!)

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I don’t care what brand)

Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen

Sweet Earth Baja Breakfast Burrito (These are AMAZING)

I use Earth Balance Soy Free butter.

I’m a creature of habit so I basically eat the same things everyday. I also eat a lot of canned tuna, and peanut butter is hands down my favorite snack item, ever. I put it on apples, crackers, make a quick sandwich, the opportunities are endless.

 *If you have known me for any amount of time at all you probably also know my favorite sandwich in the WORLD is crunchy peanut butter on one piece of bread and tuna straight out of the can on the other piece of bread. Yes, peanut butter and tuna is my favorite, and has been since I was about 8-9 years old. Don’t judge until you’ve tried it. *

Another favorite book that is beyond helpful is Find Your Path –  by Carrie Underwood.  I have been doing her playing card workout at home or on the go since the book came out. It is challenging but so amazing and FAST! There is an app you can download called Fit 52, but the book also gives enough samples of workouts that if you have a deck of cards and an imagination, you can do it anywhere, too, and for free! I have also cooked every single recipe in her book and they all taste great, and are ready to go in about 10-15 minutes – which I love! No one has hours to make an elaborate dinner every night of the week, which is why so many people eat fast food and take out. I, personally, like knowing the sodium, protein, fat and calories that are in what I put into my body, so I love cooking for my husband and me.  Her sliced apple desert with syrup is a favorite at my house and I make it frequently. Carrie’s book is a quick read and very informative, and I highly recommend it.

When I do make it to an actual gym, my workout usually consists of a half mile to a mile warm up on the treadmill (I always keep it on a 1 incline, speed at 6.4 which I think is around a 9 minute mile) followed by squats, low rows, leg press, and other simple free weight moves before I move to the machines. I use between 10-25 lbs depending on what free weight move I’m doing. When on the machines, the weight varies depending on what I’m working. I also end with abs. I, personally, love ab workouts so I happily mix them up every time. Sometimes I do cherry pickers, bicycles, old school crunches and Russian twists with a 15 lb weight. I’m always in and out in an hour, unless I do a class. Classes are by FAR, my favorite workout to do but with my work schedule they are almost impossible to make, so they are an infrequent treat.

Not to plug my own stuff but I have also used Rodan and Fields skincare since 2012, and I am also a consultant for the brand. Years ago, when I had terrible acne, ProActive is the only thing that helped, so when I heard about a new company founded by those same doctors, I jumped on board immediately. Yes, it’s pricey, but like with everything in life – you get what you pay for. Every single item is backed by a 60 day, empty bottle, money back guarantee. If you use the products AS DIRECTED and see no improvements, the company will reimburse you. I use the Reverse gentle exfoliation cleanser for sun damage and brown spots every morning, and I use the Redefine Mask every night, to eliminate lines, wrinkles and signs of aging. I also use the day cream with spf and the nigh cream, and most every other product the company has offered at some time or another. If you are interested in talking further, let me know. I am NOT pushy at all, but can help put together a regimen that best suits your needs if you are interested.

If interested in following, here are some of my favorite people to follow on instagram!
@happygutnutritionist (My cousin! She is a certified dietician and I ask her about everything health related! She is the best)

@erinoprea (her book was so helpful and I love her workouts!)

@amberdodzweit (trainer and all around female I want in my life)

I think that basically covers everything! I hope you find this helpful! As always, let me know what you’d like to read or learn more about and I’ll try to get to your suggestions next time!

Thanks for reading =)


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