Category Archives: Fitness

Only Five More Days


We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)



I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.


I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.


It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Sunset Shuffle 5k and Apple Picking!

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

On Saturday morning, I ran a local 5k. It was pretty small – probably around 150 people, maybe less. I was really happy because the weather has been so hot lately but on Saturday it was a cool 50 degrees at 8am.


The race started out with a free kid’s run and Jaden had fun running it. Luckily, it was short because Jaden started out running at top speed!


At 8am, the 5k started and I was off. I enjoyed the race course and I felt okay running. I didn’t feel terrible but I didn’t feel awesome either. I used KT tape on my knee and the bottom of my foot since my heel has been bothering me.

I haven’t really run since my last 5k in July so I was sure how’d I’d do. I finished in 32:22. Not terrible but not awesome either. Average.


I ran average. And I’m okay with that. I think sometimes we forget that it’s okay to be average. It’s hard to be the best at every single thing you do. I will always be an average runner and not for lack of trying.

My calves will always be tight since I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome. My hip will always get tired because I had hip surgery. And my knee hurts.

I will never be the fastest runner or the best runner. I will always be average and I am okay with that.

We didn’t hang around too long after the race because Danny had a 12 mile run to get done.

And unfortunately, my toenail happened to be cutting my other toe the entire time I was running so I had to get home to fix it and put on a band-aid. My sock was not a pretty sight when I took my shoe off.

On Saturday afternoon, WE WENT APPLE PICKING!


I was so excited to go apple picking! I have been wanting to go apple picking for years and years but we’ve just never gone. Until Saturday.


The kids were really excited too!



Apple picking is a little pricey. In order to go out into the apple fields, you have to purchase a 1/4 peck bag for $10. So, for four of us it cost $40. I know you’re also paying for the experience which is why I felt okay spending $40 on apples just this once.

The only thing that I wish is that there had been a bigger selection of apples to choose from. Someone mentioned going in October instead of September so maybe we just went too soon in the season. When we went, we were able to pick from three different apple varieties – Honeygold, Jonathon, and Gala.


The Honeygold apples were completely gone so that wasn’t even an option. The Gala apples were very limited and practically gone. After tasting a Gala apple, I realized it was too soft for my tastes so we mostly stuck with picking Jonathon apples which were delicious.

The kids (and adults!) had such a fun time picking apples and filling up our bags.

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Danny is so tall he could reach the apples at the top of the tree with no problem!

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After apple picking, we headed to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner and my sister-in-law came up with the great idea of using some of our apples for an apple crisp.


She found a recipe on the All Recipes website that came out amazing!

It was definitely a busy and fun filled Saturday!

On Sunday, I went to the gym in the morning and did a leg and triceps workout. Post workout, I had a Premier Protein vanilla shake.


The rest of my day was spent working the fitness desk at the gym while Danny and the kids watched the Bears game.

Today, I am off to the mall to look for a dress for a wedding we’re going to this weekend!

Have a wonderful day!

  • Have you ever been apple picking? Favorite apple? Mine is a Honeycrisp – hands down!!
  • What did you do this weekend?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Running


Good afternoon! Happy Thursday! This week seemed to go by fairly quickly – probably because it was a shortened work week.

On Tuesday night, I went to Crossfit and it was an intense workout.


The workouts might not look very hard written down but they are killer – especially when you’re doing it as fast as you can.

This morning, I went to the gym and did a cardio and strength workout. I rode the stationary bike for about 10 minutes after my workout. After a lot of cardio, my hip tends to get sore so I like to slowly ride the stationary bike just to loosen it up a bit.


I also got a new pink Blender bottle which I’m loving!

After the gym, I went to pick-up my race packet for a 5k that I’m running on Saturday.



It’s a small, local race. I ran it a few years ago but the course was two laps around the mall parking lot – boring. They changed the course this year so I’m hoping it’ll be a good race. And the weather is supposed to be cool which I am very excited about. The last race that I ran was so hot and humid and I wanted to give up half a mile in.

I haven’t really been running  at all lately so I’m not too sure how I’ll do at this race. My heel has been hurting so I’ve been making sure to roll it out on a frozen water bottle and frozen golf ball but it still hurts a bit.

I’m just excited to be running a race in cool weather! The next race I have scheduled is the Hot Chocolate 5k in Chicago in November.

Danny has the Chicago Marathon coming up in October – exactly a month from tomorrow! I can’t believe that it’s right around the corner. He’s been really good about sticking to his training plan. He usually runs four times a week which includes a long run on Saturdays.

Two weekends from now, he’ll have his longest training run at 20 miles which happens to be the same day we’re going to Chicago for a wedding – he’s going to be sore. I can’t wait to cheer him on at the marathon!

I work tomorrow, have the 5k on Saturday, and then I work again on Sunday. And the Chicago Bears start on Sunday – Danny is very happy about this!

Have a great day!

  • When was the last time you ran?
  • Favorite race you’ve ever run?
  • Any plans this weekend?







Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Race

Labor Day Weekend

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!


On Sunday morning, Danny and I did a back and shoulder workout with one of my friends from the gym. In the afternoon, we celebrated my nephew’s third birthday.


He had a Minion themed party and my sister-in-law made the cutest Minion cake and other fun Minion desserts.



She used Nutter Butters, Milano cookies, and Oreos to make little Minion cookies!



After a weekend with lots of family, food, and fun, I was ready to get back to normal. On Monday morning, I went to the gym for a chest, abs, and HIIT workout. Then, Danny and I took the kids to the pool for one last summer swim.


Yesterday was the last day the pool was open for the summer and they did duck races. For $5, you could buy a duck and they let all the ducks go down the slide and the first three ducks won a prize. Jaden picked out a green duck but sadly it didn’t win.


It was still fun watching all the ducks race down the slide.


After lots of cake and wine this weekend, I was more than ready for a healthy dinner. I decided to make spaghetti squash because I haven’t made it in forever. Spaghetti squash is such a great low-carb healthy alternative to pasta. And it tastes amazing!

I cooked the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After it cooled for a few minutes, I used a fork to pull out the strands of spaghetti squash.


I added sauteed onions and spinach, marinara sauce, and reduced fat feta cheese.


Delicious and healthy!

Have a great day!

  • How was your weekend?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • Favorite veggie?



Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Weekend Update

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?!

On Friday night, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a bonfire.


I was really good about sticking to my nutrition plan all week and over weekend except for Friday night. I indulged a little bit while we were visiting with family and had a couple of glasses of wine. :)

I went 33 years without ever drinking wine and then I discovered that there are some wines that I actually do like and now it’s my weakness. Wine and chocolate – what else do you need in life?

On Saturday, we drove out to a new Trader Joe’s that was just built about 20 minutes from us.

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I like Trader Joe’s but I don’t love Trader Joe’s. Even though it’s more expensive, I prefer Whole Foods. I did pick up this spinach and cheese stuffed shells meal to try out. We’ll see how it is!


On Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym together.


We haven’t worked out together in awhile because he’s training for the Chicago Marathon in October so running has taken up a good portion of his time. He’s up to 18 miles on his training plan and ran 13 miles on Saturday. I can’t imagine running 18 miles!

Today, I had my check-in for Best Fit Body. My weight is the same from last week. I did lose 6 pounds last week so I really wasn’t too disappointed. What I am happy about is that my clothes seem to be fitting better and I feel good. A number on a scale doesn’t often give you the whole picture. I also take progress pics every week and it’s nice to see the change in the pictures and not focus on the number on the scale as much.

For breakfast this morning, I had a Chobani pear and cinnamon Greek yogurt.


I can’t remember if they had this flavor last year but I’m pretty sure they did because I think I remember eating it. I love the combination of the pears and cinnamon!

Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Are you a wine drinker? Favorite? 
  • Do you shop at Trader Joe’s?


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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

First Day of School!

Good afternoon!

It’s official – I am the mom of a high schooler!!

PicMonkey Collage - school

I think I was more nervous than Jacob was for his first day of school. He got on the bus early this morning and now I am patiently waiting for him to get home so I can see how his first day of high school went.

I can’t believe my tiny baby that only weighed one pound and 14 ounces at birth is now in high school. Time flies.

Jaden started third grade today and the days of dragging him out of bed for school are back. He had a special breakfast of chocolate chip waffles with chocolate whipped cream for breakfast. Did you know that they made chocolate whipped cream?!


Danny and I drove Jaden to school this morning and he was very excited for his first day!


After the kids were in school, I headed to the gym to work chest and core. I also had a HIIT workout to do today so I did it outside. This was the first time I’ve run outside in a long time!

Since I was doing a HIIT workout, I was more focused on time and my heart rate rather than distance. For thirty minutes I alternated between running and walking depending on my heart rate.


Great workout!

Today was my Best Fit Body check-in and I felt so much better than last week. I stuck to my nutrition plan and workouts almost perfectly all week. The only day that wasn’t the best was yesterday. I went to a wedding shower for my cousin and there was so much delicious food and dessert.


There was even a mimosa bar and who doesn’t love mimosas?!


So, yesterday was definitely a day when I overindulged but I still had a really good week. And the best news is that my weight was down almost six pounds! Hopefully this week will also be good!

Have a wonderful day!!

  • Do you remember your first day of high school?
  • Favorite adult drink?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

HIIT – Heart Rate Monitor Training

Happy Saturday!


Last night, we went to a local track so I could finish my third and final HIIT workout for the week.

I usually do it at the gym so I thought it would be a nice change to workout outside on the track. I forget how hot and sweaty I get outside!


I wear my heart rate monitor 99% of the time when I workout (the other 1% is when I forget to put my watch on). I like being able to see my constant heart rate especially during HIIT training so I can make sure it’s in the correct zones.

For HIIT, I work hard at 85-92% of my max heart rate and then I recover at 65% of my max heart rate. Once, I hit my max heart rate, I slow down and recover until I hit my recovery heart rate and then I speed up again until I hit that max heart rate. You can do this for any cardio exercise. I just usually find running gets my heart rate up the best.

To find your max heart rate, you subtract your age from 220. Then you multiply that number by .65 to find your recovery heart rate and by .85 and .92 to find your max heart rate range.

For example, I’m 33 so mine would look like this:


187 x .65 = 122 <—- Recovery heart rate

187 x .85 = 159 and 187 x .92 = 172   So, I work hard at between 159 and 187 bpm.

It might sound kind of confusing, but it’s a great way to really get the most out of your HIIT workouts!


Breakfast this morning was Fage plain Greek yogurt with pears and Special K protein cereal.


After breakfast, I headed to the gym to work legs and triceps. I did supersets and it was an awesome workout!

This afternoon, we went to Costco to pick up some Premier Protein chocolate shakes.


They’re on sale for $5 off a case until August 30th!

Have a great Saturday!

  • Do you wear a heart rate monitor? Ever do HIIT?
  • Do you go to Costco? We have a membership but we don’t go to often – we need to go more!




Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Team Best Fit Body

Good afternoon, friends! How are you today?!

Recently, I’ve felt like my nutrition and fitness have been slacking. I am good with my workouts and going to the gym and CrossFit but I feel like I am stuck in the same routine day in and day out. I’m looking to step up my fitness and nutrition game and work towards some new goals.

I just started working with a coach at Best Fit Body to help me achieve these goals. I purchased a 6 week program that includes customized macros (carbs, fats, and proteins), customized workouts, and a weekly check in with my coach.


This is just to help me get back on track with my eating and start a new strength training program. My first workout was yesterday and my nutrition plan started today. Even though I’ve just started the program, the coaches at Best Fit Body have been so helpful and answered all my millions of questions quickly.

I will be strength training four days a week, doing three HIIT cardio sessions a week, and continuing CrossFit, as well as sticking to my macros as close as possible all week long.

My biggest challenge will be sticking to the nutrition plan on the weekends. Weekends are always a little bit harder for me but I’m thinking it will go okay since I have a coach that I will be checking in with weekly.

I am so excited!!

Today was my first official strength training day and it was no joke. My biggest challenge is the assisted pull-up machine!


That machine kills me every time and today was no exception! I definitely struggle with pull-ups, even assisted ones, but I look forward to the challenge and I think that’s what my body needs – new challenges.

I did today’s strength training workout and then refueled with a Premier Protein shake and a delicious peach afterwards.



After the gym, I took the kids to the park to play.



I love how nice the weather has been lately! Of course, once it’s finally a nice summer, fall is almost here! Not that I’m complaining – I love fall!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • What exercise challenges you the most?
  • Favorite season?





Filed under Fitness

Back to Working Out

Good morning!

We got back from Wisconsin Dells Friday night and I got back to my workouts on Saturday. I went to CrossFit in the morning and then I went to the gym for a little extra cardio.


I did a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster for about 30 minutes.


My workout was great on Saturday but my eating still wasn’t the best. I guess I was still in vacation mode!

Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to a nearby town on the river and walked around for awhile.


We ate dinner and then stopped by Le Chocolat du Bouchard, a restaurant that serves everything chocolate.

It was like stepping into heaven.

Jaden had the Death by Chocolate cake which was amazing! I had a brownie sundae because you can’t go wrong with a brownie and ice cream.


He was very excited to eat that cake!

On Sunday, I met my friend at the gym and we rode the spin bikes for 30 minutes and then took a Piloxing class. Piloxing is a mix between kickboxing, pilates, and dancing. The class this week was very cardio heavy with a good amount of hopping. Sometimes too much jumping bothers my hip but I made it through the whole class feeling okay. It was quite a workout!

My eating was back on track yesterday. For lunch, I made a healthy version of chicken nachos.


These are amazing!

I used Late July organic multi-grain chips and topped them with grilled chicken and a little bit of cheese. I added some peach salsa on the side. I also had a big salad to get my veggies!

After lunch, we tried to take a family bike ride.


It was hot out and Jaden made it less than a mile before he just gave up. And he’s very dramatic amount it. He throws his bike down and just parks his butt on the sidewalk and refuses to move. Fun times. Fun times.


So, Jaden and I headed home and Danny and Jacob kept riding. As soon as Jaden and I got home, it started hailing, lightening, and pouring. Luckily, Danny and Jacob were near a building that they were able to wait in until the storm passed. It was quite an eventful bike ride!

This morning, I’m heading to the gym for some strength training!

Have a great day!

**Don’t forget that today’s the last day to enter my Jack Link’s Giveaway!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite chocolate dessert?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out