My Morning Wake-Up Call!

I bet you think I’m going to talk about my early-rising three-year-old.

Maybe coffee was the first thought to cross your mind.

Both of those answers are a major part of my waking-up time in the morning. I can never quite predict my little guy’s wake-up time, which definitely makes the morning interesting. And coffee is always, always a part of my morning bible time. Nothing can replace that smell, that taste…

I’ve found something, however, that gives me a wake-up call like nothing else. The best part – it’s natural and healthy! It involves this dynamic duo…

My Morning Wake-up Call

Peppermint + Wild Orange essential oils work in amazing ways on their own. I’m a big fan of both scents individually, but when I combine them, it’s like magic.

So how do I use this duo? It’s REALLY simple.

Are you ready for this?

I put a drop of each – just one drop – in my hands. I rub my hands together and then rub them on the back of my neck. The feeling is so cool and invigorating and would probably be enough on it’s own. After rubbing it on my neck, I also cup my hands over my mouth and nose (not touching my eyes – ouch!) and inhale the smell several times.

That’s it. I’m a new woman after this peppermint+ wild orange process, whether it be in the morning (which I do every day) or in the mid-afternoon when I hit a wall.

I wasn’t kidding about the simplicity. I almost feel silly writing a whole blog post about this, but there was no way I wasn’t going to share with you!


What gets you going in the morning or when you need an afternoon pick-me-up?


I use doTERRA essential oils and highly recommend them. You can find out more here and please email me if you have questions!

I am a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and receive commissions and/or bonuses from doTERRA.

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. The statements and suggestions given here have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am simply sharing ideas and suggestions on how to use essential oils in everyday life. I assume no liability for the way you choose to use essential oils. Use your good judgement and act responsibly.


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

A Healthy Work-in-Progress

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This is a sponsored post for the Sara Lee® Delightful Bread Campaign with SITS Girls.

Health and fitness have become two of the top priorities in my life over the last two and a half years, but the changes in my life weren’t instant or easy.

It all started with the inspiration of my husband who, at the time, was a fourth year medical student determined to not only TELL his patients about making healthy choices but also SHOW them by example. I was eight months pregnant with our third son when he joined a gym, started running, and lost 40+ pounds in less than six months. I was inspired and I wanted this new found healthy lifestyle for myself.

Irishman Finish Strong

Six weeks after #3 was born, I started running and never looked back. It was a challenge to get going with three children six  years old and under + a husband in medical school, but we both made it a priority for each other to get a workout in and eventually the habit stuck.

M2M 2013i

I don’t have any huge weight loss stories to share with you. I’m not a fitness professional here to tell you how I have arrived at being fit and that you can arrive just like me. I’m a healthy work-in-progress and that’s exactly how I want proceed in life.

I’m not the skinniest I’ve ever been, but I am the strongest. I make time for exercise at least six times a week and it boosts both my mood + energy. I still have workouts I want to quit or skip or that leave me sore for days, but the past two and half years of my healthy living journey have taught me this is NORMAL. And in that time, I’ve also accomplished things I never dreamed: running six half-marathons, doing a 14-mile training run, completing the Insanity program, and more.


Since I’ve stretched myself in these new ways, I find myself always up for trying new workouts and never want to settle in to a routine that leaves me bored. If something seems too hard, I’m even more intrigued by the challenge because I know it will make me better in the process!

I don’t always make the healthiest food choices and I’m totally “anti-diet,” but our meals +snacks + the food we keep in the house on a regular basis have undergone a real transformation. We love food, so treating food as fuel + finding healthier options of our favorite foods + learning to love moderation have become our go-to methods for making better eating choices.

A healthy work-in-progress in all areas. It’s a good place to be.


Sara Lee® Delightful Bread is one of those healthier options of a food I already love: BREAD. I just can’t get rid of the carbs, people. I love them too much. With Sara Lee® Delightful Bread, I know each delicious slice is just 45 calories with no artificial colors or flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup. And the flavors are just as delightful as the nutrition facts: Oatmeal, 100% Whole Wheat (made with real honey), Healthy Multi-Grain, and Wheat!


This time of year, there are so many ways to use Sara Lee® Delightful Bread! French toast made with Delightful Bread makes a lovely Christmas morning breakfast. And leftover turkey or ham sandwiches are a staple for us around the holidays. Delightful Bread is the perfect sandwich bread that doesn’t add too many extra calories to your meal!

Sara Lee® is all about providing healthy choices AND celebrating them! The Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program is looking for your healthy transformation story. Every person who enters receives a free t-shirt! The 45 finalists will receive free bread for a year, an iPod shuffle, workout gear, and more! And the winner (as voted by the Sara Lee® Facebook page fans) will win $4,500!

What is your healthy transformation story? Where are you as a healthy work-in-progress? Tell me you story here and don’t forget to enter it in the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program for your chance to win!

This is a sponsored post with the SITS Girls campaign for the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Holiday Run List: Five Great Gifts for Active People!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

If you have a loved one who is a runner, I am here to save the day as you try to figure out what to get him or her this Christmas! There are lots of fun gift ideas to keep them healthy and motivated along their running journey!

Holiday Run List

Here are five great gifts I would put on my Holiday Run List!


Pro Compression socks

Don’t laugh. Compression socks are just for older people and pregnant women. As The Hubby once said to me, “They’re like a hug for my legs.” I wasn’t convinced until I was given my own pair of Pro Compression socks to review and pulled them on after my Thanksgiving morning trail half marathon. These things are magic. I had very little soreness in my legs the next day like I normally would after a race and I know the compression socks were a major reason.

Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood. Compression socks are also great for wearing during long runs! With all the fun colors and patterns, you can get compression socks for any personality! Use the code PINK2 to get 40% off on your order from Pro Compression through December 15th!


FUNKtional Wearables Fitbit Jewelry

Why did I not learn of FUNKtional Wearables a year ago when I got my Fitbit?! FUNKtional Wearables makes fashionable jewelry to hide your Fitbit tracker! That’s right – your favorite active woman doesn’t have to wear the black Fitbit band all the time in order to keep track of her steps! I have a fabulous silver cuff and a gorgeous gold bracelet both from FUNKtional that I just adore. And the prices are the best, with most items for less than $40!

Running & Being

A great running book

So many wonderful choices in this area! Here are a few suggestions:

You (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan

Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell & Sarah Brown Shea

Running & Being by George Sheehan

Race Medal Display

Race Medal Display

If the runner you love likes to do races, a medal display is the perfect way to celebrate their accomplishments! There a MANY choices for medal displays, including this great one on Amazon! There are also displays for race bibs or a combination of medals and bibs!

Runner's World Cookbook

The Runner’s World Cookbook

Being a runner doesn’t mean you have to eat healthy food that tastes like cardboard and The Runner’s World Cookbook is proof. It might be one of my favorite cookbooks ever. The food is delicious, the recipes aren’t too complicated, and each recipe is labeled with categories such as pre-run, recovery, vegan, and so on. Even if you’re not a runner, I still think you’d love this cookbook!

My holiday run list could go on and on, but hopefully this short list will give you quick ideas to please the runner in your life this Christmas!

What’s on your #holidayrunlist this Christmas?



The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Revelation Wellness {2 FREE Workouts + a VIP Giveaway!}


If you’re visiting from Crystal Stine’s gorgeous online space or you’re new here for any other reason today, welcome! So glad you’re here! You can read more about me and my boys here and have fun browsing the rest of the site for faith, family, fitness, and fashion! If you HAVEN’T been over to Crystal’s place, come on over to hear us chat about the ups and downs of getting healthy as woman and mom!

I received a review copy of this service. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

Y’all are so great. You’ve followed me on my running journey and some of you started running along with me {I wish it was in person, but I’ll settle for talking about it with you online!}. You’ve listened as I shared my experiences with Insanity and T25 and the 21 Day Fix and many of you have tried them for yourselves. I just loving having a community who cares about health and fitness!

And that’s what I couldn’t keep my latest healthy discovery a secret from you anymore. This find has been just the breath of fresh air my fitness routine needed as I was getting less motivated and stuck in an exercise rut.

Enter Alisa Keeton and Revelation Wellness.

Revelation Wellness has many pieces: an inspiring blog, YouTube videos, a monthly subscription fitness plan program {VIPtv}, fitness gear, instructor training, and more! I’ve tried everything except the instructor training {not yet!}, and I can honestly say I love it ALL.

I got started by searching Revelation Wellness videos on YouTube after a friend mentioned it somewhere on social media. The “Happy” workout was the first one I tried and the boys kept asking me to do it again! It was great cardio and made me smile, so I kept going back to it!

Declare Workout

Then I met Alisa at the Declare Conference in August. She was exactly like I thought she would be and even better: sold out for Jesus, passionate about helping people get healthy in healthy way, super spunky, and all around awesome! She led an early morning workout at the conference, and after that amazing workout and several wonderful chats, I was all in with Revelation Wellness.

I could tell you all about my love for all things Revelation Wellness, but today I’m going to focus on VIPtv, the monthly subscription service!

When you donate $10 {or more} a month to the ministry of Revelation Wellness, you become a member of VIPtv and get access to a private library of online, mobile device-accessible workout videos designed to meet you where you are, no matter what your fitness level may be! VIPtv includes every kind of workout: boot-camp, pilates, kickboxing, flexibility, low-impact body sculpting, dance fusion, high intensity training, chair workouts, circuit training, core and stability training, and so much more!

This is me after the medicine ball workout. I’m just a little sweaty…

New workouts are added to VIPtv every month, but VIPtv has even more! There are great training videos to get you started with proper posture and body positioning, as well as devotional-type Work-IN videos meant to keep your focus in the right place as you get healthy.

The very best part of VIPtv {and all of Revelation Wellness} is the focus on Jesus.

Every single workout feels like church to me in the very best way possible: worship, teaching, prayer, Scripture – OH SO GOOD. This is what sets VIPtv apart from every other workout I’ve ever tried and it has ruined me for just about anything else!

Revelation Wellness

So what are my favorite VIPtv workouts?

Cardio Move is TONS of fun and really gets my heart rate up! And I have a love-hate relationship with Yoga Fusion. I use it on Sundays as an “easy” day, but it is not truly easy! Yoga Fusion is great for stretching, but it pushes me in a low-impact kind of way.

Guess what?! I get to share those two workouts with you RIGHT HERE IN THIS POST! FOR FREE! I hope you love them as much as I do! If they don’t show up below for you, click here for Cardio Move and click here for Yoga Fusion!

Oh, and I’m giving away a ONE YEAR VIPtv SUBSCRIPTION!!! I am over-the-moon excited for one of you to win and experience this goodness for a whole year! Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to say a huge thank you to Alisa for following God’s call to lead us into HIS way for healthy living and for kicking my butt in the best way possible every time I work out “with” her!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014 is Here!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

We all want to make better health and lifestyle decisions for ourselves and those we love. We want to lose some weight, have more energy, use greener products, create nutritious meals for our families, get fit, and feel confident that we’re doing all we can to prevent serious diseases.

But it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there – to the point where we’re frozen into complete inaction instead!

That’s where The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle comes in. For the ridiculously low price of just $29.97 (for the PDF version) or $39.97 (for the eReader version), you can get access to a carefully curated collection of eBooks and eCourses with a total combined value of $1,030.

The bundle contains a wealth of information from the very finest healthy living writers out there – but there’s no risk of getting overwhelmed! A useful Getting Started Guide is included with your purchase, which will help you identify the most valuable resources for your specific health priorities.

The Ultimate Bundles team has done all the hard work for you – finding the top experts across a number of healthy living fields and combining their products into one essential collection. If you want to take control of your health, there’s no better way to start!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles one-year guarantee: you have a full year to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s health, you’ll get your money back in full!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

As if this great collection of eBooks and eCourses wasn’t enough, the Ultimate Bundles team has also partnered with 10 fantastic companies who’ve each agreed to give a special bonus to every buyer. The bonuses have a total value of over $200 – more than 5 times the price of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle itself!

The bonuses include free goodies aplenty: a bottle of Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness, a baltic amber bracelet from Sweetbottoms Boutique, and a starter culture from Cultures For Health. You’ll also get gift sets from Made On Skin Care Products and Homegrown Collective.

There are virtual goodies, too – a 4-month membership to and a 3-month premium membership to meal planning service Tradishen. And as if all that weren’t enough, there are also $15 gift certificates for, and Trilight Health. There is a nominal shipping charge for many of the bonuses, based on each company’s standard shipping rates, and is usually $3-5.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, September 15

What? 73 eBooks and 7 audio & eCourses, PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth $1030, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of eBooks and eCourses.

We think there’s something here for everyone, and don’t forget… our Getting Started Guide will show you exactly which resources cover the topics and health concerns that matter most to you!

Alternative Health & Home Remedies

Audio Courses & eCourses


Gardening & Homesteading

Green Cleaning

Healthy Children

Meal Budgeting & Planning

Natural Beauty & Skincare

Real Food Recipes


Special Diets

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 7 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, September 10th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, September 15th.



The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Nourish: A New Cookbook + 2 Recipe Sneak Peeks!

I know you can find SO many recipes online these days, especially with Pinterest, but I still love a beautiful, hard copy cookbook, where I can flip through the pages and put tabs on the recipes I want to try. And I found a gorgeous new cookbook that appeals to both my food-lover and fitness-lover sides!

I received Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook by Lorna Jane Clarkson to review as part of the SweatPink Ambassador program. Lorna Jane is the founder of Lorna Jane Active Living, a super stylish fitness clothing line. Her approach to health involves an active lifestyle and well-rounded, healthy eating habits.

Nourish 5

Nourish is not just a cookbook. It is a beautiful book with fantastic photos of healthy foods and inspirational moments. It is a book that will help you focus on good eating habits and break several healthy eating myths. It is a book that shows you don’t have to eat bland food to eat healthy food.

I will admit that Lorna Jane uses quite a few ingredients I don’t usually keep around, so not everything in practical for me. But every recipe is well put-together and will keep your active body fueled well with lots of real food. Despite my initial hesitations about the uncommon ingredients, I did find several recipes I was excited to try. And I had to pick a summery one to get started.

The Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops were the first to draw me in! 

Nourish 2

I love the combo of chocolate, nut butter, and banana, and I’m always a fan of adding Greek yogurt to up the protein level.

Nourish 3

These pops were relatively easy to make and the maple syrup and banana added just the right amount of natural sweetness. And here is the recipe for you to try yourself!

Nourish 4

Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Yoghurt Pops


1 cup (280g) unsweetened greek-style yoghurt
2 tablespoons natural almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 small banana (130g), sliced thinly


1. Combine half the yoghurt, almond butter and half the maple syrup in a small bowl.
2. Combine the remaining yoghurt with the remaining maple syrup and sifted cacao powder in another small bowl.
3. Using the tip of your fingers, carefully press banana slices on the insides of 6 x ¼-cup (60ml) ice-block moulds. Layer almond mixture and cacao mixture into moulds, alternating which mixture you start with. Push in sticks.
4. Freeze 3 hours or overnight until firm.

prep + cook time 15 minutes (+ freezing)
makes 6
nutritional count per pop protein (4.6g), carbohydrate (13.1g), total fat (6.7g), fibre (0.4g).

There are also several breakfast recipes that sound delicious to me, especially this Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata. I’m not always great about getting enough veggies in my day, but throwing some veggies in with eggs is the perfect way to start the day! Here is the recipe for you:

Quinoa, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata


1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil
200g (6½ ounces) swiss brown mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup (50g) baby spinach leaves
¾ cup cooked white quinoa
6 organic free-range eggs
¼ cup (60ml) iced filtered water


1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. Heat coconut oil in a small frying pan (top measurement about 20cm/8 inches); cook mushrooms with garlic, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and tender.
3. Add spinach and quinoa to pan; toss gently. Whisk eggs and the water in a medium jug until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into pan; cook frittata over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes or until about halfway set. Place pan in oven; cook frittata about 15 minutes or until browned and set. Garnish with mushrooms and spinach leaves.

prep + cook time 40 minutes
serves 2
nutritional count per serving protein (25.7g), carbohydrate (14.9g), total fat (19.2g), fibre (4.5g).

Doesn’t that sound fabulous?! There are lots more wonderful recipes where these came from – dinners and lunches and desserts and snacks and even juices for all purposes! I also love the Lorna Jane includes information about super foods and her top healthy eating habits.

Are you excited about all of this healthy eating talk like I am? Join the movement with #LiveLoveNOURISH. You have the opportunity to be 1 of 10 winners that will get their own hard copy NOURISH cookbook. The most active participant will receive a cookbook AND a $200 Gift Card to Lorna Jane!

Show us how the NOURISH cookbook works for your lifestyle – in between work, play, sweat sessions, etc! Join the live Twitter Party tomorrow night (7/9) 6pm PDT/9pm EDT. Click here to tweet and enter to win —> Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

Don’t forget to check out the Lorna Jane site for lots of awesome fitness clothing and read more about the Nourish cookbook!


I received this a digital copy of this cookbook to review plus a $50 gift card in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

21 Day Fix: Final Results + Thoughts

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

21 Day Fix done, baby!

Can I just say that it is totally awesome to finish a whole fitness program in just 21 days?!

You can read about how I felt about halfway through the program here, but now that I’m done, I wanted to share some final results and thoughts!

Everyone has been asking about results, so let’s start there…

21 Day Fix Before After Front

I still get a little self-conscious posting pictures like this, but I also want you to see my actual, real-life, non-photoshopped, mama body progress! The pictures don’t look drastically different, but everything feels WAY different! I lost 5.2 pounds and 7.5 inches overall in 21 days!

21 Day Fix Before After Side

I’m still working on that abdomen area – thank you very much to my precious boys – but I did lose three inches off my waist and I am THRILLED with that progress. I know that sticking pretty close to the eating plan was the most helpful for that loss of inches.

This might be my favorite part of the transformation…

21 Day Fix After Back View
And I wouldn’t have realized I was getting that definition back there if The Hubby hadn’t mentioned a few days before I completed the 21 Day Fix. Strength training has become something I love, and the 21 Day Fix has just the right amount for me, even throwing in dumbbells for  some cardio moves. Like I’ve said before: I don’t work out to be skinny. I work out to be healthy, lean, and STRONG. I love that the 21 Day Fix improved my muscle strength and tone!

A few final thoughts and answers about the 21 Day Fix

The workout variety and length {30 minutes} and the eating plan were the most crucial to my success with this program. And let’s be honest: only being 21 days long helped as well! Autumn says a lot, “You can do anything for 21 days!” And I really believe that!

Since I’ve also done Insanity and T25, I may do a whole post comparing the three programs, but someone asked about how the 21 Day Fix compared to T25 specifically. T25 is 60 days, so much longer. T25 includes some recipes and suggestions for eating, but not as detailed as the 21 Day Fix. Both have great short workouts and include a modifier in case a move is too hard or you’re needing to take things down a notch. After doing two programs with Shaun T, I liked having someone new leading the workouts, but I think they are both motivating! I also liked that the 21 Day Fix included yoga and Pilates. And the 21 Day Fix is much less expensive!

The 21 Day Fix did a GREAT job of resetting my eating habits. I officially ended on Sunday, but I’m still planning out my food for the day and I like being strategic about how I fuel my body. The 21 Day Fix does a calorie deficit for 21 days and after 21 days you need to bump your calorie intake back up, so I’m enjoying eating a little more now, but also eating a lot BETTER.

I’m a big fan of the 21 Day Fix. And everyone has time for it! If you’re considering it at all, just GO FOR IT! I’ll cheer you on the whole way!

If you have any other questions about my experience with the 21 Day Fix, I’d love to answer them! Just leave a comment or email me!

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21 Day Fix: Halfway Done!

Just an FYI: I am not a Beachbody coach anymore, so this was written simply to let people know my thoughts on going through the 21 Day Fix! No money to be made in this post for me!

During a race training, I usually put on a little weight due to carb loading and such. After each of my half marathons, I’ve experiences a running slump, so this time I was pro-active in starting a new fitness program a week after the race.

The 21 Day Fix was my choice and I started last Monday, May 19th. A few details about the 21 Day Fix if you’re unfamiliar with it:

6 easy-to-follow workouts on 2 DVDs + 2 extras

  1. Upper Fix.Targeted resistance training helps shape your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs.
  2. Lower Fix. Firm and tone your entire lower body while you blast fat and burn calories.
  3. Total Body Cardio Fix. Keep your heart rate up and your metabolism revved high long after the workout is over.
  4. Cardio Fix. Get your heart pumping and your body moving as you melt away the pounds.
  5. Pilates Fix. Strengthen your core, elongate your muscles, and firm your hips and thighs.
  6. Yoga Fix. Improve your balance, flexibility, and strength as you help relax your muscles.

21-day portion-control system

These seven color-coded containers and Shakeology ® shaker cup deliver exactly the right portions every time, so you never eat too much, and you’re never hungry. Fill them up with as much food as you want—if it fits, you can eat it!

21 Day Fix™ Workout Program

The concept is short, intense, varied workouts and a calorie-deficit plan to be followed for three weeks. I wasn’t super excited about the calorie-deficit part of this program at first, but I did like the portion control concept. The Hubby and I are not fans of dieting, but I knew that needed a reset in the way I was eating. The nutrition plan from the 21 Day Fix looked like a good place to start.

I just crossed the halfway point of my 21 Day Fix today and wanted to share my thoughts so far:

21 Day Fix Half


I LOVE the workouts. I’ve done Insanity and T25 as well and I think the 21 Day Fix workouts are my favorite. They are less jarring, more varied, and contain quite a bit of strength training. I adore strength training. And I am being stretched by both the Pilates and Yoga workouts – let’s just say I need some help in the area of flexibility! I also really like the instructor, Autumn Calabrese. She is encouraging and motivating, but not overly bubbly. I haven’t tried the bonus workouts, but I am excited to test them out!


I don’t like being told what I can or cannot eat. But I needed this. The booklet that comes with the 21 Day Fix helps you figure out how many of each container {pictured above} you can eat each day. It also lists all the choices for each container. For instance, the red container can be filled with chicken, lean ground beef, yogurt, eggs, etc. The hardest part for me has been limiting my carbs. Maybe because I L-O-V-E carbs. I also haven’t had coffee in 11 days because I only like it with lots of creamer. The first day was hard, but I’ve been fine without since.

The nutrition part requires planning, but that planning also keeps me from just grabbing anything to eat when I am hungry. I have cheated a few times {hello, date night!}, but otherwise I’ve stuck to the plan pretty well. More veggies, more protein, more self-control – all good things for my body!


You’re probably wondering what kind of results I’ve seen in the past ten days. I’ll show the before and after pictures when I’m all done. With most programs, I wouldn’t be checking my “stats” this early on, but with a 21-day program, the halfway point comes pretty early! I wasn’t doing this program to lose a lot of weight, but to get stronger, leaner, healthier, however in ten days, I have lost 2.8 pounds and  four inches off my total measurements, including an inch and a half around my waist!  I’m extremely happy with those numbers!

That’s my check-in at the halfway point of the 21 Day Fix! I finish up June 8th and will post my final thoughts and results on Monday, June 9th! Let me know if you have any questions! And my friend Natalie is a great coach if you’re looking for someone to order through and get support!

Have you tried the 21 Day Fix? What were your thoughts?


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Personal Bests

I approached my last race weekend without a clear goal. After having run a sub-2:00 half marathon in the fall, I wanted to pace a friend for their own personal half goal, but that plan fell through and I was left running the half by myself and not really sure of my aim for this race.

The Hubby, on the other hand, had a very big goal in his marathon: to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As he would move up to the next age bracket in time for next year’s marathon, he needed to run a 3:10 marathon or less to qualify. This was just his second marathon, but he is the most dedicated, hard-working person I know, and it didn’t seem crazy to me at all that he would shoot to take 45+ minutes off his previous marathon time.


We chose to race in Fargo again because we love the flat course and the friendly people. And the weather that day added to the reasons we love Fargo – 45 degrees and no wind at the start. A runner’s dream weather.

Because of that weather, great crowds, and a healthy body, I decided to make another sub-2:00 half my goal for the day.



It was hard, but it was fun. It was all about me and Jesus. I was constantly praying and calling on His strength to get me through. And He got me there in 1:58:43! A new PR for me by 50 seconds! And I remembered to look happy as I crossed the finish line! {see this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about}






The best part about doing a half on the same day The Hubby does a full is I can be at the finish line when he comes through. Because of tracking, I could tell approximately where he was, and at the 20 mile update, I was worried. He was five minutes off where he wanted to be. I had no idea what he was thinking or how he was doing, so I just prayed – for God to give him strength and for him to know this race was a success no matter his finishing time.



I get super emotional at races, so when I saw him come around the corner with just a few hundred feet to go, I started crying and yelling a whole lot to cheer him on. And that’s when I saw the best sight: he was smiling. A HUGE smile. With arms flexed, he crossed the finish line after running 26.2 miles in 3:19:22. AMAZING. 36 minutes faster than his previous marathon. 36 MINUTES.





I couldn’t have been more proud and he felt the same. I think I was even more proud of him than I would have been if he had qualified for Boston that day because he trusted God + his training and listened to his body and did the very best he could do in those given moments. What could have been a great big disappointment was an overwhelming success for him because he had set more than one goal for the day, and he met two of those three goals – a new PR and breaking 3:20. He’ll have another shot at Boston. I just know it. But he wouldn’t have another shot at enjoying the accomplishment of that race on that day. I love how he latched on to the achieved goals and floated through the rest of the day on Cloud 9! I don’t think he stopped smiling for even a moment the rest of the weekend.

What did I take away from this day? Joy. A little stomach discomfort for the afternoon, but mostly lots of joy. An appreciation for setting several goals at different levels for one event, knowing some things just aren’t in our control. And the realization that we must always celebrate progress and personal bests.


It is such a bonding experience for us to share this love of running. These race weekends away are fun, but knowing that your best friend in the world really gets what you love is just the best. And celebrating personal bests together is even better!

Congrats, honey! I am SO proud of all the hard work you poured in to this marathon and your freaking awesome finish time! You are my inspiration + hero! I love you!


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Why Race? {4 Reasons to Sign Up}

The Hubby and I are about to tackle another race this weekend: his second full marathon and my fourth half.


In between all of those, we have done many other races of varying lengths – 5K, 10K, 10 mile, 15K, relays, and so on. Some people would say we are crazy to take on several races a year and keep paying race fees to participate, but we definitely have our reasons, and based on the turnout for most of the races we attend, I’d say a lot of people would agree!

Why Race? Final

If you’ve haven’t taken a step into the world of racing yet, let me give you a few good reasons why you should consider it…

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The Motivation

Having a date circled on the calendar for my next race is extremely motivating. When you pay a race registration fee, you’re probably going to be more invested in your training so that money is not wasted. There is also the motivation of telling others you are doing a race and then wanting to give it your best shot for accountability reasons. For internally motivated runners, the idea of setting a personal record at a race is more than enough to get them running faster and longer! I keep signing up for races to keep my momentum going!

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The Gear

I’m not going to lie: I love getting race shirts and medals and all the other fun things that can come along with a race! And most of the big races have great expos the night before where you can check out the latest and greatest running gear and get lots of samples! Yes, we do have our race medals proudly displayed in our home! And yes, I LOVE dressing up for fun runs!

Fargo Finishers blog.jpg

Living and Active3

The Atmosphere

Everything feels alive and exciting on race day. There is such a buzz in the air. And I love that most of the races I have done are in fairly unfamiliar areas for me, so I’m experiencing new scenery as I run. The start line, the signs along the way, and especially the finish line are all special and unique at each race and often set the tone for a fun run!

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The Community

This is reason #1 we keep going back for more races. There is nothing quite like the running community. Chatting with other runners anxiously as you wait for the gun to go off, the people who cheer you on as they pass you or vice versa, people lining the course with hilarious signs and lots of encouraging words, the shouts and whistles as you cross the finish line…if you haven’t experienced the community that happens at a race, sign yourself up for one NOW. I have never attended a race where I felt judged or unwelcome – I’ve always started the race with the contagious excitement that surrounds me and left feeling like runners are some of the best people in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you are walking a charity 5K or running a marathon, the community that happens on race day is one of my favorite things ever.

M2M Team Photo Post-Race

And I can’t help but think of this verse when I am at the starting line of a race…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. ~Hebrews 12:1

I’m super excited for our race this weekend, but I know we are both feeling the nerves as well! If we come to mind, would you please pray for The Hubby and I? The race is Saturday morning and we would love prayers for healthy bodies + tough minds, great {cool} weather, a FUN race, and for God to be our strength + guide for every single step! Thank you SO much!

What do you love about races? Do you have one coming up?

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