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Lookin’ Good Rest Day!

Happy Friday Eve, everyone!! Today, is actually my Friday, can I get a Hell YEAH  amen?! It’s been a long week, which started last Friday  morning when I went out to my car to find it was broken into. I was on my way out of the house for an o’dark30 run with Sharon, aka, Rungry Runner, to find my driver’s side door was ajar, this is not something I do and it really shook me up. (Side Note: I still met her to run, but we cut it short so that I could come back and call State Farm and the Police Department) Come to find out, after filing a police report and insurance claim, there are fake car openers, that detect the frequency of your alarm, pop the door open and away goes whatever the criminal wants. In my case, it was two gym bags and my piece of mind. Currently, I’m looking into safety measures and really trying to wrap my head around why someone would do this. Feeling secure is so important, being vulnerable and a sense of being unsafe needs to go! So, you can see this last week wasn’t stellar and I am ready for a good weekend. I still got in my workouts, they were my therapy in so many ways and I cut myself some slack. Yesterday, I ran after work, before lifting, to give myself some extra sleep as an example. And guess what today is?! YESSSS!! You’re right, it’s Rest Day, Thursday’s are my new rest day and I am ready.  Both my running and lifting schedules have Thursday off, which is great that they lined up like that. The Universe must like me right now? Or I’m lucky? Let’s go with the Universe is cutting me some slack.

Let’s talk about Rest Days, shall we? Why do we take them? Why are they important? Why you should be embracing rest? Here are some good reasons:


Too many times we get caught up in more is better, less isn’t good mentality, which at the end of the day is going to do more harm than good. If we push ourselves and our bodies, we suffer in performance, mental health and our bodies won’t respond the way we want them to. “Resting is just as important as working out because it’s an equal part of the total process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down. … Rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.”

Addaday recently reached out to me, asking if I’d like to join their team. What an honor to have them notice me and what I’m doing, let alone ask me to be a part of their posse! Of course I said yes, because they offer recovery tools that are so important to making sure my body stays in tip top condition. I’ve used their products at the Treadmill’s Recovery Zone, post group runs and the Big Sur 1/2 marathon. They are good stuff!

“Addaday products are designed as self-massage tools to help people feel better so that they move more. As part of a daily recovery and health maintenance program, it’s now easy to mimic the techniques used by physical therapists and masseurs. Massaging can help speed recovery and eliminate muscle and tendon scarring to relieve soreness and improve performance. The various tools offer a wide variety of massage techniques that may help relieve signs of IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, hamstring strains, shin splints, low back tightness and glute pain.”


You can follow Addaday on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter ! When you do, let them know my pinkhat sent you over to see what they are up to. I’m loving their products now that I have them at home. The stick is amazing on my hamstrings, the Marble Massager is working wonders on my glutes and the roller, well that just plain amazing. They are a trio of recovery bliss, I’m using them on a regular, consistent basis to make sure I take care of myself and my body.


Last night, after my five mile run and back day in the gym (those are facepulls, I’m about to do in the pic above, which I love doing!) I went home and tried out a couple of recipes. One of the big things I’ve been working on, is getting home earlier, so that I can have a good dinner, relax and unwind before bed. With my schedule, that doesn’t always happen and I’m learning to say no and do this for me. Last night, on the  menu was the Buffalo Blue Cheese Turkey Burger from Skinnytaste. I made a couple of modifications for my macros and to save time.  I used a yogurt based blue cheese dressing from Bolthouse Farms that I already had in the fridge and fat free shredded cheddar as well. Instead of the whole wheat bun, I subbed it with a bun made from cauliflower. It was so good and for the bun seasonings, I used the Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe’s (this is also really good on egg whites). I prepped the turkey burgers, they hung out while I got the buns together and then grilled them while the cauliflower was doing its thing in the oven. Multi-tasking got a macros friendly dinner on the table in less than 45 minutes and I didn’t feel like I was throwing something on the plate. Small things like this, or washing my tupperware collection during the day at work, are making my evenings so much happier and not feeling as overwhelmed. All of this adds up for a happier and more content me.


If you’re interested in the macro break down this is what it came out to: Protein – 49.2 Carbs – 16.98 and Fat – 5.09.

With the new training plan from Jessie Hilgenberg and today being a rest day, my carbs drop 25%. That comes out to a total of 49 grams less on my plate, but it’s doable and if I’m not training, then I don’t need them. It makes me plan a bit more, add more creativity and prioritize the carbs I will have!

Which reminds me, Lent started this week and I decided to give something up, rather than doing something this year. In year’s past, I’ve tried to make a contribution of myself in some way – volunteering, random act of kindness, etc. This year, I’m giving up Quest and protein bars. I found that they helped satisfy macros, but they were becoming more of an emotional nibble and I can do better! The next 40 days I will be concentrating more on whole foods for my snacks and evening treats. Did I mention how much I like the Blueberry Muffin Quest bar with apricot preserves or the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with some PB? This is going to be good for me on so many levels!

How do you prioritize yourself? How many rest days do you incorporate into your training and what tools do you use? Leave a comment and let me know!

Have a great week!



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Tuesday Ramblings

Good morning! Did everyone have a  long weekend, to commemorate Presidents’ Day? I ended up with four days off and it was so nice and I have to admit, I’m lucky with a compressed work schedule. Being able to add the hours to the other days of the pay period, to have every other Friday off really spoils me, then add in a holiday and I don’t even know what to do with myself!

Over the weekend, my macros challenge group with Mary wrapped up and it was a great 6 weeks. Did the scale move much, nope. Did I lose inches, see changes in my body AND my mind…YES! One of the, if not the biggest take aways from the experience was the lesson I learned in being kinder to myself. I need to be better at talking to myself, as I would a good friend. Why would I beat myself up over half a pound of water gained on the scale, but I would tell my bff that it’s ok? That it doesn’t matter. It’s only water! Feeling stronger, tighter and more toned is a great feeling and being able to walk into the free weight room, confident is huge as well. I’ve really enjoyed my time learning the ropes in there and will continue building muscle!

After 6 weeks of working with Mary, I have guns!

My next weight lifting plan is coming from Jessie Hilgenberg and I’m already on day 2. Yesterday was legs, today was shoulders and boy oh boy, am I feeling it! Jessie also provides a method to calculate your macros, provides cardio, macro/micro nutrient information and a Facebook group that is so incredibly supportive. Seeing so many women, coming together to encourage, uplift and motivate each other is incredible. I am so excited for the next 14 weeks of the Muscle Building One plan and seeing even more changes in my physique.

I find that during the week, when I’m lifting, I’m super focused because I’m on task and need to watch the clock a bit more closely to be at work on time. But on the weekends, when I’m going to spin/kettle bell, it’s so much more social for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting it done, but I have friends to catch up and chat with that I don’t see at 5:30 am during the week.


Speaking of kettle bell and spin, I’ve been taking this awesome spray with me to wipe down the bike and bells! With cold/flu season here, I want to stay as healthy as possible. The spray is meant for yoga mats, but I love it for all gym equipment, it’s made by Danielle Cuccio who formulated it and it’s really a great product

For the first time, an environmentally friendly sanitizing mat cleaner that extends the longevity of your yoga mat and helps create a more balanced and uplifting yoga experience.  Naturally cleans your mat free of bacteria no matter how much you sweat or practice.  Enjoy the refreshing scent of Eucalyptus and Aloe Vera.  

Refresh. Replenish.  Reuse.”


Last weekend, I gave myself a small break from strict nutrition, to recharge and get ready to tackle this new workout/nutrition plan. The last few weeks, have been rough for me with the scale (that thing hates me!) and dealing with many unsolicited opinions on what I’m doing.  I kept an eye on my macros, but I had a few bites of dessert on Saturday evening, Sunday I had an amazing omelette at LuLu’s Griddle after a fabulous run with my friend Molly! Sometimes, you just have to let yourself enjoy the moments, Monday was a new day and I’m on track, ready to crush goals and put in some work.

Molly and I ran, chatted and brunched!

The other thing I did over the weekend was try some new to me recipes that are macro friendly! I bought a donut pan and made high protein/gluten free Meyer Lemon donuts. They were so good, but needed a bit more lemon for my taste buds. Next time, I’m going to zest in some of the rind as well. They were fun and there are a lot of great options to experiment with, which I made a Pinterest board to add recipes and ideas to for them. I even have a bagel recipe ready to try out! Friday night, I made a great Ginger Baked Mahi-mahi recipe and had it over zoodles with butternut squash. Veggies and protein, you can’t go wrong with and this recipe for the fish had so much flavor. Do you like to experiment in the kitchen?


What have you been up to this week? Anything exciting going on? I have a road trip next month planned and of course my Ragnar Relay in May and the Niagara Falls Womens Half Marathon is the first weekend in June! Have you signed up yet? There is still time and don’t forget to use the code, “NFWHM15” to save $15!



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Happy Valentine’s Day, Ragnar Style!



Today, being Valentine’s Day, I was thinking about being kind to myself/loving myself and what I do to work on that (because it’s definitely a work in progress!). Also, how to show people around me that I love and care about them. Running comes to mind, because what’s better than running? Sharing miles with friends, that’s what! There is something about lacing up your running shoes, meeting a good friend and logging miles.

May 19-20th, I’ll be in Canada with an amazing group of friends, to run the Niagara Falls Ragnar! This is going to be my first relay event and what better way to do it, but with this kick ass group of runners?!


We come from different running back grounds, paces and goals, with one thing in common…being a TEAM and helping each other succeed! That is a true sign of both love and friendship. The purpose of a Ragnar Relay is to conquer 200-ish miles of road running with 12 friends and 2 vans during a Ragnar Relay.

Are you curious about how all of this works? Here is the skinny on it!

“Teams cover 200-ish miles of running from point A to point B, on sidewalks, backroads, bike paths, paved trails and road shoulders. Form a 12-Pack team with 11 of your friends, family members or co-workers. Or you can form a 6-Pack team (open during regular registration periods during all Ragnar Relays), and we’ll pair you with another 6-Pack team to form a full team of 12 runners. For those looking for an even bigger challenge, form a 6-person Ultra team and conquer the course with half the team members.

Pile teams into vans or SUVs and tag team 200-ish miles, day and night, relay-style over two days and one night. Only one runner hits the road at a time. Each participant runs three times, with each leg ranging between 3-13 miles and varying in difficulty. Runners average about 17 total miles, with some of the shorter runner positions totaling 11 miles and some of the longer runner positions totaling 24 miles. Ultra runners take on 6 legs each, and average a full marathon (26+ miles).

While one person is running, the rest of your teammates are on support duty in your race vehicles. Teams of 12 require two vehicles (Runners 1-6 in Van One and 7 -12 in Van Two). Van One’s runners will cover the first six legs. As each runner begins, the crew in the vehicle can drive ahead, cheer their runner on and meet them at the exchange point to pick them up and drop off the next runner. After the first 6 legs, Van Two gets their chance to shine and starts putting in the miles.

Once your van’s runners finish the six legs, you can enjoy downtime, get food, maybe sleep, and then drive ahead to the major exchange point to wait for your other van to finish their six legs. All that stuff above? Yeah… you get to do it two more times.”

I met most of the team last June when I went to Toronto for Michelle, aka Coach’s, birthday. They are by far one of the most warm, inviting and social groups of runners I’ve had the pleasure of calling friends! Spending time with people like this, is what makes my  heart happy, allows me to grow as both a runner and individual and have a great time. Being happy and nurturing friendships is so important! I’m pretty sure after 2 days in a van, running, making memories and having fun, this will become even stronger.

Have you participated in a Ragnar or other relay? Do you have any tips you can share with this PinkHat wearing newbie? Send em’ my way!!

Do you have a special day planned with friends or loved ones?




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Week 5 is Starting and Transparency…

Do you ever reach a point where you just don’t want to? Just don’t want to be an adult, take care of what’s needed, do anything? Last Tuesday, that was me. I felt overwhelmed with life, getting home later than usual. It had been a long day, I was tired, had dishes to do, bags to pack for the next day, macros to finish up and all I wanted was for someone to say, “Hey, I’ve got this, I’ll take care of it”. Of course that didn’t happen, because I am a one woman show and damn proud of it, but it would have been nice! I got myself together, ate what I needed to, packed the bags and went to bed. The next day, I was up and at the gym, doing my best. Some days, I fall prey to a pity party for one, we all do. But it’s how we handle it and rally, that matters the most!


Last week, was week 4 with Mary’s macro group and I was feeling strong physically and mentally, well mostly except for that table for one on Tuesday. My lifting is getting stronger, I’m upping weights, I’m fueling with my macros and trying to get as close to being on point as possible! It’s been a fun game of seeing just how much I can eat for my allotment every day and keep it interesting. Sunday  night’s progress photos are showing changes and I’m happy. The scale is a battle, I may never win though. It fluctuates and I’m going to take a small vacation from it for a while! I think that’s a healthy approach and Mary agreed, so many other factors come into play with measuring success. How do you measure success?


My running has been strongly impacted by this increase in muscle and fueling. I ran 7.2 miles yesterday before kettle bell and spin classes. It was a comfortable pace and when I finished and saw that I was actually cruising at a faster pace, I was very happy. I haven’t felt that good for a medium distance run with good splits in a while. All of this is paying off!


This morning, to kick off the week I got in the weight room for triceps and chest, plus I added two extra sets of push ups. Why? Because why not! I’m seeing definition, changes in my physique and loving it. This is a process and a journey that will only lead to success and continued health.


How was your week, did you make any changes in your routine? Trying anything new to shake things up?

There is still time to register for Niagara Falls Womens Half Marathon! Race day is June 4th and you should treat yourself for Valentines’ Day with a race bib! You can use code “NFWHM15” until February 28th and save $15. race



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Monday Motivation: Macros Update Week 4, Here we GO!!

Today  marks the start of week four of working with Mary and I’m feeling stronger than ever!  I have to apologize, before I get too far into this blog, I spaced on writing an update last week. It was on my mind, but I kept getting distracted for some reason, life was a little hectic!

I hopped on the scale this morning and saw I stayed the exact same as last week and you know what? I was happy with that! My strength is improving, I’m losing inches, I’m feeling confident and making progress towards my goals for both running and overall fitness. There is muscle definition happening!


With all of this macro counting, weight lifting, I’m feeling a difference in my running as well – which was a focus for me in starting this. Fueling my body appropriately, cross training to reduce injury and get stronger were and are important to me. With my obturator on the mend, my running has seen an improvement and getting my hips/glutes stronger is a huge plus! Yesterday’s long run was scheduled for 50 minutes and wound up being an hour because I did a loop over to the beach to see the amazing sunrise. How can you not stop for this?


I’ve also been in the pool once a week and tearing it up on the spin bike. My rides are getting stronger and I’m burning crazy calories!


Now you all know that I’m a get the most bang for your macros buck kinda gal, while still feeling like I’m getting good foods with a couple of treats. I’ve found some awesome additions to my weekly menu that have added in a bit of sweetness. The first one is GButter, think Nutella meets cookie, meets birthday cake and is macro friendly! I ordered two flavors, Birthday Cake and the Hazelnut Cocoa. The Birthday Cake, I enjoy with cereal and a little almond milk for dessert in the evenings. It really hits the spot and I don’t always use the full serving. Macros for 2 tablespoons is Protein – 10 g Carbs – 5 g Fat – 5 g with 100 calories. Trust me, a little of this goes a long way! I used the Hazelnut Cocoa on protein pancakes the other morning for pre work out fuel, I felt like I was cheating even though I wasn’t!


Last night, Chyrl came over for our weekly photo update and dinner, just in time to try a Buff Brownie with me! I found Buff Stuff Shop on Instagram and ordered the DIY pack. It came with Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, Lemon Meringue, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon. The only ingredients you add to the mix are 46 g of egg whites and half a cup of water, presto, you have an amazing brownie! Chyrl brought over some Arctic Zero Chocolate and Salted Caramel flavors and we  had a decadent treat!

How is your training and nutrition going? If you’re looking for ways to save, here are a few discount codes for you!

Niagara Falls Womens Half Marathon has a coupon code, use “NFWHM15” for $15 off!

Eat Me Guilt Free use “Michele” for 10% yummy treats!




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Tuesday, the new Monday

Good morning! Hopefully, everyone had a nice long weekend! Mine was busy, productive and fun.

I’m ready for the new week, armed with coffee!


Sunday, I got to do some shopping with my best friend and we lunched at True Food Kitchen in Palo Alto. If you have a location near you or you happen to come across one, do yourself a favor and go! The food is not only innovative, fresh and healthy, it’s amazing! My first experience was in Pasadena, back in November and I loved it. My Tuscan Kale salad with a double serving of Ahi tuna was what I needed in my life. I love me some kale and protein. Sorry that the photo isn’t better. I weighed the fish, dumped it on and got down to business of eating.


Last week, I talked about starting with Mary Davis, as a macros coach and promised to share weekly updates with you. It’s very important to me that I’m transparent and honest with you guys. Starting the week, I was a little nervous, truth be told. Mary and I are going to approach the next six weeks increasing my fat and carbs because of the level of activity I have each week. She decreased my protein a smidge, with the caveat that it will go up.


The week went well, I also started her weight lifting routine which put me away from as many classes and in the weight room. It felt good to use free weights again, it’s been years! That wasn’t the only shift, I found myself much more even keeled during the day, I timed my food better and felt amazing!

Sunday, Chyrl came over for dinner and we took our update photos for Mary. Each week, we keep a log of food/macros, workouts (weight used, etc.) and take a progress picture. With that done, I was a little nervous getting on the scale Sunday morning. In all honesty, I was preparing myself for a gain, which I was going to be just fine with. If I gained, but felt this good, then I’m going to consider the week a win. Can you imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale and saw a LOSS for the week?! Will this happen every week? Doubtful. What it does do is to remind me to TRUST the PROCESS!! When I started on my IIFYM journey in September I had no idea what it was going to do for me both inside and out. Working with Mary has been the step up I needed to really be a game changer on many levels. I am proud of myself that I took charge of my macros and got myself started on this, but having Mary beside me truly is a tremendous help. She certainly keeps it real, is honest, incredibly knowledgeable, understanding and above all, she cares about her clients. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 weeks bring, I’m ready!

As promised here is my progress photo for this week, I made a collage to send her and I said I would share it with you. Here you go.


How was your week? Do you have today off for MLK?

Don’t forget, you can save 10% from Eat Me Guilt Free using code “Michele”



Connect with me!




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Monday Motivation: Let’s do This!!

Good morning, happy Monday!!!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was great and I was looking forward to Monday, how many people can say that? Well, I was and am! This is going to be a fantastic week, I can just tell.

On Friday, my new kitchen scale and travel mug arrived from Amazon. I am super excited about the travel mug, it’s also a French Press and this is the one I bought. It’s  easy to use and in a few minutes, I’m out the door, coffee in hand. Gotta love the feeling of the first sip of coffee early in the morning, am I right?


I also went to see Dr. Barkalow and he had me get laser therapy for my glute muscle. Wow! I had no idea it was going to be easy and make such a difference. The tightness has diminished so much and my weekend runs were decent. I took it easy, to be on the safe side both Saturday and Sunday with the pace, but the difference was definitely felt.

Caution, the following photo does show a glimpse of my booty…you’ve been warned.


I had a cold/sinus crankiness last week, that I bombarded with over the counter medication and I think it’s subdued enough to realize I’m not a fan of the nose blowing. Saturday, I got my workout and errands of the way, hunkered down on the sofa, blew my nose like a full time job and hopefully I’m continuing on the upswing. Take that cold bug!

Sunday, feeling better (not as stuffy), I tackled the day full force! Laundry, run, grocery shopping, a colonic and getting prepped for my Macros Group with Mary Davis Fitness, aka, Macros Mary. This is really why I am pumped for Monday and I’ve been looking forward to today since I signed up with her for this. After talking about my goals, exercise routine and current macros, Mary wants me to reverse diet for a little bit. Which to be truthful, I had a feeling she was going to say that. I’ve been working my macros since September on my own and I have done well. At the same time, I know I could be better and this is where she is going to help! With my activity level, she has realigned my macros for full potential and I had so much fun grocery shopping yesterday. I am working on incorporating more healthy fats into my diet and being more strategic with my carbs. Trader Joe’s is a gold mine and I found single serving coconut oil packets while shopping, have you seen these?

One part of this process that intimidated me was taking my measurements and having to send her a before picture, plus weekly photos. Saturday, I weighed myself and took the measurements Mary requested, to send to her on Sunday. I did this Saturday, because she gave me instructions to have 1-2 cheat meals this weekend. I wanted the weight to be without the added water retention and sodium. The scale showed me a number I haven’t seen in ages, my plateau was broken. That was a great feeling, not so much for the number looking back at me, but because I didn’t feel like I’ve done anything different. I was not depriving myself, I ate well with lots of variety and I feel strong inside and out.  The reward of feeling confident in my own skin, outweighs anything else by a long shot!

If you have been following my blog, you know by now I’m very transparent and what you see is what you get, I don’t like to hide or sugar coat anything (If you meet me in person, I am the same person you see on social media). Which means I’m going to be sharing my journey for the next six weeks with Mary and the photos that I submit to her with you. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, this is me. I am a 41 year old woman, I am an athlete, I have had two surgeries that involved my abdominal area, I have cellulite, I have been a yo yo dieter, I am a recovered bulimic, I am the girl at the gym that is trying Every. Damn.Day to be the best version of myself”.

Processed with MOLDIV

That was my weekend in the nutshell! What did you do this weekend? Any fun plans or events coming up that you want to tell us about?






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Hey there, 2017, nice to see ya!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! How did you celebrate ushering out 2016 and welcoming 2017? I stayed in, I am not a big going-outter (is that a word? It is now!), which meant a quiet evening was perfect.  My last workout of 2016 was awesome! I did a hill run, kettle bell and spin classes, plus I had my swimsuit in my bag and got in 1500 meters of laps.

Processed with MOLDIV

I made dinner, watched a little television, chatted with friends and was fast asleep by 9 pm. My eyes opened at o’dark30 and I got the house cleaned, laundry done and put away may I add, plus breakfast made before heading to the gym. It was so nice get those chores accomplished early and be able to enjoy my New Year’s Day. My initial plan was to go to the 1.5 hour spin class at the gym and then to the yoga/hike being hosted by the local Lululemon store. After spin, which was awesome, we had two great teachers lead the extended class, I opted out of yoga. It was a grey, overcast, cold and chance of rain afternoon which didn’t sound like a good way to hike and downward dog. After spin and talking Kadria the second teacher of the class, into leading a quick ab workout, I went grocery shopping and home.


Two things were on my mind this morning. One being that once again I’m NOT making a New Year’s Resolution for 2017. As you know, I’m a “If it needs to be done, I do it ASAP” kinda gal. Why wait for a special day of the year, take action and do it!! Of course I have goals that I want to accomplish, but they have been set in motion for some time. Travel more to destinations that aren’t familiar or that I have a connection to. I want to explore and get out of my comfort zone! I’ve been thinking about becoming certified to teach spin classes and started looking into that a couple of weeks ago. It’s a matter of when fits into my schedule and where.

My nutrition and fitness goals is a big one. You all know I’ve been working on fueling my body better for a few months by using IIFYM and the macros group with Mary Davis starts on January 9th. I am so excited to do this!!! She is so on point and will help me fine tune even more timing, macros, etc to help me reach my goals even more.

How did you spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?



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Happy Holidays!!

How was everyone’s Christmas and first day of Chanukkah? I hope you all had a fabulous holiday. Holidays can be difficult and I understand that, it’s not easy when you’re alone or far from family, hopefully everyone was included in festivities and felt the warmth of an outreached hand to be a part of the day.

My holidays started off well and I was able to spend it with loved ones. Growing up in a Jewish/Catholic home (Mom was Catholic and Dad Jewish), I love celebrating and enjoying it all! This year, I even gave myself a gift, something I don’t typically do. This was a very difficult year for me, I tried to keep my chin up as much as possible and to be honest, I feel like I deserved to do something nice for myself. When I was visiting Briana, I was able to meet one of her spin teachers, who hosts a macros group online periodically and I signed up for the group that begins on January 9th. I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been adhering to IIFYM and love it. At the same time, I know I could use some extra help to fine tune what I’m doing and really excel. Mary will start a two week group, with the option to add on another 4 weeks, which I did. This time around, she is also providing strength work in her group, which I am so excited about. Don’t get me wrong, I love my barre and kettle bell classes, but know it’s time to take it up a notch. Mary is very knowledgable and knows her stuff, she is going to be a great key to my success.

Along with my best friend Ginger and her parents, I  volunteered at the Community Dinner for Monterey, passing out pastries, coffee and hot chocolate. It was wonderful giving back and talking to everyone, I never get tired of connecting with people. Learning about them, their stories and how they came to be where they are is always an experience. Today, being Christmas is special for another reason, Ginger and I met 16 years ago and quickly became best friends. Her Aunt invited me to their Christmas dinner so that I wouldn’t be left out and it has been non stop since. Knowing someone cared enough to include me was a simple gesture that has provided me with an extended family and has been priceless.

Ginger and I volunteering on Christmas Day

After volunteering, I relaxed and met up with everyone for Christmas dinner. It was such a nice day and I gave myself a day off from the gym. That is so important for many reasons, my body and mind get to rest, I recharge and relax as well.

The past week has been on track with workouts and nutrition. I’m feeling really strong!

I was able to get in o’dark 30 runs, strength work and time in the pool. I missed the pool, it felt so good to be back in the water!

One of the highlights of the week, was that my Eat Me Guilt Free order arrived. If you haven’t heard of them, check out their Facebook, website or Instagram page. They have high protein, low carb and low fat treats that range from chocolate brownies to corn bread. They have 22 grams of protein per serving, that’s incredible! I was so impressed that I have a discount code to share! To save 10%, use code Michele. Trust me, these are worth it and don’t taste like you’re indulging.


Here is the cornbread I had with my zoodles, shrimp and mushrooms for lunch this weekend!

Don’t forget, you can still save on the Niagara Women’s Half Marathon until 11:59 pm on the 31st with code rollback. 

How were your holidays? Did you stay on track with your fitness and nutrition? What are you looking forward to in the New Year?




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Vacation Recap!

I’m back from an amazing trip to Baltimore to visit family! It was such a great week away, filled with quality time with family and a lot of memories were made.  Warning: You’re going to see a lot of pictures and hear about food!

The week started off visiting Briana, I’m sure you all remember her from when she was living in California. In all honesty, we talk pretty much every day. But it is so different being able to see each other in person! Briana has become one of my closest, dearest friends over the years. We get each others’ kinda crazy, support adventures and ideas, not to mention we have so much fun together. We started out on Friday, with a killer RPM spin class, followed up by barre. I know barre isn’t necessarily her thing, but she went with me, such a trooper! After our work out, we brunched at The Iron Rooster where we gawked at the deliciousness going by and enjoyed our egg whites. We both prescribe to the philosophy that something has to be really and truly worth it to splurge. It was so good and I *may* have snuck a menu out so I can plot an all out meal there when I go back.

We did some shopping, manicures and Whole Foods for dinner that night.  I love that Briana is also an IIFYM gal and understands my nutrition. We are both huge fans of Whole Foods and when I said that’s what I wanted for dinner, she was more than on board.


Saturday morning, we bundled up and headed out to the Annapolis Baltimore Trail for an o’dark30 run. Briana is a fast runner, so I know that it was the company more than the pace that got her there 😉 The 8.30 miles flew by and we thawed out with coffee after.


Heading out from Briana’s I met up with my cousin Alan for brunch (is there a brunch theme going on here….). We went to Miss Shirley’s , where I completely embarrassed him with my ordering. He really thought it was going to take 20  minutes to make sure I had it the way I wanted. AKA, to fit my macros,  but I have it down to a science! Plus, I peeked at the menu before hand. I opted for the Baltimore omelette with egg whites, spinach and crab. Being in Baltimore, meant Old Bay on everything! I probably would have bathed in it if I could. Yes, I know you an get it on the West Coast, but it’s not the same to me. Here’s the omelette!


That was followed up with time with my Uncle Elliot and Aunt Ilene, Alan’s parents, for the night. It’s always so nice to see them, even if we don’t visit for a while we pick up like it’s been a few moments that have passed.


Sunday, I headed over to the other side of the family to see as many people as I could. My Uncle Ted was first up, we normally spend a day together, but I was short on time and we had lunch instead. He is hard to pin down between fishing trips and he is super active. I’m always lucky to have time with him.


My cousin Melissa and her husband Al, are partners in Waverly Brewing Company and they hosted us on Sunday evening for beer tasting!! So much fun to see cousins I haven’t in YEARS and do a little tasting!

Don’t think that this was all fun and goodies! I stayed on track both nutrition wise and with my workouts – remember Briana and I went to the gym and ran. I also found RevCycle on Yelp and signed up for classes for Monday and Tuesday. Monday was a 7 am spin class, and Tuesday was 6 am barre with 7 am spin following it. If you’re in the Baltimore area, check them out, your first ride is free! The classes were ahhmazing! They use Under Armour trainers and let me tell you, they kick your booty! Tuesday’s spin instructor was off the charts, really pushed me, which I love and I may have been growling in class. Yes, growling because I was so into it!


You may not know this, but I’m affiliated with a running club based on the East Coast and have become friends with Janete, she is such an awesome lady. On Monday after spin we met for breakfast at Spoons and to catch up.


That evening, I was able to see my Great Aunt Theresa and her daughter Michele for dinner. They always make time for me when I visit and I so appreciate that!


My Uncle Nick and Aunt Linda, completely spoiled me with lunch from Di Pasquales on Tuesday. This place is an institution and been around for over a 100 years. My grandmother used to go there every week and when I was with her, I loved going with her. Everyone knew her, she was loved by each and every person she knew. When it came down to it, this was the best splurge meal I could have asked for. Sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table, with my Aunt and Uncle that mean more than the world to me, having a simple but incredible lunch that my grandmother would have had. I know that she looked down on us, loving the moment and knowing that right then, I was home. I was where I belong and needed to be.  Good Italian bread, pepperoni, cheese, prosciutto, mortadella, and love, that’s what we had. Most importantly the memory of sitting at that table, breaking bread and feeling loved was the important part for me.


Uncle Nick also was a pizelle making machine for me. You know that I fit these into my macros 😉


The last night I was there, I spent it with Uncle Nick, Aunt Linda and Briana. I wanted to say thank you to them for being incredible hosts and family. Life is better having them by my side, and one last seafood dinner at Nick’s Fish House


It’s always so hard to leave the East Coast, especially when it’s chock full of most of my favorite people.

Back in California,  I got back into my normal routine and gave myself a buffer before having to go back to work today. It’s been relaxing and productive. I met up with Rungry Runner for an o’dark30 5 miler on Thursday, it had been a while since we caught up, and longer since we ran together.


I’ve also been wanting to take my scale with me to the Whole Foods salad bar, I know that’s so nerdy of me. But I don’t want to make a salad, to come home and destruct it, weigh everything and put it back together. I finally did this on Thursday evening and it was a success. I’ll be doing this again, so much easier to add it to the container, weigh the items and log it all at once.


That was my week away! Now I’m back and raring to go as I look forward to 2017 getting here. I have a couple of awesome events on the calendar and I’m going to add a couple more to use as training runs. Right now, I’m running Ragnar Niagara Falls in May and staying in Toronto so that I can run the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon a couple of weeks later. Both events are going to be a lot of fun, look for training updates in future blog posts. If you’re interested in running NFWHM with me and who isn’t?! Use code “rollback” between now and December 31st at midnight to get the early bird price of $68. What a great holiday gift to yourself!! After that adventure, I’ll be getting ready for the Squamish 23k in August, in British Columbia. Boy my passport will get a workout, I hope it’s going to be ready!

Are you ready for the holidays? What traditions does your family have? Are you looking forward to 2017? Tell me what your plans are!