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Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

July 25, 2012

Today is my parent’s 31st wedding anniversary. They are still so in love. In a time when divorce seems to be the norm, their marriage is such an inspiration.

My Dad says never stop appreciating the other person. Never take them for granted. My mom says compromise is key. It’s going to take work, but there is no other option than to make it work!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. I couldn’t have grown up in household filled with more love.

Whose relationship inspires you?

How Are Things on the West Coast

July 25, 2012

Tomorrow, I will be leaving the humidity of the mid-Atlantic for the cool breezes of the San Francisco Bay area! Similar to my trip to New Orleans, the primary reason for going is work-related, but I’m tacking on a few vacation days, and “dragging” the hubs along, to make it into a little getaway (ok, he isn’t exactly going kicking and screaming)!

I haven’t been to San Fran since  I was three-years-old. Needless to say, I have few memories of the trip (other than a vague recollection of feeding sea lions), but one of my all-time favorite photos of my Mom and Dad was taken on the boat to Alcatraz!

We’ll be spending a few days in the Napa/Sonoma/Santa Rosa area before, and after, the SF Marathon race weekend festivities. Packing will be tricky since the city will be in the 60’s, but wine country will be in the 80’s or 90’s. Layering will be key! I’m thinking lots of cardigans, scarves and light button downs. This outfit ticks all the boxes and it satisfies my current obsession with gingham, white jeans, and orange!


Obviously my ban on wine will have to be lifted for the 6 days, but I think a few long runs on those killer San Fran hills will help keep me in fighting form!

I can’t wait to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, take in a game at AT&T Park, go wine tasting, drive though the petrified forest, lay by the pool in the Napa sun, and spend some QT with my main squeeze.

Please, please, please, if you have any recommendations for restaurants, wineries, or other “must see” places pass them along!!!

Give ’em Hell

July 24, 2012

Every single day there are obstacles to following a healthy lifestyle. You’re tired, you’re busy, you’re stressed, you stomach won’t stop growling. Maybe the weather isn’t cooperating, you’re iPod is dead, or you can’t find your favorite running pants. All you want to do is sit on the couch, order pizza, and wear the largest pair of sweatpants you own.

I definitely have days like this. Days where I don’t even want to walk the 20 ft from the couch to the fridge, let alone run the miles my overly scheduled workout calendar calls for. These are the days where the little voice inside my head {you know, the one says stuff like “you can skip one day” “you ran yesterday” or “one bowl of ice cream won’t kill you”} starts to wear down my dedication and willpower. These are the days I have to dig deep. BUT….these are also the days I know it’s so, so worth it to stick to my guns….’cause when you can get past all the excuses and reasons not to do a workout {or stick to your meal plan}, and you just get out there and do it, it feels pretty darn amazing!

Looking atrocious, but feeling pretty amazing after a 7 mile run in the rain on Saturday!

Need some more inspiration? I’m loving this new song from Gym Class Heroes. The video features US Olympic Gymnast John Orozco {and what’s more inspiring than an athlete whose dedication to his sport lifted him out of a bad neighborhood in the Bronx and took him all the way to London 2012?}.



So tell all those excuses to shove it, throw on your running shoes, get out there, and give ’em hell!

Don’t Miss Out! {RFABL is moving}

July 18, 2012

Hi friends, just a little reminder that RFABL will be moving to self-hosted in the next day or two!

Please consider subscribing to my FEED so you don’t miss a thing.

                                                                                                                                 Source: via Westward on Pinterest

I appreciate each and every one of you for following me here on and hope you will make the leap with me!

BodyBugg Week 6 and 7

July 16, 2012

And just like that it’s mid-July. The summer is rolling along at an alarming rate and I have been on my little experiment/journey/program for about 50 days. I can’t believe it.

Eating, working out, and living the way I have for the past few weeks just feels normal now. I really don’t crave bad foods. I don’t feel challenged to make the right food or fitness decisions because it’s just second nature (plus, as I’ve said before the BodyBugg makes you accountable for ALL your choices). I wouldn’t choose to simply hop on the elliptical or eat a big bowl of ice cream, because it seems foreign to me now.

I have been feeling a little hungrier at certain points of the day, most noticeably late morning. I chalk this up to increased muscle mass and a faster metabolism (this is my educated guess). Some days I’ve been allowing myself half a small bag of thin pretzels (about 1 oz and 100 calories). One of the biggest things I have learned is that it’s ok to be hungry. I think society makes us falsely believe that we should never have to feel hungry, when in fact if you are eating the right amount of food (or the amount of food necessary to lose weight) you WILL feel hungry and it’s OK!

I’m still:

  • Working out (aka doing something that makes me sweat) everyday. Yes, it can be a challenge to find the time, and often I feel tired, but I’m committed. In reality, I will be busy and tired for the rest of my life. It’s pretty much called adulthood, so, to me, they are not valid excuses to skip working out.
  • Wearing the BodyBugg everyday. I do get a lot of questions about it, but I welcome the opportunity to share how much I love it!
  • Logging my food everyday
  • Shooting for a calorie deficit of 1000 each day (if I eat 1500 cal, I need to burn 2500 cal)
  • Eating lots of greens, veggies and fruit. I’ve been eating salads nearly daily. If I don’t have one for lunch, I definitely have one for dinner.
  • Avoiding beer, and wine, most dairy and refined carbs
  • Drinking A LOT of water (80-100 oz a day)
Originally, I set a goal (with the help of BodyBugg’s guidance) of losing 17 pounds in 8 weeks.  Well, as you may remember I reached that mark in between week 5 and 6. Now, at the end of week 7….

 I have lost 21 pounds!

I’ve dropped 3 sizes!

What’s even better:

How great I feel when I’m running
Less back and neck pain
Muscle definition!

 The husband keeps asking me what my new weight goal is. I’m not really sure. Right now I am just enjoying the immense satisfaction of my success so far. I’m in such a groove I don’t foresee altering my new lifestyle anytime soon. For now I will just continue on, focusing  on improving my fitness level, muscle definition, body fat %, and getting in a 1/2 marathon by the end of the year.

Need to catch up or want to know more?

Week 1 (includes a full explanation of what the BodyBugg is!)

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4 and 5

Don’t forget to subscribe to my feed so you don’t miss out on any posts when I make the move to self-hosted later this week! Click HERE!!

{A little shout out to my hubby, who has quietly dropped 20 pounds himself!!}

Ready, Ready, Ready…Ready to Run

July 15, 2012

I’ve been talking about running a lot on the blog lately. Whether it’s traditional, outdoor distance runs, or sprint intervals on the treadmill, running has been a BIG part of my fitness routine since I started the BodyBugg program and revamped my workouts.

I’ve gotten some questions from a few people about running tips. I am no expert, but I have to say that I genuinely like to run and I think I’m pretty decent at it. Sure, sometimes I dread it, but most of the time I really enjoy being outside, pounding the pavement, and being alone with my thoughts.

Here’s what works for me:

  •  Start slow and steady. Most of the time a run is not a race. You don’t need to jump out there at full speed.  I like to give myself time to warm up and get in a groove. Once I’m feeling good, I pick up the pace.
  • Always have an idea of how far (or how long) you want to go, and a general route you want to take, before you set out. A run can seem to drag if you’re not quite sure how far you are going or how you want to get there. I always have a goal in mind when I start a run. This keeps me from heading home early because I don’t feel like going farther. I know my routes for a 3.5, 4, 6 or 7 mile run.
  • Good breathing is key. Focus on keeping your breathing slow and steady. Take deep breaths in through both your mouth and nose.
  • Go to the bathroom before you start your run…and I don’t just mean peeing. Nothing is worse than being half way through your run, miles from home, and…oh shit…
  • I don’t like to stop in the middle of a run. I get in the zone and want to stay there. Some people are the opposite and find it helpful to stop and walk for a bit. Just find what’s right for you.
  • Make sure you have the right footwear. Running with old shoes can cause all sorts of aches and pains.  I keep a pair of shoes that I solely use for running. I don’t run errands in them, and I don’t wear them to crosstrain at the gym. Brooks shoes are my favorites right now.
  • Have fun while you’re running. Listen to great music and really enjoy being out there. I love to take in the sites around my neighborhood, smile at other people I see, and just genuinely have a good time.  A positive mindset goes a long way and there’s nothing like the feeling of completing a great run!
  • Be your own biggest cheerleader. As cheesy as it sounds, at various points throughout my runs, I tell myself “you feel great” “keep it up” and “look how far you’ve already gone!” I truly believe that distance running is all about mental fortitude. Once you get to a certain fitness level, it is all about pushing yourself mentally to be better and go farther.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Be sure to drink plenty of water leading up to a run (but not too much right before). After a run, along with drinking water, I like to have a piece of fruit or drink something with electrolytes (coconut water and protein shakes are great options!).

{Refueling with a protein shake after yesterday’s 7-mile run!}

Have any other great tips? Share!

RFABL is Moving!

July 13, 2012

Big, exciting things are happening! Next week I will be making the leap off of to self-hosted WordPress. Yes, it’s all very new and cool, buuuuuutttttt if you want to continue to read this little blog (and I hope very much that you do), you need to subscribe to my feed (I will no longer come up in any reader). You can do this over on my right sidebar by clicking on the link to subscribe via Feedburner (above that cute close up of my face)!

Or just do it here (look how easy I’m making it for you!): Feedburner

You can also follow on Facebook or Twitter to get updates on all new posts plus some other fun tidbits of life. {the blog URL will still be}

I’m a little nervous about the transition. I feel like the training wheels might be coming off just a bit before I feel super comfortable, but when are you ever really ready? (people say this about having kids all the time, so I figured it applies here)

Along with the move, RFABL is getting a mini makeover! Here’s a sneak peek of the new look…

So thank you, thank you for reading and I can’t wait to see you over on the new Recipe for a Beautiful Life!!

Workout Wednesday: Ditch the Elliptical

July 11, 2012

I talked about ditching long, steady cardio in a past post on fitness myths, where I shared this quote from one of the trainers on Gym Junkies 

“The reality is that long slow cardio training of any kind – whether pounding the pavement or watching the wheels go ’round on the elliptical is inefficient to put it nicely and a waste of time to put it bluntly.”

Now that I’m not just talking the talk, but walking the walk (and have had so much success), I wanted to reiterate, and elaborate on this point….

The elliptical and I used to be BFF’s. I’d hop on up there with my latest issue of Us Weekly and “pedal” away. Often I did up to an hour. I always put the resistance high and did hills. I felt fit, and mixed in with the occasional run and multiple strength sessions a week, I thought I had a good fitness routine in place.

Well, I was approaching my cardio all wrong (and I knew it, but didn’t want to admit it). The elliptical is like that friend that you’ve had in your life for a long time. You just keep them around because you’ve known them for so long, and they are comfortable, but they don’t actually add much value or give you back what you put in.

I haven’t stepped foot on an elliptical in at least 5 weeks and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. It’s so easy to get stuck spinning away in the cardio room based on our “more is better” mentality. I know it’s hard and a little scary, but let go of (nearly all) long, slow cardio.

Source: via Alethea on Pinterest

Meet your new friends…

1. The Jump Rope

Do it on its own for at least 15 minutes or add it into your circuit workouts, going as fast as you can for at least 1 minute at a time.  My favorite jump rope circuit is here.

2. High Knees

Add these in between strength training moves, going as fast as you can for 30 seconds to a minute.

3. Jumping Jacks

Add these into your circuit routines, doing 50-60 at a time.

4. Tuck Jumps or Squat Jumps

Add these into your circuit routines, doing at least 10 at a time.

5. Burpees

Add these into your circuit routines, doing at least 10 at a time.

6. Mountain climbers

Add these in between strength training moves, going as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds.

7. Running Intervals

Set the treadmill incline to at least 2
5-minute warmup (walk at 4 mph or faster)
Run at 80% for 3 minutes
Fast walk (4 mph or faster) for 2 minutes
Repeat each 5-minute set 8 times.

I’ve compiled some great no-elliptical cardio routines on Pinterest. Follow my fitness board here!

I still do 1-2 “normal,” longer runs (4+ miles) a week to give my body a break and because it helps expand the heart’s capacity, which will benefit me when it comes time to do high intensity circuits and intervals.

Have a happy workout!

My new TV addiction and why I won’t be turning to a life of crime…

July 10, 2012

The hubs and I recently started watching Breaking Bad. There are few things I love more than discovering a new show that already has a few seasons under its belt. In the beginning, it feels like you have an endless supply of  to watch. No waiting each week for the next new episode! No sitting through commercial! Suddenly, lazy Sundays turn into 7-episode marathons. Can’t. Stop. Watching.

                                                                                                                    Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

If you’ve been living under a rock, like me, and haven’t watched Breaking Bad, you should! The basic premise is a Chemistry teacher, who turns to cooking Meth when he needs money to pay for his cancer treatments. Think Weeds with a lot more darkness and a little less Nancy silliness.

The whole idea of a so-called “normal guy” breaking bad (i.e. turning to crime) got me thinking. I’m pretty sure I would be a terrible, terrible criminal. I tend to be an obsessive worry wart. Not a good quality for someone, who may, at any moment, be busted.  I don’t really enjoy spending time in abandoned warehouses or seedy parts of town. And all this long hair I have? It likes to get everywhere, meaning my DNA all over the place. No good.  (Oh and of course all those high morals and values I have)

Where Ocean’s 11 made me think stealing money from the mean-rich-guy-who-stole-your-wife might be fun, and glamorous, Breaking Bad does a pretty good job of completely deterring me from a life of crime (disclaimer: let’s be real, I never dreamed of one anyway). I think the show could also be titled “How Not to Be a Drug Kingpin”.  Walter, the chemically brilliant, but devoid of street cred, main character is entertaining to watch, but he’s no Pablo Escobar. And Jesse, his ex-student-turned-junkie-turned-recovering-addict-turned-junkie-partner? He’s a pretty pathetically hapless criminal too. Yet, somehow they manage to keep on cookin’. (honorable mention goes to Walt’s wife, who though Googling “money laundering” might be a good way to find out how to do it)

I’ll keep on watching, and while I think I’ll stick to a life on the straight and narrow, I have been wondering what my cook (or street name) would be if I had to turn bad (you know, if my husband unexpectedly died, and even though we live in a mansion, and I drive a Range Rover, we have no savings or life insurance, ahem, Weeds). Hmmm…

Do you have any new TV addictions?

Life Lately

July 9, 2012

It’s no secret that my life recently has been consumed with healthy-living. It’s also not a surprise that this blog has reflected that (see examples here, here oh, and here). I have, however, found the time for activities that don’t involve counting calories, planning and doing intense circuit workouts, and measuring my body fat (more on that to come later this week!). Other things have been happening…

A crazy storm rolled through Maryland and left a giant branch only inches from one of our cars…

I bought a new pair of Ray-Ban sunnies after leaving my other Ray-Ban’s in a Target dressing room (that’s what I get for unnecessary shopping, lesson learned)…

I painted my nails with some new shades from Deborah Lippmann (Daytripper) and Essie (To Buy or Not To Buy)…

With temps past 100, I tried a sock bun to stay stylishly cool…

Penny earned some street cred and let her gangsta side out…

We spent a lovely (and bleepin’ hot) 4th of July at my parents’ house…

Mom and Dad showed off just a little bit of their patriotism (this was only a few of the flags they had flying)…

Like any good Maryland family, we had crabs to celebrate America’s birthday (note the flag pitcher)…

Well, there you have it, an inside look at my recent happenings (and by inside look I mean what everyone can see on my public Instagram)! Follow me here!



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