In Good Eats on
June 28, 2017

Surviving the Family BBQ When You’re On A Diet

Surviving the Family BBQ When You’re On A Diet

If your family is like my family, then you probably get a lot “aren’t you eating” remarks during family gatherings. My family loves food, all of our get together’s involve my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese and some form of chicken, it doesn’t matter if we are stopping by just to drop off mail or over for Easter dinner, there will be food present. And it will be a lot. Surviving the family bbq when you’re on a diet is no easy feat with my family. The temptation is there in all forms: macaroni, potato salad, ribs, fried chicken and red velvet cake. I mean, they know I just lost 80lbs, but that really doesn’t matter.

EAT!! HAVE SOME CAKE!!! Here I am, trying to behave, but I have this spread of awesomeness placed before me and I have absolutely no clue what to do.

Without fail, I always say no, but then someone brings out that macaroni and cheese that was hidden in the back. You know the one my mom brought but someone was trying to be funny and put out the nasty stuff first.

As that glorious, cheesy concoction makes its way past me the only thing I stare, hopelessly into its abyss, knowing I’m going to have to pull in overtime at the gym because it’s about to go down.

Yes you will catch me hopping out of my seat and running to that picnic table to get my mother’s macaroni and cheese. Now if she had of just left it at home like we asked her to, I wouldn’t be at this table making a damn fool of myself right now pigging out.

Now all of the attention is on me and many people feel justified in their snide remarks of “told you she doesn’t eat” or “thank God you’re finally putting some meat on those bones.” I don’t care, you obviously have not had my families mac and cheese recipe. Our macaroni is handcrafted with only the finest of ingredients…..yea it’s that serious. Surviving the family bbq when you’re on a diet was a failure last year. This year I’m determined to succeed. You will not catch me slipping!

How do we eat’healthy’ at the family bbq? It’s not that easy and really depends on the person who’s cookout you will be attending. If they allow you to bring your own meat because you’re a vegetarian, you’ve already solved your biggest hurdle. While you can’t replace every single food there with a healthy item, you can control some of the smaller aspects.

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In Fit List on
June 27, 2017

Fit List: Red, White & Blue Reebok Summer Must Haves

Reebook Summer Must Haves

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive money if you make a purchase using this link.

I don’t know about you, but my 4th of July plans include me spending time in the gym working out! As much as I would love to participate in cookouts this weekend, sadly I don’t know anyone having any.

That doesn’t mean I can’t get festive. Here is a list of my favorite Red, White & Blue items from Reebok. Whether you’re headed to the gym, beach or hanging around the house this weekend get patriotic with Reebok.

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In Good Eats on
June 27, 2017

Protein Snacks To Enjoy On Wedding Days

protein snacks for long wedding days

Proteins are an important part of your diet. Since beginning my journey I’ve learned to be a lot more cautious about what I eat. Especially on wedding days. In the past I would pack my bag with a Red Bull and some form of chocolate to keep me going –the end result, I was always way more tired and sluggish than I needed to be. This was before I had to make the two-hour drive back home.

Once I really began researching clean eating, I figured out the snacks that would be more beneficial to me throughout the day, especially when shooting evening weddings. I would arrive somewhere between 11-1 and not leave until 11pm-1am. By the end of the night, I was usually starving and exhausted, feeling completely drained. Since adding appropriate snacks to my big, I find myself feeling fuller longer, I’m still tired after my long days, but that’s only because I’ve been shooting a wedding for 12 hours!

Red meats tend to have more fat, so sticking with leaner meats such as chicken, fish, turkey, and eggs are a great option.

Here are a few of my favorite protein snacks below:

Anything with tuna is a great low-fat high protein option. Peanut butter is another wonderful option if you are looking for snacks packed with protein. Add fruit to the mix to get some fiber as well.

If you are looking for a great snack tray to keep in the office with you or when you’re on the go try the items below. On the days when I’m shooting weddings, I pack a bag of protein snacks to keep in my trunk in cooler. This way when I have a short break in between details and the ceremony I can run to the car and grab a quick bite. This is especially important during hot summer months.

This is just a sample of what I carry in my bag:


  • 2 oz Turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup Cherry tomatoes
Nuts & Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Almonds, raw
  • 4 Pita bites crackers

Protein is key for any workout regime, but also very important for our everyday lives as well. Proteins are what keep you fuller longer, there is never a need to cut proteins when dieting–EVER! If you offer full-service wedding days, you could be working up to 12 hours most times. Keeping your diet rich in proteins is a great way to keep your metabolism going strong. Protein not only increases your metabolism it also aids in muscle growth.

What are some of your wedding day snacks? Do you carry anything in your bag?

Looking for more healthy snack ideas. Check out my Pinterest board for more!

In Fitness, Mind & Body on
June 26, 2017

Favorite Solo Outdoor Activities

favorite solo outdoor activities

A major part of my self-care this year is unplugging and get away a lot more than what I had in the past. Since I’ve been more diligent in getting some ‘me time’ I’ve found myself to be way more patience, understanding and intuitive in my life. Allowing adequate time to recharge after stressful weeks has been very beneficial to me over the last 25 weeks. As we hit the halfway point of the year I wanted to take some time out and share a few of my favorite solo outdoor activities.

When you’re looking to really get away from it all I highly recommend hiking. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing places when I go out for walks, but our state parks have offered some of the most beautiful backdrops for me to sit back and meditate in quiet.

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In Mind & Body on
June 25, 2017

Self-Care on a Budget

self-care on a budget
Taking time for yourself is very important. Without proper self-care, your relationships can suffer. I can attest to the fact that as a work from home mom I had/have very little time for myself. In fact, from October 2015-January 2017, I can count on one hand how many times I had the opportunity to sneak away just for myself. Whether it be a drive to the store or a nap at home alone. Usually, when you mention self-care most people will envision mom running off to the spa for a day or time at a winery with the girls. That sounds nice and I would love to be able to do that..but I work on a budget. Self-Care on a budget doesn’t have to be the pits, finding a few things that you really enjoy (free or low-cost) is a wonderful way to save money and relax at the same time. Who knows with the money you save you can buy yourself a new pair of shoes!

Taking time away from the phone and computer are the easy things you can do to recharge your batteries. In fact, it should make you feel good knowing you can put those things away and not stress over incoming messages. Even if it’s just for a few hours, time away from your devices is important.

Allowing time for yourself shows you know how to set boundaries. When you create boundaries, it lessens the chance of you being taken advantage of or overworking yourself. When you can show others you care about your well-being they will have no choice but to abide by your wishes.

Emotional Hygiene

This TED talk on the importance of self-care was one of the motivating factors in my decision to take time out for myself.

Guy Winch describes self-care as emotional hygiene. He states we should be “Taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.”

  • Home manicure/pedicure
  • Facial
  • Massage
  • Quiet bath
  • Sex
  • Journaling
  • Binge watch television
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Adult coloring book
  • Aromatherapy
  • Glass of wine outside
In Good Eats on
June 23, 2017

Favorite Healthy Summer Smoothie Recipes

favorite healthy summer smoothie recipes

I love making smoothies. In fact, the kids and I do this at least once a week as their special treat. Over the last year, I’ve found several amazing smoothie recipes that we absolutely enjoy making together as a family. I’ve gathered a short list of some of the kids and my favorite healthy summer smoothie recipes.

For Energy

For Kids

For Protein


In Fitness, Mind & Body on
June 22, 2017

Favorite South Carolina Hiking Trails

favorite south carolina hiking trails


I love the outdoors. I find myself needing to disconnect from technology at least twice a month in order to totally recharge. Spending time outside with the kids hiking and camping is the perfect the way to do this. South Carolina has so many outdoor trails it was hard to choose which ones are best. I curated a list of my favorite South Carolina hiking trails from novice to advanced. There are a few you can enjoy as a family, while others are suitable for older more experienced hikers.

Click the links to find out more information about these trails.

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In Fitness on
June 21, 2017

My favorite no equipment full body workouts

favorite no equipment full body workouts

Full body workouts are a great way to lose weight, tone up and burn fat while working out your entire body. Due to time or money constraints, many people do not have the luxury of having a gym membership. No worries! There are still plenty of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Here are a few of my favorite no equipment full body workouts for you to try at home today!

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Side Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Split Squats
  • Crunches
  • High Knees
  • Pushups

This list should be used a starting point for anyone looking to begin a few light workouts at home. When doing full body workouts, you will only need to workout 2-3 times per week. This is perfect for the novice trainee looking to get into strength training or someone looking to build just a little bit of muscle.

To get started, try these two workouts below:

Touch Cardio Exercise

Plank Knee Tuck & Glute Extension

Looking for more workouts? Head over to my Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Photo Credit: Jason Briscoe


In Mind & Body on
June 20, 2017

3 tips to power through your workout

3 tips to power through your workout

Pushing through a workout when you don’t quite feel it is rough. It all comes down to your mental stamina. This is where having a great workout partner can come in handy, but if you don’t have one or if they are taking the day off these three tips can help you get through those workouts yourself.

Embrace the pain

Unless it’s a medical emergency, chances are you hit your wall and just need a little extra push to get yourself through the rest of the workout. It happens to the best of us, just remember you’ll feel better if you complete the workout. Visualize the end of your workout, that’s your goal for the day.

Think Positive

Positive thinking is really the only way to get through the tough workouts. Pick a mantra (or make one up) and repeat it over and over if you have to.

Know When It’s Time To Quit

If you have truly run out of gas there is nothing wrong with quitting. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, so when all else fails and you just can’t go on, call it a day and pick it back up tomorrow.