Thursday, December 31, 2015

Accountability Calendar for January 2016

Helping my 2015 clients get ready for 2016. Created a monthly calendar for 1 of my clients, now she can check off her goals daily. She loved it and I loved it so I made 1 for myself. Do you need a January calendar to help you hold yourself accountable?

The calendar includes check boxes for cardio, flexibility, water, and resistance training. Don't forget to pick at least 1 day for rest and recovery.

In the borders you can find a spot to write in your total cardio, your resistance goals, and any other notes.

Get you FREE printable January calendar HERE

Health and Happiness,


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Resolution Solutions 2016

Join me this Monday and get ready for a fit and healthy New Year! 

I am hosting a FREE 5 day web series to help you set your 2016 health and fitness goals. This FREE series includes 5 different topics and science based strategies to help you shape a resolution that is strategic, attainable, and personalized to you! 
  1. Setting SMARTer Goals in 2016
  2. How to figure out your nutrition needs and macros
  3. Selecting the best cardio program to meet your goals
  4. Selecting the best weight training program to meet your goals
  5. How to maintain your progress throughout the year

Register now and receive messages via our private Facebook group or choose to get tips sent directly to your inbox.

Register Here: 

I look forward to helping you make 2016 your healthiest year!

Health and Happiness

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Thousands of Lights and Thousands of Steps at Garden Lights

All the steps!

Last year we were rained out on the last night of Garden Lights at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens. This year it was a beautiful night to explore the lights! I was excited about the lights but I have to admit I was even more excited to see how many steps I could complete.

We paid waaaay too much for parking. If you time it correctly you can get $10 parking onsite. Parking clears out in waves, when we drove by it was full, by the time we walked back the lot was open again. You can try and find street parking but this event draws a pretty big crowd, street parking is scarce. But, I'm not too mad, the walk from the lot started our night out with +2K bonus steps.

Walking the Garden 
The light displays were gorgeous, my 2 favorites were the "Ice Goddess" and the "Orchestral Orbs".  The "Orchestral Orbs" were synchronized to all of my favorite holiday songs. I could have sat and watched the Orbs all night long.

Orchestral Orbs and Skyline Photos
The garden seems huge. Every turn we take I want to double back and make sure I haven't missed anything. There are trains, a smore's station, music, and moving lights. So much to take in.

The Ice Goddess, Festive Drinks, and Group Photo
Mom and Anthony sipped on hot chocolate, I went a lil more festive with the "Rudolph": champagne with a splash of cranberry and fresh cranberry garnish. That kept me warm the rest of the night. 

+2K steps to Garden, +3K steps through Garden, +2K steps to the car

Fitgeek Features
  • Beautiful lights
  • 90 minutes of leisure activity
  • Fun with family
  • More than 7K total steps
We saw thousands of beautiful lights and we logged thousands of steps in the process. A great way to combine family time, the holidays, and some physical activity. 

What is your favorite way to mix fitness and the holidays?

Health and Happiness,

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween with the Browns 2015

Halloween is my favorite holiday! Scary movies, treats, and time with the fam!

The night before Halloween I gathered the candy and lined up my favorite DVDs for viewing throughout the day.

What is your favorite movie to watch around Halloween? I always watch "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". This year I added "Hocus Pocus" to the line up!

My moms neighborhood doesn't get trick or treaters and my lil sis was hitting a party in the evening, so I started a new tradition! Halloween Brunch!

I made my 1st attempt at a frittata and it was sooooo good. 

I made a turkey sausage and mixed greens frittata. I substituted egg whites for 2 of the whole eggs and I used whole fat Greek yogurt instead of milk. This reduced a bit of the fat and added a lil more protein. And it's brunch so we sipped on spiked apple cider while we ate.

After our meal, pumpkin carving and "Hocus Pocus". 

Mom went home, Then we watched the painful UGA vs FL game.

Then it was time for a costume change.

Alicia handed out candy while I prepped dinner. Every year we bet on the most popular costume. I chose "the minions", Alicia chose "witch", and Anthony chose "Elsa"(my pick last year). Alicia won! There were 6 witches before she left. She gets bragging rights until next year.

A new recipe for the night, pumpkin, sausage, and sage sauce over pasta.

After dinner and handing out the last bit of candy we had part 2 of our night. Treats and eats with the neighbors. Then an uber trip to our friends place for scary movies and treats.

A fun night was had by all!

I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Health and Happiness,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cooking with Pumpkin: Pumpkin, Sausage, and Sage Sauce

Wrapping up harvest season with this easy sauce recipe. I only had to make a special grocery run for the sage. Everything else was in the fridge or pantry. I like to make a themed recipe for Halloween. This year I decided to try pasta with pumpkin sauce. 

- puréed pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 c red onions
- 1/2 c full fat Greek yogurt 
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 sprig sage (4-7 leaves)
- 1 c water
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- 3 links fully cooked ground turkey sausages

Heat oil in pan. Add garlic and onions sauté until tender. Add 1 can pumpkin purée. Stir in 1/2c full fat Greek yogurt. Slowly add in water as needed to achieve desired sauce consistency. Add sage and salt. Heat til warmed, about 5 minutes. Add cooked sausage. 

Mmm, this dish was loaded with flavor and fairly easy to prep. I used whole wheat pasta, but I would love to try it with spaghetti squash. A simple savory sauce with high protein turkey sausage and a fiber boost with whole grain pasta.

I also tried to use all of my pumpkin this year:

Carved a Jack O Lantern

Roasted and puréed the shavings

Toasted and seasoned the seeds

What is your favorite way to use pumpkin?

I am thinking I'll thin out the sauce and serve it as a hearty soup for Thanksgiving.

Health and Happiness,

Friday, October 30, 2015

Guest Post: The Beauty of Online Workout Videos

If you have never tried online workout videos, you are missing out on one of the best ways to exercise and make a habit that sticks.

I’ve been using workout videos regularly since rediscovering them in 2010 (I loved my mom’s Jane Fonda tapes when I was a kid). Videos have played a pivotal part in transforming me from a sometimes exerciser into a daily exerciser. Exercise has become my coach, my therapist, my meditation, my friend, and my muse. I dedicate 2 days a week, religiously, to using online workout videos.

Here are the top 6 benefits of using online videos!

1. Online Videos are Incredibly Convenient

When it comes to finding time to work out, truly nothing is more convenient than working out from home with a video. But even if you travel frequently, online workout videos are incredibly accessible. With videos, traffic is never an issue. Neither is parking. Or weather. Or a crazy schedule – after all, the web gives you 24/7 access to online workouts - you can do them whenever you want. You only need a small space. And your shower is RIGHT there when you finish!

So if you have the will, there is a way. Once you stop letting external obstacles get in way of your workouts -- because let’s face it, meetings, sick kids, and better offers will always find a way to derail even the best laid workout plans -- you’ve laid the groundwork for developing a really strong, consistent, and rewarding exercise habit.

2. It's Not All or Nothing - That Day’s Commitment is Up to You

With online workouts, you are not committed to a particular time or effort on any given day. Sometimes it’s great to work out for an hour and pour sweat, but some days not so much. When you depend on getting to a class, it's all or nothing. You may have to psych yourself up to get there, and if you don't make it, you end up with nothing in the way of activity that day. Nothing but guilt and beating yourself up.

With online videos, you have the ultimate flexibility in choosing what to do based on your energy level and your time frame. If you put on a 20-minute video because you don’t have the drive that day to move for an hour, that’s still a success. You’re going to feel so much better after 20 minutes, no matter what. And you may just feel good enough to watch another video, because endorphins are funny like that, once you get going. But it’s your call: no judgment, no slinking out of a class.

And you can have it both ways. When you feel like going to a class and seeing your awesome instructor in the flesh, do it! And when you don’t, a workout video is so easy to substitute. It’s still a win for the day.

3. Online Workouts Offer Tons of Variety when You Want to Mix It Up

The wonderful thing about the Internet is the sheer breadth of variety at your fingertips. Chris Anderson, former WIRED editor, calls this “the long tail.” Brick and mortar places like a physical gym offer a fixed inventory of classes because they have only finite resources like the amount of studio space, and the people available to teach or attend a workout at a given time. The web has no such constraints - it allows for the creation of vast digital archives with very little extra overhead. Digital assets take very little space, and can be accessed whenever, even globally. Fitness video platforms offer on-demand access to a huge variety of pre-recorded workouts, whether from DVDs or live-taped classes, across space and time. Access to the long tail gives the consumer so much more choice.

The Internet gives you access to an incredible diversity of instructors.  The best instructors may live far away from you physically and you would never cross paths in real life, but online, they’re right there in the room with you. You get unprecedented access to literally some of the finest, most sought after instructors in the world.

Two of my favorite growing trends are dance workouts and fusion programs.

·         Dance workouts have been growing like crazy in popularity. Have you tried one yet? Dance tends to feel more like fun than exercise, so it really lends itself perfectly to a home workout format for many people. Zumba may be the one you’ve seen in your gym, but there are many more dance workouts available online, everything from Bollywood workouts, to ballet-inspired videos, jazz, hip hop, you name it.

·         Fusion workouts are a really fun area to explore online. Fusion (or Hybrid) workouts pull together influences from multiple styles of fitness to create a unique blend. Fusion styles are incredibly engaging, mixing the best elements together from different genres, and they offer a great way to get your first exposure to other workout styles. Examples of fusion workouts include yoga & weights, barre & kickboxing, dance mixed with high intensity intervals, pilates combined with yoga, cardio circuits with mixed martial arts, just to name a few. The sky is truly the limit with these combinations. They are fresh and interesting.

4. Online Workouts offer Familiar Comfort Too

Variety is great for those times when you want to do something new, but if you’re like me, most of the time you want to do something familiar: take a class with one of your favorite instructors, revisit your favorite workouts. There’s comfort in a known entity, when you know just where the tough parts of the workout are, just where the fun parts are, just how much you’ve progressed since the first time you did it. For workouts with choreography, like dance videos, once you’ve gotten through the learning curve to get to know the routines, revisiting them is just pure fun. You can work on adding flair and technique once the basic muscle memory is in place.

I personally try not to do any single workout video more than twice a month, except if I’m learning choreography. That way I avoid plateaus, I never get sick of a video, and I get to revisit a lot of my favorites. If you’ve ever heard the term “muscle confusion” -- the idea of continually shifting the muscle groups you target to keep your body constantly adapting and to give you a wide range of functional fitness -- I like to say my muscles have been confused since 2010. That requires both variety and familiarity.

5. Online Workouts are Incredibly Cost Effective Compared to Gyms, Studios, and Trainers

Online workouts are truly the most cost effective workouts out there, short of exercising outside for free (running outside, walking, etc). Considering the quality and variety of the workouts you can get online, this is just practical, economic value.

There are several different membership models available for you to choose from online.
·         Netflix-style memberships: Unlimited streaming for a low monthly subscription fee (typically under $10/month, with the most expensive still under $20). Membership subsidizes the cost of creating and licensing videos, so most sites in this category are completely ad-free. Examples of this include Gaiam, Gigabody, and FitFusion.
·         Freemium services:  In this model, you get access to some content for free - likely with ads, plus there are additional upsell features like premium content you can choose to pay for on a monthly basis. Grokker is an example.
·         Pay per video - rent or buy:  Some sites let you pay per video, either to rent for short term access or to buy your own digital download copy. This is a great option if you really want to own your favorite DVD in digital form, or you want to try before you buy. Many individual instructors offer digital downloads on their personal websites.
·         Free with ads: In the completely free category, Youtube is king. You can get free access to all sorts of content, though it can take some digging to find the good stuff and you’ll have to watch ads as well as see them overlaid on videos. You may have heard the phrase, if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product being sold. There’s always a tradeoff when it comes to free access, but sometimes that price is right.

Across the board, online workouts provide excellent value when compared to
·         studio classes  - which can run $10-$75 per class
·         gyms  - averaging $58/mo per StatisticBrain, not counting setup fees
·         one-on-one personal trainers  - averaging $50/mo, but varying widely

Given the low price of online workouts, you may be able to afford both online workouts and workouts with a studio or trainer. Assuming you make use of a service you pay for, an investment in your health is always a sound investment.

6. Online Workouts Give you Ultimate Privacy

Last but not least, privacy is an under-rated benefit of working out online.

·         You can wear whatever you want. Or not.
·         You can dance like no one’s watching because they’re not. 
·         You don’t have to brush your hair, or your teeth.
·         Whatever jiggles, whatever wiggles, it doesn’t matter.

Your space is yours. There’s no guy in stinky gym clothes on the next bike. You don’t have to worry about bending over and feeling exposed in your yoga class, or wearing clothes that make you feel uncomfortable. There’s no body shaming or embarrassment in the privacy of your own space.

So what are you waiting for?  Let’s workout online!

Valerie Lanard

Guest Blogger: Valerie Lanard is the Founder of online workout service She is an avid skort collector, a lover of wearables, working out, running self experiments, and building things with computers.

Monday, October 26, 2015

This is Health Education: GASOPHE Reminded Me Why I love Health Education

2 days of networking and collaborating with passionate health educators. That is what I was able to expereience at the GASOPHE conference.

Day 1: Health Communication & Social Marketing Workshop
I was really excited to learn that I was already performing many of the strategies used in Health Communcation & Social Marketing. In Social Marketing we apply marketing concepts to promote social ideas and actions. Dr. Jorgensen gave a great overview social marketing principles, planning, and social media. We reviewed the 4 Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. In public health our products are: ideas, health products, services, and behaviors or practices. we have to show value in our product, minimize effort involved to access/use product, and we have to create engaging products.

Here are some of the insights I was able to share with the class and my "Blogging"group.

How Bloggers can help spread your health message:
- they have direct access to your community
- most bloggers have a specific audience/niche (narrow-casting): food, fitness, mothers, etc ; we can help you expand your reach in our specific niche.
- invite a blogger to be a VIP and allow them access to your event for some free marketing and publicity
- help hosting a giveaway
- my highest interactions come from sharing blog posts with my facebook community, promote across all of your channels
- help managing social media accounts; most of us are pretty tech savvy and are managing multiple social media accounts already

Have you ever partnered with a blogger to promote you event or help spread your health message? Bloggers have you ever partnered with a health agency?

Blogging is health promotion. I am excited to use what I learned to package my message in a way that aligns with National Physical Activity, Obesity Prevention, and Diabetes Prevention programming. Collaboration is key for chronic disease prevention!

Day 2: Fall Summit
I started Day 2 just after lunch. I had a few classes I had to teach prior to getting my geek on. I got there just in time for lunch.

During lunch I did some light networking and started mapping out my classes for the day. My goal was to choose classes that covered topics I had less experience in. I got more than I expected, my options were a bit overwhelming, but I gained so many great resources!

Developing Strategies for Evaluating the Impact of Policies on Community Health
Evaluation is so important in determining effectiveness and documenting your process. In my physical activity programs there is always pre and post testing, how else would clients know they have made progress. Why wouldn't the same strategy be applied to programming.

We used a case study to practice our evaluation skills. We reviewed the inputs, outputs, and outcomes in a logic model to help us evaluate our case. We discussed free resources for evaluation, specifically the CDC Framework. What tools do you use for evaluation? I was glad to speak with some professionals who specialize in evaluation, at least I have some contacts if I am ever looking for a good framework.

Using the Community Readiness Model to Activate Communities
This workshop provided plenty of hands on experience and resources. We walked through the process of identifying the issue, defining your community, and choosing key respondents.Then we reviewed sample CRA interview questions. Then we practiced scoring the various dimensions of awareness: community knowledge of efforts, leadership, community climate, knowledge of issue, and resources related to the issue. I have never used the community readiness model but now at least i have a deeper knowledge of the protocol and its application. I love learning!

Chronic Disease Prevention: Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change
This session was a really great example of how collaborations and health policy create change. Ms. Warren discussed current collaborations with American Heart Association, American Planning Association, Women Infant and Children services, Society for Public Health Educators, and Directors of Health Promotion and Education; Partnering4Health. Their goal is to collaborate to educate, support the community, and promote initiatives. Ms. Gibson discussed success with Tobacco Policy in creating smoke free spaces through Savannah. I always thought if I were to go back to school it might be in the area of Health Policy. Policy/laws impact all of our work. It was great to hear collaboration and policy success stories.

Key Takeaways
- Blogging is Health Promotion!
- There are so many FREE resources for programming and evaluation that I could be using
- Collaboration is key  for chronic disease prevention
- We are all learning as we go
- This is my tribe

The participants at the conference were all at different stages in their careers. I have expertise in social marketing, health communication, physical activity, and program implementation. Other people at the conference were experts in evaluation, data assessment, and policy. I was reminded how big the Public Health world is. There is room for everyone. It was refreshing to be around such passionate colleagues. They reminded me why I got into this field and why I love health education. Passion, variety, and ability to make huge changes in peoples lives through programming and policy.

Health and Happiness,


Sunday, October 25, 2015

#UNSTINKABLE Event Athleta: Body Weight Circuit with Atlantic Station

Disclosure: I was invited to host a workout as part of Athleta's #UNSTINKABLE top promotion. I received an Athleta top as part of my participation in the promotion. All opinions are my own.

Athleta hosted company wide workouts to promote their Unstinkable tops with Polygiene. What makes these tops different? "Natural silver salts in the fabric stop odor-causing bacteria from raising a stink. Less laundry for you and more time doing what you love" - Athleta. I sweat so much when I workout and teach, so a top that can hold up to that would be great. So I kept my top on for several hours after I led my my workout still no funk. So far so good. As always the tops are stylish and high quality.

I had a blast leading the Body Blast workout with the Athleta Atlantic Station! We went through an 8 exercise circuit working the entire body using just our body weight, no equipment necessary! Here is the circuit we completed:

1. Squat Thrust "Burpee" (Cardio - Total Body)
  • From standing squat down and place hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder width apart 
  • Extend the hips and hop or walk the feet back until you are in a plank position
  • Flex the hips and hop or walk the feet to the hands
  • Extend the hips and stand or hop up to standing position

2. Speed Skate (Cardio - Total Body)
  • From standing neutral position, lead foot takes a lateral side step or leap, other foot crosses behind
  • Front arm swings across the body
  • As opposing limbs move the obliques activate during rotation

3. Lateral Squat w Hip Abduction to Calf Raise (Lower Body)
  • From standing neutral position, lateral side step and lower into a wide stance squat
  • At the top of the squat abduct leg lifting laterally and away from the body
  • Adduct leg bringing it back to the center, plantar flex lifting the heels off the ground into a calf raise
  • Drop heels and return to neutral standing position
  • Repeat on the other leg

4. Rear Lunge w Hip Extension (Lower Body and Core)
  • From standing neutral position, extend one leg back, keep other foot planted on the ground
  • Bend both legs, flexing at the knees
  • Lift back foot off of the ground extending at the hip
  • Extend arms forward and extend at hip until arms and leg form a straight line from fingertips to ankle and chest is parallel to the floor (advanced progression)
  • Engage core and slowly bring leg back to the ground, bring arms down to the side, return to standing neutral position

5. Inchworm to Side Plank (Core and Upper Body)
  • From standing neutral position flex at the hips and bring hands to the ground in front of or to the outside of the feet
  • Walk the hand forward until the hips are extended into plank position and hand are directly under the shoulders
  • From plank position rotate through the hips, opening the chest, and extending 1 arm toward the sky. Forming a straightline from extend arm to supporting arm in side plank

6. Lateral Walking Plank (Core and Upper Body)
  • From plank position abduct shoulder and legs moving laterally across the floor
  • Adduct shoulders back to neutral plank position
  • Repeat left and right covering as much space as you have

7. Triceps Push Up (Core and Upper Body)
  • From neutral plank position or kneeling plank with hands positioned directly under the shoulders
  • Flex at the elbows lowering the chest to the ground
  • As the elbows bend keep them as close to the body as possible to 

8. V-Sit w Knee Lifts (Core)
  • From a seated position, flex the knees, plant feet on the floor, flex a the hips so the body forms a V
  • to prevent roudning of the upper back, roll shoulders back, press the chest forward, to create flat back
  • From the V-sit position lift 1 knee towards the chest while the other foot stays on the ground
  • Alternate knee lifts
  • Bring opposing elbow to knee, alternating knee lifts (advanced progression)
We performed each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest between each exercise. I included a 10 minute warm up, 2 minute recovery between each round, and 10 minute cool down. Each round was 8 minutes of work and 2 minutes of recovery, for a total of 10 minutes per round. We repeated the circuit 3 times, 30 minutes of conditioning. Total workout time 50 minutes. If you're doing this workout at home you could shorten the warm up and cool down to meet your time limits. In 20 minutes you could get in a total body workout!

Did you participate in an Athleta workout this weekend? Comment below and give a shout out to your local Athleta! Thank you Athleta Atlantic for inviting me to participate in today's event!

Health and Happiness,

Updated 10.25.2015 at 9:45PM

Friday, September 25, 2015


Fall is officially here! Have you declared a goal for October yet? I have:
10K Steps in the 10th month of the year!

Would you like to join me ?
This month I am hosting a Fall Fitness Challenge on Instagram! For $10 you can invest in your health and join me for cardio, consistency, community, and accountability. There will be weekly giveaways and anyone who completes all 31 days will earn 1 week of online Bootcamp!

The Challenge 
Complete 10K steps everyday for the month of October. If you are already crushing 10K steps this challenge is a great way to motivate others. If you have been struggling to meet 10K steps this is a great way to get consistent with your steps. You can use any device, even your phone to track your steps. Take a photo of your progress and share it by tagging me @certifiedfitgk and using the hashtag #FitGeekFallFitChallenge . Make sure you do both so that  your daily entry is counted.

I'll be sharing my progress daily on Instagram @certifiedfitgk . Every Sunday you will receive an email notifying you of the week's giveaway, winner, and tips to meet your step goals!

The Prize
Track your progress for 31 days and instantly earn 1 week of bootcamp! Prizes will be announced weekly! To be eligible for the grand prize be sure to start tagging your photos Oct 1st, registration for the Grand Prize is open through October 3rd. After that you can still register and be eligible for weekly prizes. If you miss a day you are still be eligible for weekly prizes.  Sign up now and start earning days towards your grand prize! 

Are you ready to join the 10K challenge?

Contact me here to join and stay moving and motivated in October!
Share with your friends and community!

Health and Happiness,


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Exercise Testing: 1 Repetition Max

We have 1 more week of baseline testing with my weight training group. We are finishing up Leg Press and Chest Press max testing this week. Then the last 3 weeks of the semester they'll learn and test Bench, Deadlift, and Squat. Some of my students are bored by the process, but baseline testing takes time and it makes programming so much more effective.

1 Repetition Max
The 1 repetition max is the test used to measure muscular strength in a muscle or muscle group. Strength is generally identified as the amount of external force that can be generated, or resistance lifted  in pounds(lbs) or kilograms(kg). Strength is usually determine between 1-5 reps. The 1RM represents 100% muscular effort through full range of motion with good posture.

5 to 8 Rep Max Tests
When I do my own testing I use a 1-5 repetition max protocol. But, when I'm dealing with new exercisers or unknown abilities I'll use the 5-10 RM. Most of my new exercisers are comfortable with a higher rep range and they are more likely to complete the reps through full ROM and with good posture. You can memorize the table below to easily convert your 5-10RM to your estimated 1-RM. The highlighted rep ranges are the ones I usually use.

Adapted from Green, D.J(ed) (2014). ACE Personal Trainer Manual: The Ultimate Resource For Fitness Professionals (5th ed.). SanDiego, CA: American Council on Exercise.

How do I use my 1-RM
Based on my fitness goals I use a percentage of my 1-RM to design a more effective workout.

I usually work at 70% or 8-12 repetitions. Working at no less than 70% 1RM should provide enough resistance to promote increases in size and shape (hypertrophy).

Here is another handy table you can use to choose the %1RM to meet your goals

Adapted from Baechle, T.R. & Earle, R. W. (eds)(2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
That is why I love baseline testing. You could go into every session guessing how much weight you should be using and progress slowly. Or you could know your numbers at conquer your workouts with precision and get faster results.

Is strength testing part of your fitness program?

Try adding a strength test to your routine and retest every 4-8 weeks and see how you're progressing. If you need more hands on assistance with testing or programming you should work with a certified fitness professional to get you started. 

Health and Happiness,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

What is in the Box: Bulu Box Review

I was provided a BuluBox subscritpion as part of my partnership with Fitapproach. I was not compensated but was provided a Box for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What is Bulu Box?
Bulu Box is a subscription service that share. Each month subscribers receive 4-5 vitamin, supplement, and healthy snack samples. If you love your sample you can purchase the full size product in the Bulu Box shop. BuluBox also offers a rewards program. Take a survey about the box you received and earn 10 rewards points. Every 50 points is $5 toward the purchase of any full sized products on .

What Is In My Box

  • A Healthy Snack
    • Fusion All Natural Jerky, Lemon Pepper Chicken. A great on the go snack. Perfect for after the gym, or when I forget to pack a meal
  • Supplements
    • MovIt Energy Gummies. I have used sports beans during run training so I feel comfortable sampling the gummies. They have to taste better than sports beans and who doesn't love gummies!
    • Runa Tea, Ginger-Citrus Guayusa Tea. I love ginger so I am looking forward to trying this blend.
    • Simple Being Nutrition. I think this is a weightloss supplement. I don't do a whole lot of supplements anymore. So I'm not sure if I'll use this part of my box.
  • Other
    • Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream. This sample seemed a little random compared to everything else in the box. But, I am sure I'll be able to use it at some point. I'll keep that in my bag just in case.
Pro/Con of the BuluBox Subscription
My favorite part of my Box was the Jerky. I love Jerky, but I don't really try a big variety of brands. Bulu Box gave me a chance to try something I would not have sampled on my own. I also like tea, so I am excited to try RUNA. The Gummies will be a nice pick me up on long days too. I probably won't try the dietary supplement until I have done some thorough research and feel comfortable with my results. I am into food and fitness, but other supplements aren't part of my routine anymore. If you enjoy a low cost sampler, BuluBox might be right for you. As far as subscription boxes go I think I prefer knowing what I'll get or getting something via referral versus a grab bag style sample. 

Have you tried BuluBox or another subscription service?

Use the code SWEATPINK and get 50% off a 3,6,or 12 month subscription! 

Health and Happiness,


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Be Well: Our Stay at Westin Hilton Head Spa and Resort

Why We Choose The Westin
My husband spent 2 weeks trying to get me to choose a resort for our anniversary trip. I had been preoccupied with preparation for the new job and new semester. We eventually came up with our list of must haves.

It needed to be:
- nearby, driving distance, preferably under 8 hours
- located on a beach, the hubs required sun, sand, and spirits 
- internet, I had just accepted a new position and I needed to be reachable
- affordable

The Westin fit all of these requirements and bonus, a fitness center, walking trail, and gear lending program. 

Beach Well: The Venue
What a beautiful resort! You walk in and the lobby smells sweet, fresh, and tropical. There was a bit of a wait at check in, we picked up all our hotel info and made our way to the room. 

The room was huge. We had a king sized bed that was so comfy it was like being wrapped in a warm hug. Their Hevenly Bed lived up to its name. We had a partial ocean/pool view and woke up to the relaxing sound of waves every morning. We also had a couch, table, and desk. A great set up for business travelers.

Eat Well: The Food

You know I loooooove a good meal. We sampled meals from every restaurant on site

The breakfast buffet from the Carolina Room included a variety of meats, breads, fruits, omelette bar and fresh juices. I am a big fan of buffet style breakfast so I can portion my plate to my needs. The buffet also included their fresh squeezed juices, I sampled:
- Celery, cucumber, line, & coconut water
- Lychee, banana, pineapple, & vanilla smoothie

I ate from the menu too, the crab cakes Benedict was light and very tasty.
For faster breakfast service eat our doors in the View 32 seating. The outdoor are serves the same menu as indoors, buffet too. If you don't mind some sunshine and a cool ocean breeze, it is the faster option.

We celebrated our anniversary with an upscale meal at 

3 spreads for out breads:
(olive tempanade, oil & herb, orange truffle butter)

Shecrab soup appetizer 

Salmon with artichoke hearts and roasted vegetables 
(Crispy Skin Atlantic Salmon with roasted lentils, artichokes, and poppadew coulis)

The hubs got fish and potatoes
(Garlic & Herb Crusted North Carolina Trout with potatoes)

Most expensive meal of the trip, but probably our healthiest meal too.

We eventually made a trip off site to "A Low Country Backyard Restaurant". A fun relaxed atmosphere with live music, delicious food, and fantastic moonshine cocktails.

This spot is very popular. When we arrived there was a 45-55 minute wait, or first available at the bar. We went with the bar and had a seat in less than 5 minutes.

My husband started with a moonshine cocktail, but I'm a purist so I went with the flight. 4 varieties of local and regional moonshine. If you have never sampled moonshine before I highly recommend trying the flight: Apple & Maple, Peach, Honeysuckle, and White Lightning

The food was really tasty too. My husband got Shrimp and grits, I ordered the flounder,grit cakes, and collard greens. Yum!
Our bartender Kim was great! If you get a chance check out A Low Country Backyard Restaurant. Sit at the bar for faster service and a great seat to enjoy live music.

Move Well & Feel Well: Fitness  & Spa Amenities 
I was really impressed with the variety of offerings at Westin. They have an online exercise library, perfect for a quick in room workout. 

They also have a small fitness center, enough for a full body workout and some cardio.

A mapped outdoor trail

If you forgot you fitness gear, or opted out to make room for other items Westin and New Balance can help you out. For $5 you can borrow a top, shorts, sports bra, socks, and shoes. They were out of shirts in my size, so they let me try the gear for free. 

We got off site again and got in my first kayak trip, on our second attempt. On our first attempt it was super windy, I have never kayaked, our tour guide recommended we come back the next day and hope for better weather. The next day was windier than the last. But, we had a larger group and there were only 2 of us that were inexperienced, so he said we could give it a try, if the water were to rough we'd stay in the calm parts. 

I'm in love with kayaking! It was on of the most beautiful and peaceful outdoor experiences I have ever had. Steering was a challenge and I would really like to learn to be more efficient with my stroke. It was so much fun and a outdoor recreation is great way to sneak in a workout. We took the 2 hour Guided Kayak Tour with Outside Hilton Head. Our tour guide was fun and knowledgeable, he did a great job keeping us safe, informed and entertained.

Our last day at the resort we treated ourselves to hot stone massage treatments at the spa. This was my 1st time with a hot stone massage. The treatment included placing and massaging hot stones over the body to relax the muscles followed by light traditional massage. It was very relaxing, but I prefer a deeper style of massage.

Our stay met all our needs:
- relaxing
- beach venue
- memorable
- variety of fitness options
- great food and drink

Have you stayed at the Westin Hilton Head? What should we checkout the next time we are in Hilton Head?

Healthy and Happy Travels,


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Best Moments From August

I know I have been a bit off the grid during by the month of August. Life has been been really exciting this past month. Here is a look at the highlights.

4 Year Anniversary Trip to Hilton Head

We celebrated our 4 year wedding  anniversary on the 13th. This year we changed it up and took a trip out to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was our first time to Hilton Head and we loved it.

The hubs started the weekend with a beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers.

Then we made our way to the Westin Resort & Spa.

We sampled each of the restaurants and I tried out all the fitness amenities. I tried their NewBalance gear lending program, fitness center, walking trail, and spa. 

Full review on the blog Thursday.

Lecturer for APPH 1050

I can add Lecturer to my list of skills. I taught my 1st class as an instructor for APPH 1050 at Georgia Tech. I was up all night reviewing and editing slides. I was so anxious in the hours leading up to my 1st class. But, once I was in front of all 150 students, I found my groove. I felt so comfortable. I know the content, the challenging part will be finding creative ways to present the information to the students. Challenge accepted!

A first year said I made the class really comfortable and thanked me. Day made! Looking forward to this new journey. Being a fitness geek has its perks! 

Move It Monday Ambassador 

I became part of the Move it Monday family. Move it Monday is an international movement to encourage our communities to move more, beginning on Mondays. Excited to be part of this motivational group of fitness geeks.

What were your highlights for the month of August?

Looking forward to a great September. Football season is here and classes are in full swing. Ready for Fall!

Health and Happiness,