Category Archives: Diet and Nutrition

A Call To Action

Today is a F-U-N day… first of all it is National Running Day* and secondly I have some exciting news! One of my close friends has recently become a Team Beachbody Coach. I have signed up with her to start my 2014 transformation. It is really only six months behind schedule.   I regret not starting in January.  Even a little progress is better than no progress, but I have been busy.

With This

connor luv

And This


Baby takes up every minute of my free time and I am okay with that most of the time.  I would be lying if I said little ones are EASY!  🙂  He is not an excuse but rather an explanation of what I have been doing all year.

But, back to my friend.  She is truly an inspiration and she definitely knows how hard it is to lose weight and stay fit. Let me intro her now:

Meet Sabrina!

picture sabrina
Now Meet Sabrina’s Guns. (These are serious people. )

sabrina guns

 Sabrinas Transformation

100% Hard Work

There is no Photoshop here just plain old commitment, dedication, sweat and more sweat. (Probably even more sweat then we care to realize.)
She has shown me that it can be done and that it takes time and motivation and accountability! If you are interested in learning more about her services and offerings check out her page here.

Let’s be realistic when I say my transformation goal “after photo” is her “before photo” but I don’t want to be negative today.

Ha!  Also note, I was not compensated by Sabrina or Beachbody and I did not get anything for free.  I bought of my own free will.  I thought I would share her story and page as a CALL TO ACTION for those of you who need a push.


She sells everything Beachbody offers from all their fitness programs such as P90X, Insanity, T25, Turbofire, Slim-in-Six etc. to all the extras like gear, supplements and nutritional drinks like Shakeology. If you are interested in any Beachbody products it is WAY better to purchase through a coach. You almost certainly get a discount and sometimes you get extras like additional DVDs or equipment like resistance bands. Which I did get when I bought this:


Obviously, I am not expecting to look like Autumn Calabrese after 21 days but it is definitely a start.  Beachbody stuff can get pricey so I had to ask the hubs before I pulled the trigger but he is so supportive he said DO IT!

Sabrina is starting a challenge group June 7th. Check out her Facebook page here for more details! I will be doing the 21 Day Fix, starting Sunday (DVDs are in the mail) which I am considering as a great opportunity to jumpstart my goals. I bought a sample pack of the Shakeology since it definitely on the pricey side and I DON’T  love shakes/smoothies. I will post reviews on all of them when I try them.

This is the 21 Day Fix in a nutshell –> eat better food, eat smaller portions and workout for 30 minutes. Um, I think I know this routine.


What’s different then you ask? Sabrina! She and the challenge group will be there with me and offer that personal extra push I NEED. I am still going to use MyFitnessPal to track my weight, measurements and workout progress but mostly because I already have it set up. Find me and add me if you want my id is FITKIST!

I encourage you to like her Facebook page even if you don’t want to buy anything, she is highly motivational and just a really fun girl!!
Join us on our journey to awesome! I am sure it will suck to miss out on food, drinks, fun but it will be worth it.


sabrina sign

You don’t have to buy anything but it’s a great, NEW group that will probably help you stay motivated and accountable. Which we need if we are not naturally good at eating right and working out (read Melissa).

What motivates you to get going to the gym or complete a workout every day?

*PS. I wogged a 10K last weekend – I will post about my adventure on Friday.  But, I had to note that today is NATIONAL RUNNING DAY!!  Thanks to Corey for reminding me!  You can make your own badge here!

Running Day Badge



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Meatless Monday Recipe

So, I have not written in a while – been super busy with baby, husband, and life – all the things everyone has. I am sure you have your own super busy list. One of my goals for 2014 is to get my blog back in action and so it can be something I can share and be proud of!  I am currently working with a consulting firm to get the look and feel I want and I hope to unveil something beautifully fun very soon!

Lightning Date Night

Lightning Date Night


Baby Connor

I recently started meal planning and it is really helping us to stay on track, spend less, try new recipes and definitely eat better. Plus, it helps us avoid the “What’s for dinner tonight?” debate.   I have only been doing it for one week and it’s been good so far. It takes some time to plan each recipe and time to make sure you have (or buy) the needed ingredients, but I think it’s worth it.

Meal Planning

This week’s menu:

Monday – (Meatless) Skinny Cheese and Veggie Baked Penne with salad

Tuesday – Chicken with Red Wine Sauce and Baked Sweet Potato

Wednesday – Salmon for Rob and Veggie Sushi for Me

Thursday – Orange Roasted Chicken, Broccoli with salad

Friday – Saturday – Sunday – unplanned since we are not sure about weekend plans just yet!

Sorry about the poor picture quality this go around. I was too lazy to dig out the Nikon. LOL!

Skinny Cheese and Veggie Baked Penne



  • ½ box of Ronzoni 150 Calories Penne (Tastes the same! Yes, I will take 25% fewer calories please.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small bell pepper (any color), chopped (1/2 cup) (I use frozen when I am in a hurry!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or Tastefully Simple Garlic, Garlic
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • ½ can whole black olives, drained
  • 1 jar (14 to 15 oz) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup Reduced or Fat Free Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded Reduced Fat Italian cheese blend or mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta.
  2. Heat large skillet with cooking spray and cook onion, bell pepper and garlic 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the zucchini quarters; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in olives and the pasta sauce. Heat until bubbly.
  4. In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese (optional) and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.
  5. Place penne in baking dish. Pour half of sauce mixture over and then dollop ricotta mixture around the dish. Layer again with penne, sauce, cheese – reserving about a cup of sauce mixture to spread over the top. Sprinkle remainder of cheese on top. This is skinny so it won’t be drenched in cheese like Nona’s lasagna. J
  6. Cover well with foil and bake 30 – 35 minutes. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. I also broil on high for 5 minutes to crisp it up but that is up to you.
  7. Enjoy!


    What is your favorite meatless dish??


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Feel Good Friday

Hello Team!

Not much to report on my end of the fitness world.  I am very busy preparing for baby’s arrival.  Which includes Rob going through a MEGA nesting phase.  We are upgrading, painting, cleaning and out doing ourselves.  But, he loves his projects so I will let him do it even if it kills me.  Tomorrow is the first of my baby showers (I am a lucky girl)  and I will be attempting to make candy moustaches tonight.  Similar to these:

Baby Shower CandyI just hope they turn out better than the Great Fourth-of-July Donut Cake Pop Disaster of 2013.  I will never attempt those bastards again.  Ever.  Pinterest can either make you look like a kitchen rock star or a mud pie baker.  I will post the candy results next week.  There are not many how-to candy tips on the Internet.  Trust me I Googled.  A lot.

Also, last week Rob found this adorable outfit for Baby C.  That’s his name until we can think of something more appropriate for a job application.



Anyway, one of the things that makes pregnancy different then “normal” life is the fact that you are limited on your beverage selections.  You can’t have alcohol, caffeine, artificial flavors or sugars and you should limit your juice and soda intakes as well.  So, that leaves you with good ole’ H2O.  My cheaply edited infographic explains some of the benefits of water to your body.  (Please Pin It)

Water Super Hero

1.  Obviously, it hydrates your body efficiently and without the use of chemicals or calories.  It improves skin tone, organ function, eye lubrication and on and on.  Basically, it balances your body fluids and keeps your system flowing.

2. It can energize you quickly and provide a mini boost any time of day.  It minimizes muscle fatigue because hydrated muscles work better.

3. It improves and aids in digestion and can help keep you regular.

4. It can be a calorie controller when you are trying to maintain or lose weight because it is calorie free, it can replace high calorie beverages and can fill you up leaving less room for food.

5. It can really help keep your skin moisturized and fresh.  It won’t reduce wrinkles but it will help you look refreshed.  It is the natural BB Cream.

6.  It can boost your immune system by keeping all your organs in peak condition and functioning properly.

But, given all its benefits water can get boring.  I have been adding real juice (about half and half) to it over ice and that helps.  I also love sparkling water – to me it’s like Sprite without the sugar.  I add a lime or lemon wedge and this really brightens the drink.  When we are out I have been known to drink a Shirley Temple but only one because they are SUPER sweet.  I have taken on my role as a water drinker rather well but I am looking forward to coffee and champagne when it becomes appropriate next year.

Given that you are supposed to drink 64oz plus a day, how far away from your water goals are you?  Any tips to help others get enough in?

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Coconut Water Review


After a few month hiatus perhaps you are wondering what I have been up to.   The last race I participated in was Iron Girl – Clearwater back it April.  It was a tough one but I am so glad I did it.  I suffered a little dehydration after but more than anything I LOVED the pancake bar!  I am mini-germ freak so the self yourself sloppy bananas and strawberry toppings was a little freaky but still really tasty!

Also, a few months after the engagement we found out we had a little surprise bundle on the way!  It’s A BOY and we have no idea what to name him, so I welcome your suggestions!   And, we had a mini marriage ceremony in Charleston (just the three of us) in June.   Just a little preview picture.  Since our ceremony was so short we don’t have that many.  😦  We are planning a church wedding in 2014 since we did not get to celebrate with anyone – not even our parents.  Sorry!

 Melissa_and_Rob (63)

 5 Months Pregnant Tummy


Many people have encouraged me to start blogging again even though my fitness goals have been put on hold.  So, I am back! 

For now, I will blog about healthy choices and mini fitness accomplishments I can make while still pregnant.  It won’t be hardcore but I hope to make it interesting.  I am not going to guarantee a pregnancy free post every time but don’t expect a full blown baby takeover either!

Back to the review, my family comes from a country with a tropical locale and as such I recently heard a story about when my parents were dating, after they had a fun night of partying they would buy coconut water right off the street and drink it to replenish and refresh.  Allegedly, it was amazing!  In response, I decided to research and taste this new hyper-trendy beverage.

Benefits have been reported to include:

Benefits of Coconut Water

I have read some articles where professional athletes swear by it, often replacing their engineered sports drinks with it.  I have even heard it helps with a hangover.  But, nothing is really 100% guaranteed.

Either way I had to give it a try.  I tried Vita Coco pure coconut water, you get around 11 ounces for $2.  I was excited to try to adopt a new post-race beverage.  One that was all natural and like a superhero for my liver! They do an excellent job marketing it and I love that it does not come from a coconut concentrate.  There are three ingredients, the first of which is you guessed it:  Coconut Water!  Ultra Natural!  (I bought the bottle myself, they did not sponsor this post in anyway.  This is just my opinion.)


(Insert sadface) I did not love it.  I didn’t like the smell and although the taste was not bad by any means it was not something I would want to chug after a long workout either.  It didn’t have the suntan lotion coconut flavor I was hoping for.  I had a taste test around the office and the reviews were certainly mixed.  Some people did not mind and some just down right hated it.  But, for me I think the taste was just so-so.  I don’t think I would buy it again.  I think if you are a recreational athlete then just plain ol’ H2O should work for you.  I do suggest if you are curious to buy yourself a single bottle and do a little taste testing of your own.  The most you’ll lose is $2 or so and maybe you will love it and have a new sports drink replacement.  The fact that its natural should spur you to at least try it.  I wish I could have loved it more.

I am glad to be back and would love to hear from you!

Have you ever tried coconut water? 

Did you like it and how often do you drink it?

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Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Wedding

Things I Have Learned This Week

It has been a hectic week to be certain.  I did not get to make a wonderfully thought out, intuitive and informative post as usual.  Ridiculous I know.  But, I have had so much to do, plan and think about my mind is fried.

When I look down at my list of “to-dos” that I make every Monday morning without fail, I see that I am still way behind.  I think that I have made a little progress nonetheless.  Here goes:

Living Without Artificial Sugar Sucks

Paula over at Eat: Watch: Run is on a kick where she is not consuming it for one month.  She should definitely get a crown or something equally awesome because I tried it this week and I only made it to Friday.  It’s the coffee man.  I need it!!! So, I tried something new today.  I tried Nectresse today and it was pretty good!  More granular than Splenda and it claims to be 100% natural.

But, this definitely does not keep in line with Paula’s idea of getting away from the artificial stuff.  Her reasons include: “artificial sweetener leaches calcium from your bones and depletes minerals in your body, it makes you crave more sugar, it makes your glycemic index go way up.”  Obviously, clean eating is the best option but guess I can’t do it.  Truth be told – being on a low carb diet requires me to get a little sweetness from the artificial beasts.


Made from: Erythritol, Sugar, Monk Fruit, Molasses and its calorie free.

Men Definitely Workout Differently Than Women

Rob and I went to workout together with a trainer this week.  We are trying to get in some good shape for the big engagement party.  I was excited and nervous.   Excited because I love having a trainer, they are motivating, smart and very encouraging.  Also, they make it impossible for you to deny how fat and out of shape you are.

I was nervous because the trainer was a guy (my first ever) and he is my cousin’s boyfriend.  I can guarantee everyone in my family knows how chubby I am now.  Not, that I care – they obviously can see me.  🙂  But, what I learned is that men look at training differently because they focus on bulking up and gaining major muscle mass through heavy lifting.  The only bulking up I want to do is in my wallet and the heavy lifting is for shopping bags only.    Yes, these are counter-productive goals but that is my life in a nutshell.

Oh yeah boys smell gross when working out.  Yuck.

Men Women

Why yes, Rob and I look just like this when working out. Thank you for asking.

Losing Weight Is Hard

Drumroll –  I lost 1.2 pounds in January.  Boo!! I am about 8.8 short of my goals. I want to lose between 12-10 lbs per month.  I am back on track this month.  I promise to report back March 1!


Senioritis Is Real

I am counting down the days until school is complete.  I am not sure why the program requires the most labor intensive classes at the end.  But, at this point who cares.   Three good months and I will on my way to getting that FSU Alumni license plate cover I have dreamed about since 2000.  I have about 100+ pages to read about IT and Insurance.  Can you believe that I don’t want to do this?  I didn’t think so.


I Love Pinterest


I have a great love affair with Pinterest and I am sharing it with you now.  I made my Mom sign up too because I know she will be a great pinner.   My biggest problem with Pinterest is that I pin too many treats and don’t attempt all the dang workouts I pin.  If you want to follow me, you should probably do it,  I like my pins.  Here are my most popular pins this week:

PicMonkey Collage

Ok, truth be told the flip-flops from Express and that ring are not pins.  Both should be though, the flops are wedding white and that is my new “workout ring.”  My workout ring is what I wear when I am doing things, like working out, that might damage my actual ring.  It is similar to mine but about 3 carats bigger.  🙂

What did you learn this week?

Also, no one has claimed that Glow Run medal yet.   If you want to try a virtual 5K of your own you should do it.  I will mail it to you (US only please).   

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Filed under Diet and Nutrition, General Awesomeness, Running For My Life, Workouts

Fat Santa Syndrome

Are you ready for Christmas??  I’m not and I have not been my usual Fitkist self.  I missed Zumba, I skipped walking and I have not been running.  Needless to say the damn marbles will not budge from one jar to the other.  I don’t feel too bad since Rob is using his marble jars as paperweights.

But, since there are just about 10 days left of 2012 I am not going to beat myself up or be too disappointed.  My goal for the next ten days is to keep it together, workout as possible and eat smarter not harder.

Milk and Cookies with Note Reading

For Santa, Not Melissa

Like you, I have been bombarded with holiday invites: parties, dinners, drinks, coffees.  Everyone is bringing candy, cookies or wine to my house and leaving it there. They are trying to be nice, jerks.  Unfortunately, none of those items are on the fitkist meal plan.  But, I know that I can make it through the next couple of weeks if follow a few tips to avoid what I like to call “Fat Santa Syndrome.”  Anyone who has struggled with their weight knows what this is.  You feel fat and you think “whatever, I am already feeling/looking fat I will just eat and drink everything in sight because it won’t matter.”  OH YES IT DOES!

Gaining ten additional pounds is going to make any weight loss goal that much harder and your skinny jeans that much tighter.  Don’t do it man!

So, in an effort to avoid this I am going to be overly conscious of this syndrome.  Ideally, I would like to have a shirt made but I am too lazy and too broke now.


1.  Drink Up!  …water that is.  Water is what I want my body to be made of and FULL of.  As, a result my goal is to drink ten ounces of water before each meal.  It’s not only hydrating and filling it really helps my digestion and skin (which are added benefits).

2. Eat Special! …I am going to only eat foods that I know I will not be able to get readily in the next few months.  For example, I am not going to eat chocolate chip cookies (pictured deliciously above) – since those have a year-round availability.   But, my Mom rarely makes her delicious stuffing so I’m going for that instead.  I also plan to be aware of the portions and my fullness levels.   Two things that I think really affect overeating.

3. Work It Out!  I know that I won’t be able to workout every day but I can certainly do it every other day.  As a result, I am ONLY allowing 24 free hours workout free.  After that a mandatory sweat session is in order.  20 minutes is better than NO minutes! If I can do it you can do it.


What do you think about these tips?  What is your plan to avoid weight gain over the holidays?

I am running my first virtual race tomorrow so wish me luck.  It is the Hooters 5K Kiss Mayan Ass!  Hopefully, the world will be here tomorrow so I can do it.

Have you ever run one of these?  I will post a race recap soon and let you know how it goes.

Mayan Sweatshirt

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Hurricane Season Closing So Let’s Have A Closeout!

So today is the last day of November and a very special day because it the last day of Hurricane Season.  What does that mean to any one who does not live on the east coast?  Not much…

But, I’d like to spend the next 31 days working to end the year in the right way! This means enjoying the end of the year with friends and family.  This includes parties, eating, drinking and having a blast! But, within reason.  So, tons of activities, consuming with moderation, making healthy swaps and doing my best to get fitter each week.  I got a little encouragement from Courtney, from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life.  She is having a 2012 Closeout Workout Challenge !  I am encouraging you to join!  It is a great way to 2,012 reps in before 2013!  Stop by the website and get the rules if you are interested!



  • How will you spend the last month of your 2012?

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