Sweat It Out With a Protein-Packed Snack Attack

There’s a 50/50 chance I might’ve *casually* mentioned once—maaaaybe twice—that I’m getting married in the near future. 160 days if you wanna get technical, but who’s counting?

Although I don’t buy into that stereotypical “wedding workout” mentality (fitness is a lifestyle, not some Must. Drop. Two. Dress. Sizes. For. The. Big. Day. thing), exercise does have a prominent place in my routine. That would still be true regardless of this whole bride-to-be caveat…but extra motivation a la Alfred Angelo never hurts either!

post pure barre

That time I dragged the (almost) hubs to Pure Barre…Couples who sweat together stay together, dontcha know!

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not just about turning heads on your walk down the aisle or rocking that honeymoon bikini you’ve ogled for months. Exercise relieves stress (pre-wedding jitters, anyone?), boosts productivity (those guest lists aren’t gonna write themselves!), and influences even more healthy habits too.

Like eating. A.K.A. the other part of this wellness equation. In order to sustain physical activity, our bodies need fuel. Mainly protein-dense fuel which promotes muscular development, strength and endurance, so we can keep moving for longer periods of time. Fact: no snacking repertoire—for pre-workout energy or post-workout recovery—is complete without this nutritional powerhouse.

Think raw almonds, steamed edamame, roasted chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, plain Greek yogurt and nut butters, for example. Or, need some further “nom”spiration? (Just invented a new word. No biggie.) Check out my Sweat Sesh Snack Attack go-tos for your protein loading pleasure!

protein post-workout snacks

Whether you’re #SweatingForTheWedding or craving a healthier alternative to Cool Ranch Doritos, these mindful munchies just reinvented snacktime. Yup…don’t underestimate the power of protein. This bride-to-be has spoken.


*For even more ideas, recipes and tidbits to pack your diet with protein,  Nuts.com  has you covered!

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When Wellness Meets Wanderlust…

My latest hashtag obsession is #WellnessWednesday because it’s yet another excuse to bombard Instagram with Nutri Bullet concoctions, farmer’s market finds, quirky kitchen experiments, post-Pure Barre selfies, or other health and fitness snippets.

But here’s another social media trend I’ve recently discovered— #WanderlustWednesday, which fuels my desire to travel while aiming my fangirl energy at those Instafamous globetrotters. Million-dollar question, though: Do I admire their free spirits or hate their guts for jetting off to Dubai on a random workweek? #CantDecide.

Anyway (existential conumdrums aside), since it’s Wednesday, I’ve decided to combine both hashtags into one blog post. After all, with spring break and summer vacations just around the corner, “travel bug” symptoms will reach epidemic proportions. This. Is. Not. A. Drill.

Whether you’ve booked a weekend beach getaway, cross-country road trip or overseas adventure in these upcoming months, don’t let fitness and nutrition goals take a vacay too. So, before the “bon voyage,” add my Three Step Healthy Travel Checklist to your itinerary.

travel checklist

√   Make smart snacks accessible. If you’re driving, pack a cooler with no-mess options like carrots, grapes, almonds or sunflower seeds. If you’re flying, pinpoint a natural foods market near your destination and grab some guilt-free munchies for the hotel room.

√   Keep physical activity on the agenda. Instead of a sightseeing bus tour, enjoy the local landmarks on-foot or rented bikes. Visit a National Park for nature excursions like hiking, kayaking or horseback riding. Even take advantage of your hotel’s fitness amenities.

√   Plan for just-in-case medical care. Unforeseen illnesses or injuries, not only interrupt a trip, but are difficult to seek treatment for when you don’t know the area. In such emergencies, Amino’s Find a Doctorservice connects you to physicians based on your current location, insurance network and personal needs.

And for even more resources on staying healthy wherever the road takes you, check out these additional suggestions below:

Healthy Travel Tips

It’s foolproof—Wellness + Wanderlust = WINNING!


Special thanks to Amino for supplying both the Infographic and “Find a Doctor” referral information featured in this post.

Why Your Body Could Use a Healthy Protein Boost {Infographic}

If you’ve ever researched the health and fitness industry, you probably know how much conflicting data exists in that minefield of information.

On every website, self-appointed nutrition gurus peddle superfood products, fitspiration tips and wellness insight. But with all these contradictory “expert” opinions, it’s tough determining right versus wrong.

Today’s hot debate revolves around high protein diets, and whether they are beneficial or detrimental to your health.

First, it’s worth noting that this term often refers to a bodybuilder’s average protein intake, which can exceed 400 grams per day. Bodybuilding supplements help achieve this objective, but that amount is unnecessary for people working toward routine fitness goals.

Therefore, the data referenced in this infographic explores numerous health benefits from eating 1–1.5 protein grams per pound of body weight. Consuming this target amount, while maintaining a balanced and nutrient-dense diet, will help yield the results shown below.

health benefits of a high protein diet

Note: The majority of your protein should come from various whole food sources, rather than relying solely on supplements.


Special thanks to Bodybuilding Warehouse for providing the research, content and infographic for this post.

Balancing the Crucial Connection Between Fitness & Nutrition

Due to the gradual development of poor lifestyle choices, such as unhealthy diet and irregular exercise, numerous Americans have begun exhibiting risk factors for high blood glucose, metabolic syndrome, cellular oxidative stress and other conditions associated with inadequate nutrition intake and fitness levels.

While the average person knows that consistent physical exertion must be sustained by wholesome eating habits, and vise versa, this balancing act is often difficult to maintain.

In a culture that values pre-packaged convenience over freshly prepared quality, many people consume an overabundance of artificial preservatives, toxic chemicals, saturated fats and refined sugars. These heavily processed ingredients cause unwelcome weight gain and can result in various medical concerns.

In addition, many people also lack the motivation to incorporate vigorous activity into their daily routines, so when combined with nutrient deficiency, a sedentary lifestyle could trigger the premature onset of serious cardiovascular issues.

To protect your body from these health hazards, practice eating whole foods and exercising every day until doing so becomes a ritual that no longer requires conscious effort.

Healthy eating woman holding a salad and smiling - isolated over white

A well-rounded diet includes plant-based proteins (e.g. beans, lentils, raw nuts, non-dairy milk); lean meats – unless you’re a vegetarian, of course! – (e.g. chicken, turkey, fish); whole grains (e.g. oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt); low-sugar fruits (e.g. berries, avocados, papayas, oranges, melons); and leafy green vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, lettuce).

These powerhouses contain essential nutrients, naturally-occurring chemicals, antioxidants and beneficial fats, rather than those harmful ingredients found in a typical fast food meal.

The other “puzzle piece” – habitual movement – combines aerobic (e.g. running, cycling, swimming, dancing, kickboxing) and anaerobic (e.g. weight lifting, push-ups, squats, crunches, resistance yoga) training.

Together, both disciplines promote muscle tone, cardiovascular strength, skeletal resilience, flexibility, endurance and physical energy. Your body needs these wellness properties to function optimally, experience longevity, and build defenses against illness or injury.

Becoming committed to proper fitness and nutrition can mean the difference between healthy aging and chronic disease development. However, the ultimate decision is yours: would you rather feel vibrant, active and nourished at the cellular level?

Or, are you content to keep avoiding exercise, frequenting the drive-through window and, potentially, suffering from metabolic syndrome or other weight-related complications?


Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.

Why, Yes. I DO Enjoy Exercise. (And, No. I’m NOT Lying.)

{This is a rant. You have been warned.}

Is it just me, or do any other “workout junkies” out there constantly feel pressured into justifying their love for fitness?

And, while we’re on this subject, does the following soapbox speech sound vaguely familiar?

“But, forreeeeal. I like the burn. It’s calming. Invigorating. Liberating, even!”

“Please don’t judge me.”

I digress. Maybe it’s a by-product of personal insecurities, but I find myself repeating that defensive mantra…a lot.

So, here’s the sitch: I am unabashedly passionate about maintaining a strong, toned and healthy physique, which often elicits both thinly veiled skepticism and outright condemnation from those, who view exercise as a necessary evil or instrument of torture.

Whether we’re talking crunches during a Friends marathon, yoga after a taxing 9–5, or even a brisk weekend hike, the more often others catch me engaging in physical activities, the more judgment I perceive from them.

What these skeptics apparently can’t reconcile, though, is that some of us might choose sweating in our Nike’s over lounging with a remote.

Nor have they considered the outrageous possibility that we might actually want to stay routinely active.

Not as penance for sneaking Cheetos.

Not as a miserable last resort because…well, skinny jeans.

But, because we freaks of nature associate exercise with personal empowerment rather than self-inflicted punishment.

Groundbreaking, huh?

I’ll just give you a minute to recover from your mind being blown.

Excuse the sarcasm, but occasional passive aggression is soothing for the soul. Besides, this is honestly how I feel whenever someone fixes me with a suspicious sidelong glare and demands, “You’re working out AGAIN?!?!” Voice dripping with accusatory condescension.

YES. Yes, I am. How astute of you to notice, person with functioning eyeballs.

Admittedly, I’ve flirted with the impulse to overexert myself. In the past, I even experienced addictive highs from going “too hard.” Therefore, I understand better than most of my accusers how difficult striking a healthy balance can be.

But progress is a thing, people!

“That girl who cried PHAT” — she’s no longer me. Once upon a time, maybe. But not anymore. I refuse to still be defined by how she would behave. The fact remains it took hardcore effort and commitment to sculpt this vigorous, muscular body, and — sorry, not sorry — I won’t quit now.

Exercise will never not be an integral part of my daily life.

So, to my fellow fitness aficionados who’ve been disputed or scoffed at for simply doing what you love: Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate (Taylor Swift lyrics, anyone?).

Don’t stop. Don’t agonize over this lack of acceptance. Just keep fueling your passion.

No guilt. No apologies. No shame.

Just. Pure. Awesomeness.

{End rant.}