Runner’s Monologue

I could hear her behind me.Image

The sound of thumping mixed in with heavy breaths, repeated.

Her footfalls were drawing closer, and with every stride they became a loud . The resounding pressure of her racing towards me felt like an imprisonment that flooded me with the desire to move my legs faster, subtlety (of course). After all, if she was going to pass me, I was going to make her work for it.

Evidently, she didn’t have to work that hard because she passed me with grace and ease. As I watched her blonde mass of hair move to and fro, I began walking to humbly accept my own defeat, domination, and the reminder I was weakened by my laxness with workouts.

It has been awhile since I went running outside. The “dreadmill” (aka treadmill) became my only alternative for not wanting to suffocate on deep breaths of chilly autumn air. Additionally, high-intensity-intervals at home became my closest ally for days when I didn’t want to make the uphill walk to the gym.

Some days I ask myself what happened, where I lost my power and my drive. If I managed to lose nearly twenty pounds, why was I putting a halt to my hard work so suddenly?

When I was left behind in the blonImagede ponytail’s fading shadow, I felt that power and that drive rise up in me again. A little voice I hadn’t heard in a long time told me “You can do this. Change is uncomfortable, but you’re so close – don’t give up on yourself.”

I’m not ready to give up. I never was and I never will be. I might have “cheat” meals, or I might make a mistake when I let my emotions make my dietary choices, but there’s always tomorrow. It’s certain I don’t want to fall into the habit of making promises for a new day, but I know it is certain that I am bound to make mistakes and not be the Tone It Up poster-girl I want to be so badly. Simply because nobody is perfect!

I’ll give it my all: train hard, eat clean, work towards getting to my redefined goal weight and seeing myself in the shape I’ve always wanted to. And as much as IImage hated being passed up by another runner that I knew ran longer and harder than I did, a small part of me thanks her for giving me the motivation I needed to get back to where I wanted to be.

My Life, As of Late

Hello Lovelies!


I’m sorry I have been a little seldom the past few weeks. A lot has been going on – from crazy new happenings at work, to getting ready to head back to school in September. It’s all exciting stuff, I promise!

I wanted to share a really cool thing my boyfriend and I did four days ago – we went on an aerial obstacle course in Northern Washington. For you fellow Washingtonians, it’s through the company Adventura, in Woodinville, WA (near the wineries/breweries). They had an amazing “2 for 1” deal this past March through LivingSocial, and I since I wanted to do something fun and exciting for my beau’s birthday, this seemed like a really fun choice.

And just to clear the air … I don’t fare well with heights, but I had a made a deal with myself that 2012 was going to be the year of big changes (e.g., going back to school, lifestyle changes, etc.), even if it meant facing my fear of heights. It should also be known that my fear of heights only becomes an issue depending on how much I feel like I’m in danger – otherwise 95% of the time I can just push my fear to the side and get on with it.


In the case of this course, I was a little nervous and had to talk myself through it. Thankfully, we had awesome instructors who helped me build trust with the security devices and gravity. After about 5 minutes of being nervous, I crossed a log obstacle and proceeded to do more, slowly building up my courage with each challenge.

And then, I came to this point …


Needless to say, my fear was gone (and I must have thought I was a ninja)!

Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not! Would I do it again? Of course!

Which means, if you feel like you can’t do something, or you’re scared – just think about how you feel afterwards. You’ll be glad you did it :)

Tone It Up “Try It Thursday”: Buti Fitness

As many of you Tone It Up ladies know, Thursday is known as “Try It Thursday” (and “Thirsty Thursday” too) – which means you try something new in your workout, e.g., a class, a new circuit, etc.!

Since I came across BUTI Fitness in my recent copy of Self Magazine I thought I’d give it a go.


That’s Bizzie Gold (above) doing her ‘thang as the founder of BUTI Fitness!

To give you an idea of what BUTI is comprised of, I snagged a quote (and the best explanation) of how the workouts are:

BUTI is a high-intensity workout that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. Classes range from 60-90 minutes and consist of deep stretching, BUTI shaking and heart-pounding cardio. BUTI dance moves are taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips (and BUTI) including Miami Booty Dance, Brazilain Baile Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal. BUTI is sure to get your energy high and your abs tight …

You’ll definitely be moving in ways you never have before, and if you’re not used to dancing (like I am) expect to feel a little awkward. I definitely closed the blinds during one of their workouts, ha!

If you’re less bashful and love to move, then expect to have a lot of fun! Which is what I was having when the initial awkwardness subsided.

The workout I did was a sample “Tone” video which is a hybrid between yoga, dance, and plyometrics (embedded below). Although I didn’t feel strained during each movement I did realize afterwards I was sweaty and out of breath! That’s a definite win in my book :)

BUTI Fitness does have online videos to stream, or if you live in Colorado, California or Hawaii they have regular classes. Their online video packages also include nutritional information as well, which is helpful if you’re looking to maximize your BUTI workouts.

If you’re looking for a harder workout, BUTI does also have a “Sculpt” version of their routines. Essentially, the “Sculpt” videos are extra workouts in addition to the”Tone” videos that are HIIT (high intensity interval training).

Here’s the aforementioned “Tone” video you should check out!

Have fun and move your BUTI!

– Emily

My Favorite YouTube Trainers for Working Out at Home

If you’re a fitness enthusiast like me, you like to try new things to keep your fitness routine different and interesting.

When I first started developing my love for exercise I was looking for free ways to workout without committing to a DVD or a gym membership. It just so happened that YouTube was one of the places I came across that offered a lot of knowledgeable trainers with full workouts to watch or replicate for free (how awesome!)

Here’s my compilation of YouTube channels/trainers I recommend you check out:

Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up!

These two gals are my absolute favorite, and they’re the trainers I chose to follow/join because I am a member of their lifestyle plan. Trust me, I have not regretted my decision to be a member of their plan once either – I’ve lost 15+ pounds with these ladies! K&K post videos every Tuesday through Livestrong Woman (see below) and the workouts are always free and challenging!

Livestrong Woman

Livestrong Woman is a combination of female trainers, nutritionists, etc. on YouTube (the Tone It Up! gals are on there too) with free workouts and advice. They post videos all the time, plus they’re fun to watch and well made.


BodyRock’s channel self-defines itself as the “Home Workout Movement,” meaning you can do all of their videos at home and still get an effective workout. Of the workouts I’ve done with their varied trainers I always found myself out of breath or sweaty ;)

Susan of Strong Like Susan

Let me just say, Susan is strong. Her workouts are beastly, especially if you’re doing her 30 Day Ab Challenge (be prepared to modify her moves a lot)! Aside from the tough workouts, she combines different moves that you don’t normally see to her workouts, which means you’re not bored.

Tara Stiles of Tara Stiles Yoga

Tara Stiles is one of the coolest yogis you’ll ever come across, I promise. She’s got a really awesome presence about her and her videos are always relaxing and fun! I enjoy doing her yoga moves when I want to mix things up a little bit, such as on an active rest day. Tara’s more refined videos are also a part of Livestrong Woman.

Snack Attack Idea

Hello all! I just wanted to share a quick tip I found useful last night.

If you find yourself about to watch a movie, you often find you really want popcorn. It’s almost like we’re programmed to watch movies/television with popcorn ;)

The only problem with popcorn, is not so much the popcorn itself, but rather the toppings. You all know what I’m referring to – the butter! The salt! It’s a nightmare for anyone who is trying to watch what they eat. Let alone if you’re a vegan!

To avoid having your popcorn as they do at the movie theaters (and to avoid this dilemma), try this instead:

– Make your popcorn (preferably air popped)
– Grab some nutritional yeast (can be purchased from a health food store, larger retailers are carrying this too depending where you go – it has a cheese-y taste to it)

– Olive oil in a spray can or a “Misto”

Gently spray olive oil on to your serving, then proceed to sprinkle nutritional yeast on. I also like adding a little bit of hot sauce – if you like spicy. If not, try adding cinnamon and stevia for a kettle corn effect.

Enjoy your popcorn guilt-free!

– Emily

From One Diabetic to Another: Making Your Eating Habits Work with Diabetes

Note: If you were recently diagnosed, this article will work a lot better for you. If you’ve been a Diabetic for a long time, you may already have a method that works for you – great! Or, if you’re looking for a little change in your old routine, consider taking food ideas from here a la carte style.

Do bear in mind that even if you have been a Diabetic for a long time (such as myself; have been a Type 1 for over twenty years now) you can still make little changes. I fell victim to trying to eat as “normal” as possible and indulge in the same foods my non-Diabetic boyfriend/friends would eat, only to suffer from relentless high glucose readings from processed foods and an overall crummy feeling.

Also, I am in no way a doctor or certified to discuss this as a health professional. I am talking about what has worked for me as a Type 1 Diabetic for over twenty years. Please take this as friendly advice and not medical advice. Thank you.

I have definitely made some big and little changes, and trust me, they did not happen overnight. It’s taken me about half a year to fully incorporate my new eating habits, and it is still an on-going process as I try new things or continue to find what works well for me.
To give you a better understanding of how I eat, let me summarize it in a few words:

I eat lean meats, plenty of greens, and clean foods (not processed). Hence the term “lean, clean, and green.” I also no longer eat cheese (yes, I willingly cut cheese out from my diet) or drink milk, but I do still have yogurt (non-fat Greek yogurt to be precise). I eat minimal carbs, and watch my sodium and sugar intake as well. (And before you say anything, this is not an abridged version of that Atkins diet; it’s a lifestyle of whole foods.)

Just to clear up some bewilderment, I know as a Diabetic cheese is a “free-food,” meaning you can snack on it and not have to worry about it really affecting your blood sugars. And I ate cheese quite often; in fact I grew up around cheese – my dad used to bring me little snack plates of apples and cheese, or we’d get fancy wedges (such as bleu or brie) to snack on. I definitely grew up in a cheese-loving household, which made the habit of wanting to eat cheese difficult to shake off.

Why did I cut out cheese if it’s a “free-food?” I stopped eating cheese due to the bloat and the caloric intake. Not eating cheese was more of a weight-loss move than a move related to being a Diabetic.

If you can’t give up cheese, that’s fine! If you want to try giving it up, slowly wean yourself away from it and get used to eating things that you would normally eat with cheese, without. Cheeses that help with the weaning process should be low-calorie cheeses such as Feta (buy reduced fat version, feta can be saturated fat heavy).

Other than that, I don’t eat cheese and I don’t have the desire to either (to my boyfriend’s disbelief [he’s a cheese lover])!

I also watch my sugar intake (obviously)! What do I mean by that? I mean, next time you go shopping and inspect those nutrition fact labels, check out to see how many grams of sugar are in one serving of what you’re about to purchase. If it reads more than 10g, dump it. Some people recommend a little more (like 15g). I prefer to keep it to a nice even number such as 10 so I can remember it easily when shopping.

If you’re also struggling with weight-loss, reducing your sugar intake helps with the process of losing weight because when you consume sugar it adds additional calories to your diet. Therefore, reducing sugar = reducing caloric intake.

Before you start throwing away everything that has a trace of sugar in it, keep in mind that natural sources of sugar are ok! Take fruit for example, it’s nutritious and is nature’s version of sugar, not the type you find in fizzy soft-drinks or processed foods.

I also eat minimal carbohydrates from sources such as breads and pastas because I have discovered that they do not cooperate well with my glucose readings. Pasta is a definite culprit of having spiked my glucose readings for hours upon hours. So, instead of dealing with the carb-crashing and the insane glucose levels, I just subtracted pasta from my eating habits.

If you like pasta and it does not have an adverse effect on your blood sugars after eating, then definitely consider a high-fiber pasta or brown rice pasta (which is gluten-free, tastes lighter and doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down, a.k.a., carb crashing).

Why high-fiber? Having sources of high-fiber is GREAT for Diabetics, because it helps control glucose levels by slowing down sugar absorption. Think of it this way: fiber-dense foods take longer to digest, which means instead of spiking your glucose levels it will gradually increase them.

Can I get fiber from other foods too? In addition to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans are fiber-dense! Load up on ‘em!

If you’re thinking of removing pasta and bread from your eating habits, or even cutting back, consider supplementing a vegetable version of well-loved carb-laden dishes. For example, cauliflower mash is a great supplement to mashed potatoes and spaghetti squash is an awesome substitute to regular spaghetti.

Just to give you an idea of some things I eat for meals, here’s a little breakdown. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter @emilygetsfit because I post photos of meals per day there too.

Breakfast can be one of the following:
– Non-fat Greek yogurt with fruit of my choice (I usually do 1 cup or ½ cup blueberries)

– “Barbara’s Puffins” cereal (they have a decent amount of fiber and are not too sugary) with 1 cup almond milk (you don’t feel bloated, plus 1 cup is only 6 carbs depending on which “flavor” you choose – I like vanilla)

– 3 egg white scramble loaded with veggies

Lunch ideas:
– Low-carb whole wheat tortilla wrap (I get “La Tortilla Factory” brand, only 6 net carbs for a whole wrap) with lean meat and veggies

– Salad with some form of protein and balsamic dressing
– Whole wheat sandwich (choose mustard not mayo; if you can get bread bands such as Ezekiel or Dave’s Killer Bread, those are best because they’re fiber-dense!)

Dinner ideas:
– Quinoa (similar to couscous in texture, is protein dense)

– Homemade turkey burgers (buy ground turkey, prep burgers, and then grill!)
– Chicken with salad/some salad with protein on the side
– Shrimp with quinoa
– Etc.!

Snack attack ideas:
– Hummus with baby carrots
– 5 strawberries are only about 4/5 carbs!
ThinkThin bars are non-dairy, non-gluten “snack” bars, they have very little carbohydrates in them and taste yummy
Kashi bars are great too, especially if your glucose runs low frequently

– “Free” veggies such as cucumber slices, etc.

I really hope this gives everyone a better idea of what to eat or how to eat! I find this works best for me, so feel free to pick and pull whatever you think will work for you. Good luck to my fellow Diabetics and lots of love <3

– Emily

5 Day Slim Down: Day 5, the Last Day!

Yesterday was my last day on the 5 day slim down, wow does it go by fast! It’s also a lot less regimented than the 7 day slim down. In all honesty though, I cannot decide which version I like more! Thank goodness for us Tone It Up gals being able to mix and match the various slim down recipes, right? ;)

Before I go into the details of yesterday let me just say a few things … First and foremost, I dropped 3 pounds! Woohoo for shedding stubborn weight!

I also officially began my journey into Nursing/Nutrition when I registered for my first class at the University of Washington yesterday! It’s going to be a long journey, but well worth it. Go Huskies!

I also skipped my workout(s) yesterday because my boyfriend and I were running around non-stop yesterday. We accomplished so much (more details below), and I was absolutely drained. We’ll just call yesterday an active rest day.

Alright, into the nitty gritty:

I woke up and sadly had no time for my bombshell spell or a Beach Babe edition meal, so I had 1 piece of whole wheat bread with almond butter and 1/2 a banana.

My “tankini” was Guava Goddess Kombucha. I absolutely love it! This is my new favorite flavor hands down.

Afterwards my boyfriend and I grabbed a bite to eat before we began our errands, we went to one of my favorite little cafes in the Tacoma area called Espresso Yourself

I ordered their “Garden Turkey Sandwich” (on whole wheat) which has roasted turkey, pesto mayo, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, tomato, lettuce, sprouts and havarti cheese. I always ask for no cheese and Dijon mustard instead of mayo. I also got a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette. So good, and so filling!

Afterwards my boyfriend and I went to our local World Market, it’s a little like Pier One and a little like TJ Maxx because they carry food products from all over the world.

We purchased an awesome hanging basket to keep all of my fruit organized instead of overflowing the counter in our kitchen, some new gorgeous coasters, and an amazing elaborate coat hanger for when guests visit.

I’m loving everything, but the fruit basket has made our kitchen space so much less cluttered!

Afterwards we headed over the mall where my boyfriend made a pit-stop at Jamba Juice (no thanks, too much sugar for this Diabetic) and then patiently waited for me while I purchased some new shorts and a top from American Eagle Outfitters.

The purple shorts are a size 6! I thought they were a size 8 until I checked the label. Surprise to me ;) Also the new top is a medium, usually I have to purchase a large to fit around my chest/back, but this fit very comfortably in both areas.

We finally made our way towards home, I ate my post-lunch snack of an apple as we stopped off at Home Depot to purchase some new potted plants. We got a lot of great stuff, but the coolest plant we purchased was lavender! How lovely!

And finally once we got home, I purged my closet of old clothing and filled an entire “trash” bag with donate-able clothing. It felt so good to get rid of old items that didn’t fit due to weight loss, or were too old.

It was an absolutely busy day! Other meals I had were:

Grapes and carob chips due to low blood sugar

Kale salad with nutritional yeast, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon and red wine vinegar, a homemade turkey burger with mustard and strawberries.

And I also moved my Omnipod to my arm again … Was  a little concerned about highs, went to bed high due to possibly not bolusing enough. Then woke up around 4am high, and dosed a correction. We’ll see how the new location of the pod goes, I’m worried about the absorbancy not being good enough on my arm, but I really want to give my midsection a break. Especially since the last pod I just took off left a little scabby red pump after removal (what’s that all about?)

I hope everyone is having a great Tone It Up Tuesday!

– Emily

5 Day Slim Down: Day 4, a Rather Disorganized Day

Let’s just start this post off by saying I barely ate what is on the actual 5 day slim down plan today. Thankfully, it doesn’t mean I ate food that is processed/”bad” for you, I just didn’t follow the plan directly. Don’t worry! I definitely made sure to eat lean, clean, and green.

So, you’re probably wondering what happened today?

I slept through my alarm and missed my booty call workout. I also missed having time to make a 5 day slim down approved breakfast … Instead I had 3/4 a cup of peanut butter and chocolate cereal and 1 cup vanilla flavored almond milk.


I did get to squeeze in my “tankini” while at church, which was the remaining 1/2 of my Hibiscus Kombucha.

Around the time for my “one-piece” my blood sugar was low, so I had some orange juice and a granola bar.

After church was over, I ran out for a quick bite with my boyfriend, his brother, and their grandmother at a little diner not too far from the church called Pine Cone Cafe … I don’t even know where to begin with this place, but let’s just say it was not my choice to eat there.


I tried to make my lunch as lean, clean, and green as possible (which is really hard to do when the food you’re receiving was frozen prior to them cooking it). I also had an apple in my purse, which I ate after lunch since I was still hungry.

My boyfriend and I then ran some errands, and stopped at one of my favorite natural foods markets called Marlene’s Market to purchase some Mama Chia drinks and Kombucha. Let’s not even discuss how I spent $33 dollars on those beverages! (Addicted much?)

ImageCurrently it’s fairly late in the evening, but when I got home I helped myself to a banana with some carob chips due to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia is always a good excuse to eat carob chips) and began cleaning my apartment for at least an hour and a half. My boyfriend and I got a lot done together, and it served as a mini-warmup to our post-cleaning run.

We ran for approximately 20/30 minutes at a strong pace, and then I did Karena’s Summer Arms and various ab moves afterwards. This was the first time I ran with my Omnipod attached to me, and I’m pleased to say it went really well! Once I got over the sensation of the pod moving and the adhesive pulling at my skin with the motion (trust me, it sounds worse than it is) I was able to go at my usual pace and even sprint!

Overall, I’m feeling pretty darn good today. Even though I was pretty off track with the slim down I still stuck to the lean, clean and green rule :)

In other news, I woke up feeling super light today. When I weighed myself out of curiosity the scale read “136”


That’s 6 pounds away from my goal, holy smokes!


Heck, I was feeling so good this morning I wore a pair of jeans that barely used to fit and a top that I could barely squeeze into when I initially bought it.


(Sorry for the flash, ack!)

What was also interesting was since I didn’t take my multivitamin this morning, I noticed I was feeling so lethargic. Once I took it I had enough energy to clean non-stop, then go workout! It’s amazing what nutrients can do for our bodies.

I hope that you ladies have an amazing start to your week tomorrow, and that your days are not as disorganized as mine!

– Emily <3

5 Day Slim Down: Day 3 Quick Recap

Hello again! AsImage promised, I’m reporting day 3 of my 5 Day Slim Down experience. It’s been very difficult to do the slim down fully due to my hectic work schedule, but it will be nice to have tomorrow and Monday to myself (woohoo for days off!)

I’m going to go straight into the break down of today and keep it short and sweet ;)

– Woke up, had my bombshell spell (of course)

– Did HIIT the Beach with Karena and Katrina ;)

– Meal 1 was “Sweet and Cool” from the Bikini Edition of the TIU plan – I thought that the combination of Greek yogurt, pineapple and mint was weird, but then I tried it and was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and clean it tasted! I also added ground flaxseed into the mix too.

– One-piece was 1 cup grapes

– Tankini was Hibiscus Kombucha (only 1/2 bottle)

– Dinner was the “Spicy Mustard Wrap” with Gardein’s Crispy Tenders, plus 1 cup cherries and some more Kombucha (I ate a lot more due to low glucose)

– After work, my blood sugar was low (again!) so I had to be resourceful and eat my Lemon Zest Lunabar and some cantaloupe I packed. As if you haven’t noticed, sometimes my glucose levels complicate meals, but I try to keep it as clean as possible, even if I have to eat a little more than I’d like to ;)

I’m about to have a small bite to eat with my boyfriend and watch a movie, so I will see you all tomorrow! In the meanwhile, I am drafting a post for my fellow TIU sisters regarding the eating habit changes I have made since I joined the community, but also the changes my boyfriend has made to support me. I hope that by mentioning the changes my boyfriend has been willing to make, that it’ll make it easier for other couples to transition to healthier eating!

– Emily

5 Day Slim Down: Day 2 and the Bottle of Kombucha Incident

Image Happy Saturday ladies!

I was extremely busy yesterday evening, so I decided to recap my day 2 of the 5DSD today (which is day 3).

I also wanted to express how amazed I am at the 5DSD – I’ve already dropped at least 2 pounds. Call me crazy, but I seriously already lost that much :O

What’s even more awesome about it is that these are my “plateau pounds,” which means they’ve been really tough to lose through regular maintenance on the Tone It Up plan.

Here is yesterday’s breakdown with detail:

– Woke up and had the bombshell spell (best part of the morning)

– Tried a Crossfit WOD (workout of the day; see image below) via The Blonde Ponytail for my booty call work out (thank you Laura Sacco for posting this on Twitter! <3)

– Had my meal 1 of the “Banana Split” only this time I did 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon carob chips – I wanted a little more food/energy post-workout because I was wiped!

Image– I was supposed to have my “tankini” after breakfast of Kombucha, but instead I swapped it out for a “one piece” of 1 cup green grapes due to low blood sugar

– Around 2:40pm I was prepping to have the remainder of my Trilogy Kombucha for my “tankini.” As I was walking into work my lunch bag fell out of my hands, causing my Kombucha bottle to break ;( I was definitely looking forward to my Kombucha, and I specifically planned to have some before work so my stomach would be nice and full. Good thing I had a Kashi granola bar on hand :)

– My “bikini wrap” was a hodge-podge kale salad I threw together of onion, tomato, 1/2 avocado, red wine vinegar, chives, chicken, and peppers. I also had green tea with strawberries with the “bikini wrap” meal.

– Once work ended I finished the day off with an apple for my evening “one piece”

See you gals later tonight with a recap of today (day 3)!

– Emily