Meet One of My Closest Blog Friends: Colby Triolo

I don’t know if you’re ready for this.

I am bubbling over with excitement, because today you all get to meet one of my best blog buddies! Allow me to introduce Miss Colby Triolo!

IMG_9805

Technically, I’ve introduced her before a couple times on the blog. I met this cool chick at Blend last summer. We were cabin mates, and we were also two of maybe three people under 20 on the retreat, so we connected on that level. Confession: I stalked her Instagram beforehand and was very intimidated — so many followers, so much success, so many ab muscles— but that was all nonsense on my part, because Colby is one of the most genuine and caring souls I’ve met through the blog world (and life in general)!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I also had the privilege of meeting up with her earlier this year for lunch + carrot cake (our true love).

IMG_9803

Colby’s motto is “You Make You,” which is evident through her dynamite Instagram account, blog, Youtube channel, and personal training business. Boom boom, fire power.

Some of my favorite things about Colby:

  • She takes her work seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
  • She has a passion for healthy food and fitness, but she doesn’t let fitness take over her life (← READ THIS!)
  • Most importantly, she cares for others and works hard to make sure people know their worth and know that they are capable of not only overcoming setbacks, but also going above and beyond what they could have imagined.

Now why don’t I let Colby tell you about herself!? 🙂


What is your favorite breakfast? 

No question—scones w/ a cappuccino (all hail Lactaid).

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

What is your favorite way to move? 

Call me crazy (you’re crazy -A), but I LOVE stadium workouts. ➔ Like this one!

FullSizeRender_3

*Rocky music*

What is your favorite word (just one!)? Why did you pick that word? 

Can.”

About a year ago, when I was going through my chronic pain issues, I decided to take the word “cannot” out of my vocabulary. I was constantly being told that I can’t run, I can’t sit without my back perfectly straight, I can’t go away to college, I can’t live ‘normally’, I can’t

And for over two years I believed these things. However, the day that I removed “cannot” from my mind and replaced it with “can”, I stopped giving pain power, I gained my life back, and I proved that if you want something bad enough—you can achieve it by setting your mind to it.  Anything and everything is yours to take.

 

A photo posted by Colby Triolo • YouMakeYou® (@colbytriolo_youmakeyou) on May 4, 2016 at 2:28pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Tell us about why you started your blog/Instagram account.

On a sad note, I started them in high school when I got a really bad concussion. After my concussion healed, post concussion syndrome set in and all I could do was work out and cook (and clean, yay). That was all my body could handle.  So I decided to put it to good use and start a blog!

FullSizeRender

her pancake towers more appealing than the NYC skyline, honestly

What does your blog mean to you? What can we find on your blog? Has your blog evolved at all?  

I have had many ups and downs with blogging/social media.  There was a point where it was just a place for my mind to go, and then it took over my life, so I removed myself over the past year and now I can say I am back at a nice place of balance.

FullSizeRender_1

are you drooling like I am right now???

My blog is a place for me to go to share my knowledge and interact with you lovely people.  It is also the reason I know this beautiful soul of a person, Alison! (Awww. I can say the same about you! ♥︎ -A)  On my blog, you can find healthy recipes, workouts, and general empowering articles.  I like to think of it as an online community for empowering others to empower themselves!  There is a also a motivational wall where readers can anonymously post their goals/dreams to work towards!

What is one major lesson you’ve learned through blogging/your presence on social media?  

As awesome as social media is and how amazing the relationships you can form are—social media is ~not~ real life.  There is a distinct difference between being behind a computer screen and out enjoying the real world.  In the same sense, it is essential to ~not~ compare yourself to what you see on social media because you are seeing such a small fraction of the real story.

FullSizeRender_4

What is one goal, and how do you plan to achieve it? 

I have this dream of making the words “YouMakeYou”  have an influence on millions of peoples lives.  It saved my life, and it is so simple to integrate into your life that it can make a world of difference. When you realize that the answer is simply changing your mindset and believing in yourself/aligning your actions the right way, what can happen is amazing! I plan to achieve this by taking small steps on my blog and social media daily, and just sharing my knowledge while being true to myself and my story.

FullSizeRender_2


WHAT A WOMAN.

I am honestly honored and #blessed to know you, Colby. Thank you for your refreshing and honest presence in the healthy living social media community. You make the world a happier place.

For more of Colby’s fantastic recipes, killer workout challenges, fun vlogs, and empowering motivation, check out:

Also, head over to her blog to read her interview of me if you want!

Hope you all have a kick-butt day! Make a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how small.

So tell me:

Are you going to follow Colby!?

What is your one favorite word and why? 

Who are some of your favorite positive influences in the healthy living social media community? 

Enlightened Wherever I Go {Eat Enlightened + Blend Swag Giveaway}

Two posts in a day, whoa whoa. This morning’s post was a big weekend recap, but this post right here is more exciting for YOU.

Enlightened sent me free samples to review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

IMG_5831

Before I left for Colorado, the jolly folks at Eat Enlightened sent me samples of their new Enlightened Crisps, which are…

  1. roasted broad beans aka fava beans
  2. 100 calories per serving (although it’s hard to just have one serving sometimes)
  3. soy and gluten free
  4. high in protein, clocking in at 7 grams per serving
  5. high in fiber with 3 grams per serving
  6. portable and convenient
  7. super crunchy
  8. available in five fantastic flavors: Sea Salt, Wasabi, Sriracha, Garlic and Onion, and Mesquite BBQ (my fave)
  9. available in snack packs or bigger bags for sharing (or not)
  10. made with real ingredients: fava beans, sunflower oil, seasonings, sea salt
  11. my newest snack addiction

DSC_0810 DSC_0815

I’ve been eating these crisps everywhere.

On the road:

DSC_0960

To the summit of a mountain:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

On planes:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

To lunch at my internship:

DSC_1274

You could say that I thoroughly enjoy them anywhere at any time. My favorite aspect of the crisps is their flavor—you seriously wouldn’t automatically think, “Ooo…these are healthy aren’t they?” I’m also a huge fan of their crunchiness and satiating power thanks to the protein and fiber.

My family also loves them! In fact, they love them so much that they started eating some of the samples I intended to save for this giveaway. They didn’t know, but after I saw it happening, I hid the rest. Gotcha back 😉

Hold up: Enlightened also has ice cream!

enlightened

They have ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches that are…

  1. 80 calories or fewer
  2. available in flavors like fudge, vanilla, peanut butter, coffee, orange cream, chocolate peanut butter swirl, salted caramel swirl, mint chocolate, and more
  3. high in protein with a whopping 8 grams
  4. high in fiber with 5 grams
  5. low in sugar with only 3 grams
  6. void of artificial sweeteners

There’s no way I could hog the enlightenment of these crisps for myself, so I’m giving away some of the loot! In addition, I’m making this giveaway even better by including some of my Blend swag in the package. As you might have seen this morning, I am still happily living off the immense amount of swag we received at Blend retreat, so I thought I’d share some.

In the winning package:

DSC_1309

  • three thsnack packs of Enlightened crisps (Sriracha, Wasabi, and Garlic and Onion flavors)
  • Enlightened T-Shirt
  • a coupon for a free bag Enlightened Crisps
  • a coupon for a free Enlightened ice cream product
  • Nuttzo and Arctic Zero recipe booklets
  • voucher for a free Almond Breeze beverage
  • voucher for a free Dr. Praeger’s product
  • voucher for a free Somersaults product
  • three vouchers for a free Epic Seed Greek yogurt
  • Good Day energy chocolates
  • voucher for a free GoodBelly product
  • voucher for a free Iced Bhakti Chai
  • voucher for a free dozen of NestFresh eggs
  • Wellcoin iPod armband
  • Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
  • Honey Stinger Lemon Waffle energy snack
  • Chocolate Vega protein powder sample
  • Chocolate Balance Bites sample
  • three gluten free Chex instant oatmeal packs
  • chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar
  • three mint chocolate chunk Quest bars
  • Arctic Zero ice cream scoop

Wahoo!

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which Enlightened product you want to try the most. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents (I’m sorry, I love you, international friends!).

The giveaway will close on Friday at 12 AM.

Have a good one, folks! Huge thank you to Enlightened and all the Blend sponsors for making this giveaway possible!

 

Dad and Daughter Weekend

God bless America and God bless three day weekends. I don’t know why I said the latter; I just came back from vacation.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a lovely Memorial Day to my fellow Americans. As always, it’s nice to have a day off, but it is essential to remember why we do. Thank you to all the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could live ours freely and joyfully.

memorialday_observe

[source]

Let’s catch up!

Friday

Up and at ’em early for my physical therapy internship! Brought to you by overnight oats in a jar.

DSC_1287

I’ve been adding chia seeds to the mix, and they increase the doughiness factor by at least 50%. I totally made that up, but chia seeds = thicker overnight oats = even better texture.

Lunch was eaten in the parking lot after my internship. It was tuna salad I had made that morning (with Greek yogurt, mustard, honey, olive topping, paprika, and black pepper) on mixed greens, alongside 34 Degrees cracked pepper crackers from Blend.

Cracked pepper crackers that are like crack.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I saw my partner in crime (Daliza) on Friday night! I greeted her with egg yolk dripping down my face/hands/arms as I ate this for dinner:

DSC_1289

Once you break the yolk, there’s no turning back. You just have to inhale the rest of the toast so you don’t lose the dippy goodness.

P.S. I’m going to convince Daliza to do another vlog with me!

Saturday

I slept in and made a rather patriotic breakfast for Dad and myself— Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, chia seeds, a leftover whole wheat banana pancake, and Nuttzo power fuel.

DSC_1290

I don’t remember everything I did on Saturday, but I do know that I finally decided to unpack my luggage, did some moves with a leg strength circuit, and attended Mass. I also ate some delicious things in the afternoon!

Lunch was a salad with homemade tahini dressing, leftover pork chop (buried under there), and a sweet potato with melted garlic herb cheddar. Weird but YUM.

DSC_1291

I was feeling lunch dessert that day (…like every other day), so I broke into my stash of mint chocolate chunk Quest bars from Blend. I followed Aimee’s suggestion in my last post’s comments and microwaved it for exactly 23 seconds before topping it with peanut hazelnut butter.

DSC_1300 DSC_1301

Yep, I’ll be doing that again! 🙂

Oh! I got new sneakers in the mail too! I won these in a huge raffle at the end of Blend retreat. Lucky for me, because I left my other sneakers in Boulder since they were so muddy from hiking all week.

DSC_1294

Thanks, Wellcoin and Puma!

After Mass, Pop and I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner! I went with the classic sushi combo that comes with yellowtail, tuna, and eel avocado rolls. All gone into my tummy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The waiter also surprised us with a complimentary dessert! Chocolate souffle cake with raspberry ice cream. Ohmahgoodness. I know I say I don’t like chocolate that much, but this was dreamy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Pop and I hunkered down for the night and watched not one, but two movies— The Giver and Macfarland USA. I totally loved both!

Sunday

Another sleep-in day, another breakfast for Pop and myself. I hadn’t eaten cookie dough cereal in a long time, so it wasn’t difficult to choose what I wanted that morning.

DSC_1296

I cleaned the floors on Sunday, and look at this horror.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This is a picture of cleaning done in the highest shoe-traffic area of our house, but still, yuck! (Two-year-old word, I know.) You don’t really notice the dirt until you get down and scrub.

Moves involved yoga and a quick walk around the neighborhood. The weather was perfection!

I babysat at night and actually enjoyed my snack-time-esque dinner.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I brought all the snacks myself, except for the cheese 🙂 (I was given permission.)

Monday

Pop and I started our Memorial Day with Mass and the local Memorial Day parade.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Then we headed back home to cook and eat for the rest of the afternoon! Pop and I have never grilled without mom being around, since she is Mrs. Chefmaster Hospitality. But we had a successful cookout, I’d say! I shopped for the food, prepped it, and then left the grilling for Pop. He nailed it.

We had simple beef burgers with garlic herb cheddar and caramelized onions + tons of grilled vegetables. We also ate outstanding grilled shrimp using this marinade recipe.

DSC_1303

DSC_1304

glass o’ vino in hand, what a natural
DSC_1306

Having a BBQ for two people also means lots of leftovers for the week!

Moves included grooving to music in the kitchen and a two mile neighborhood walk. I see a tan emerging!

After eating more of grilled goodies for dinner, we ended the night on a sweet note, as every night should end in my book. I macerated some fresh strawberries in lemon juice and honey for a few hours, and then we ate those on top of vanilla bean ice cream with a slice of the blueberry poppyseed mini loaf from Flagstaff House in Colorado!

DSC_1310

Me: I macerated some strawberries.

Dad: That sounds like it hurts.

[5 minutes later]

Dad: What did you say you did with these? Masqueraded?

Me: No, macerated. But masquerading them sounds fun.

_________________________________________

Hope you all have a great day! Clean your floors perhaps, eat string cheese, and say thank you to more people. *Also, stay tuned for an awesome giveaway later today!*

So tell me:

One productive thing you did this weekend.

One fun thing you did this weekend!

Do your floors ever get this dirty? We clean them often, I swear.

Americans, what did you eat for Memorial Day? 

Last Colorado Things

We are back to the mother ship!

But first, one more picture from Blend thanks to mom, who showed up as the guest photographer.

DSC_1260

After traveling from Boston to New York, New York to Colorado, Colorado to New York, I am done wandering for a while. (My mom and bro are still trekking along to Florida for my brother’s internship!)

Blend swag made travel snacking so easy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Madre loves these Quest protein chips. Look at that protein!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset almond butter Perfect Bar spread on a sandwich thin

Colorado was an epic vacation with my mom and brother, but I’m also happy to be home with my dad. Poor guy was eating leftovers from the fridge all week while we were eating fresh new foods in Colorado (and then posting them on social media where he could see). I’m also excited to be all domestic again this summer— mostly for the cooking, not as much for the cleaning and errands… Such is life.

Domesticity started early this morning with dropping off Pop at the train station, going grocery shopping (at 6AM when I can pace the aisles freely without judgement), and breakfast.

DSC_1264

Arman’s cake batter oatmeal is life-changing // sprinkles just because it’s “cake batter”

We left Colorado with a bang by going to Flagstaff House for a super splurge dinner on Sunday night. My mom insisted on taking me out to an early birthday dinner, since she and Ben would be away for my real birthday. I definitely didn’t need a fancy dinner, but I think my mom really wanted dinner with a view to treat me to something special. It’s not like it was difficult to accept either. 😉

The meal was rich (food-wise and moolah-wise), but we savored every bite, as well as the unbeatable mountain view.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The service was excellent, and the food was outstanding. They even served complimentary amuse bouche  and palate cleansers throughout the meal.

Processed with Moldiv

bottom left is our appetizer order: yellowfin tuna tartare and steak tartare with brioche toasts

Processed with Moldiv

my entree: New Zealand salmon (cooked medium rare, OMG) with lump crab meat // Ben’s: pork tenderloin // Mom’s: natural Colorado chicken breast

Processed with Moldiv

desserts: chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream // trio of vanilla bean, vegan vanilla bean, and salted caramel house-spun ice cream // tiny complimentary French toast with vanilla creme anglaise and candied pecans

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

early birthday complimentary dessert platter

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

complimentary mini blueberry poppyseed loaves to take home!

Incredible all around. The value is awesome when you account for the view, service, quality and taste of food, and amount of complimentary food!

I got some moves in at the hotel before we headed to the airport yesterday, and it was probably the last intense workout I’ll be doing in a while. (I’ll talk more about all that another day.) It was a good one though!

  • dynamic warmup
  • circuit workout // 3 rounds of each
    • 15 weighted step-ups each leg // 20 squat jumps
    • 5 reps of 5 bent over row+ 5 frog plank jumps // 15 leg lift crunches
    • 20 hamstring ball curls // 10 burpee tuck jumps
    • 12 sit-ups to shoulder press // 20 spiderman planks
  • tabata // 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x8
    • burpees
    • high knees

I’m not a workout selfie person, but I thought my last gym workout for a while warranted one.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Hashtag grind, hashtag muscles, hashtag gym. Did I nail it?

I followed it up with more Blend swag food: half a Quest bar + a sweet potato with a chocolate Nuttzo sample packet and a power fuel Nuttzo sample packet.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

And then an Asian chicken salad later in the afternoon.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I went to bed late and woke up early this morning, so I’m about to take a nap before my eye doc appointment and then my first day at physical therapy internship!

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Take weird selfies today.

So tell me:

Have you gone to a splurge restaurant that was totally worth it?

What do you like to eat on airplanes?

Do you like gym selfies (seeing them or taking them)? I don’t mind seeing others’ gym selfies every once in a while, but I don’t really like taking them myself.

What are you doing today?

What I Loved and Learned at Blend Retreat

Guys, I have enough snacks to last me the rest of summer.

IMG_6074

Just kidding, more like the rest of this month. Nevertheless, it is clear that Blend brings swag game to an elite level. This isn’t even all of it.

First of all, there are several people/places to thank for this year’s successful Blend Retreat:

  1. Janetha, Lindsay, and Lauren for being the most hardworking, badass, and helpful hosts! You ladies are awesome.
  2. The bloggers/blog readers/Instagrammers who attended. You’re inspiring, and you made the retreat a fun time!

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy roommates (all Instagram stars)! Meredith @MeresNuttyKitchen, Amy @Clap4Fit, Aly @RunningHealthy13, Colby @EatClean_LiveStrong

    Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presethiking with Laura from 50 by 25 (she’s run over 100 marathons, it’s guatever)

  3. The sponsors for their work and for providing an insane amount of goodies for us.Processed with MoldivProcessed with Moldiv
  4. Chautaqua Park and Boulder, CO for providing cozy cabins and beautiful grounds for our retreat.Processed with Moldiv
  5. My family for letting me come and then coming with me to Colorado 🙂
  6. YOU, because you’re reading this.

Blend was an amazing experience. There were plenty of aspects that I loved:

  • Getting to meet other bloggers (duh)Processed with MoldivProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
  • Being able to talk about health and wellness as much as I wanted

  • Doing active things

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

  • The laid-back, no-judgement, supportive atmosphere and community

View this post on Instagram

Morning hike before yoga! #Blend2015

A post shared by Laura (@50by25) on

  • Eating good-for-ya and good-to-ya foodProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    Processed with Moldiv

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

  • Learning about health and wellness brands

Clark from the Quest team (his arms are almost as big as my legs, it’s fine)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

  • Being in the presence of the Colorado mountains

IMG_6053

  • The perpetual stream of swag

And there were plenty of things I learned:

  • Mental and physical investment in health and wellness varies significantly among bloggers in the healthy living blog sphere. Not everyone is equally “into” it as one another, and that’s all good.
  • I am so not in tune with the whole working-with-brands thing.
  • I’m not one to eat too many protein bars, but a lot of them are tasty!

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetfirst Quest bar ever

  • I sometimes forget that not everyone who is a healthy living blogger is recovering from an eating disorder. It made me slightly anxious when people were talking and thinking about healthy food/nutrition facts all the time, but I was inspired by my roommates who know how to eat well and trust their bodies.
  • I don’t really want to talk about health and wellness all the time.
  • You won’t get to talk to or hang out with everyone at Blend, which is kind of a bummer, but it’s still fun to at least say hi to most people!
  • The altitude still gets me, even after being here for a week.

All in all, I am happy I attended Blend this year. It was a fantastic opportunity to be with fantastic people. And now it’s time to go to sleep and head back to reality on the east coast today. I’ll miss you lots, Colorado! xoxo

So tell me:

If you went to Blend, what is one thing you loved and one thing you learned?

Do you like protein bars? Which is your favorite?

Do you want to go to Blend next year? I’m not sure if I would go again, but I definitely recommend going at least once if you’re even a little interested!