Everything You Would Want To Know About My Fitness Lately

Apparently being “on track” was a hot topic early this week!

I posted my thoughts on “getting back on track” after vacation on Monday. Paige posted “How to Bounce Back After Falling Off Track” on Monday. Colby posted “Staying On Track” on Sunday. (p.s. loved both of their posts! go check ’em out!)

Also hot this week? The TEMPERATURES.

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…for some people this is light cheese, but this is steamy for me.

These temperatures are making me feel perpetually sweaty. Not to mention how much my face sweats during my workouts, especially if I take them outdoors.



I’m not a cat person, but this fella here is my spirit animal of the summer.

And that was the drawn-out transition to the real topic of today: how my fitness has been looking lately!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been posting more fitness videos in the past few months, ever since I officially joined Fit University.

I could say, “A bunch of people have been asking me about my workouts,” but that would be a big, fat lie. I think only my aunt has actually asked, but I thought I’d give you all a detailed post about my fitness in case you were curious!

How often do I work out? 

Right now, 4-6 times per week. I try to move in some way or another every day, but complete rest days are definitely in there every week.

What is a typical week of workouts for me?

  • 2-4 days of HIIT workouts OR strength/conditioning
  • 2-4 active rest days/lower intensity workouts (yoga, pilates, skill work, etc.)
  • 1-2 full rest days

I rarely do solely strength days these days, mostly because I don’t have time, but I also don’t currently have access to a lot of good, heavy strength equipment (read: a squat rack). If I do strength, there’s always some cardio/circuit training involved.

For example, here are last week’s workouts:

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sorry for the weird formatting — these are all screenshots

How do I decide what to do?

My workout depends on:

  • how much time I have
  • what kind of equipment is available/if I get to the gym or not
  • what I’m feeling that day (the #1 factor)


sometimes I feel like this before and/or after the gym

Sometimes I write my workouts the day before if I have an idea of what my body will want/what I would like to work on. More often than not though, I just go with the flow. I love to challenge myself in order to improve, but I don’t strictly hold myself to a certain workout/rep scheme/weight if I’m really not feelin’ it. I’ve really learned to embrace modification.

I also like to add a lot of compound movements (like burpees!) to my workouts. I don’t usually like to dedicate any more than one hour to a structured workout, so compound movements help me work a bunch of different muscle groups in a short period of time!


rowing is the only cardio machine I like these days

Lastly, I draw inspiration from so many different people around the internet. My favorites:

I love to do their workouts, but for the most part, I’ve been writing my own workouts based on their formats. Or sometimes I just come up with something completely new.

P.S. Most of the time, I end with stretching.


Do I have any fitness goals?

I’m mostly just aiming to be consistent and to continuously challenge myself, but if I had to point out specific goals (which I have not written down until now):

  • handstand walks
  • one arm handstand hold with my legs together (against a wall for now)
  • strict toes to bar
  • increase pull-up reps
  • explosiveness


I need to get back to these stairs sometime soon too.

How do I get better at a skill/exercise?

Do it over and over and over again. Use progressions (!!!), do drills, and focus on good form, but just practice. Take good rest days and eat enough too!

How do I decide whether I want to work out or not?

I do not work out when:

  • I’m absolutely exhausted, to the point where walking is difficult and I know I need sleep.
  • I have other fun plans that I cannot pass up.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve taken a rest day.
  • I just don’t have time.

I might work out OR do an active rest day if:

  • I’m sore.
  • I’m really craving a stretch.
  • I just want to work on yoga, pilates, mobility or skills.
  • I’m sleepy.
  • Sweating a lot would be inconvenient.

I do work out (i.e. circuit/HIIT/strength) when none of the above apply.


Why do I work out?

It makes me happy. (Don’t roll your eyes at me yet!)


No, working out did not always make me happy in the past. Yes, workouts can totally suck while I’m doing them.


me between every round of last Thursday’s workout

That’s why I’m such a proponent of working out depending on how you feel. It’s important to challenge yourself and push past comfort if you want to improve, this is true. But if you’re making yourself miserable day in and day out, you’re damaging your relationship with fitness (and probably damaging your body too).

I still get nervous before some of my workouts, because I know they’ll be difficult. I still think of giving up after the first round sometimes.


It’s an awesome feeling to be 100% spent after completing a workout, but not every day!

The difference between now and the past (when I obsessively exercised in tandem with my disordered eating habits) is that I don’t lift a weight just because someone else lifted that weight. I appreciate the progress that I make, but realize that some days are better than others. I no longer work out with the pressure of burning a certain number of calories. I am no longer ashamed of modifying. I am no longer afraid to fail.


throwback to when Sarah’s Cyc class absolutely kicked my ass

It took me a long time to be okay with those things, but time is a great healer. I thank God for the gift of movement and its healing/therapeutic/confidence-boosting powers. I guess that’s why physical therapy is so attractive to me!

How do I motivate myself to work out?

Before the workout: The more I listen to my body and allow myself to do the workout I’m craving, the more motivated I am. On harder workout days, it does take a little bit more mental effort, but knowing that there is an opportunity to move, improve, and take care of my body is enough to get me to at least start the workout.

During the workout: I used to think of badass athletes for motivation when I worked out, but ever since starting work at the rehab hospital, I actually think of the patients when I work out. In my head, I hear the therapists saying things like, “You said you couldn’t do one more step ten steps ago! One more, c’mon.” People who are fighting to walk inspire me to fight during my workouts, as cheeeeeeee-zeeeeee as that sounds.


How do I know when to push through workouts/How do I push through?

It takes time to truly listen to your body. I think each individual has to find out how to do that through trial and error. I’ve learned some nuggets of wisdom from great fitness role models that have helped me though:

  • Complete a good warmup and see how you feel if you are on the fence about working out or not.
  • The beginning of the workout is always the hardest…
  • …BUT if your form is failing (on exercises that you can normally do well) and you feel miserable after the first round, you probably need to stop and take a day off OR modify. Working out can do more damage than good on some days.
  • Focus on one exercise at a time.
  • Form and safety are most important.
  • You don’t have to push to failure every time. I don’t even think you should push to failure every time.
  • You can often do more than your mind initially thinks you can do. (And if your body can’t, then at least you tried!)

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So there ya have it! Everything about my fitness that you didn’t even ask for. 🙂 But seriously, I hope some of you found this helpful for your own fitness journeys. Please remember that these are all things that have worked for me personally through experience. Everyone is different! And although I do my best to learn from credible sources, I am not an expert in anything.

So tell me:

How do you like to move on a weekly basis?

Do you have any fitness goals?

How do you listen to your body when it comes to working out or not?


Family Influence on Fitness


Okay, even though she bullies me to tears sometimes, I am having Daliza withdrawals. She left with her family yesterday, and I can’t say “I guess so” without getting slightly emotional. I’ll see her back in New York soon, but she’s like my sister, and I want her to come back!

Thankfully, I still have my cousin, aunt, uncle, and parents here. {What am I gonna do with myself in college?} We all had a chill day yesterday, which I loved.

I slept in and came downstairs for another one of my peanut butter banana brown rice bowls (those are too good). I made Daliza some hot mango-peach-banana oatmeal on her last morning with us, since she never had my hot oats before.

Daliza: Hates pizza and pasta. Loves oatmeal.


Daliza’s family came over for a short time and then we said goodbye to all of them. Afterwards, my uncle, cousin, and I were in the mood to get in some stretching and core work. Random?


{Thanks for the picture, Uncle G!}

Stunned that I can still do that after a couple weeks without truly stretching

My uncle, aunt, and cousin are super healthy and fit people that are as passionate about exercise and healthy eating as I am. They do wushu kung fu together as a family, and they are legit. Amy (my cousin, pictured above) also dances and can do things like aerials, L-sits, and one handed handstands on the wall. TEACH ME.

The best part about hanging out with them is that I can gush over all things fitness without feeling like that health nut that no one really wants to listen to. (<— I hate ending on a preposition, but the proper sentence sounded snobby.)


Look at all that fruit.

{photo credit to Uncle G again}

My immediate family is definitely interested in healthy living, so I can talk to them about it often, but these relatives bring it to a whole new level. I believe that having close family members that are passionate about— or at least interested in— fitness and health makes obtaining a healthy lifestyle much more fun and enjoyable.

This family appreciates every bit of movement they can get, even if that means walking farther or using the stairs instead of the escalator. That kinda makes me want to jump for joy. But they also know the importance of rest and treating yourself, which relieves me. I’m not about to give up ice cream. No no no.

We all went to Universal CityWalk in the evening for dinner, and we chose a Mexican restaurant called Antojito’s.



The food was really tasty (especially the guac)! I came in famished and left filled to the brim.


But not filled enough to decline frozen yogurt. 🙂

It’s all about balance, moving often, and eating frozen desserts.

So tell me:

Is your family into health and fitness?

Do you find it easier/harder when they are/are not interested in health and fitness?


WIAW: Yesterday


After answering my own Spill It Sunday questions yesterday, I got crap from my friends for pretending to be Hannah Montana in my past life. GUATEVER, that was seven years ago…I’m still a rockstar though.

Another late night last night results in another late post today, but hopefully this won’t be a regular thing. I like getting my posts up early! Anyway, today I’m showing you what I ate yesterday, along with all the fun post-high-school activities that happened!


Joining the party with the world’s best avocado picker, Jenn!

6 AM— Wake up. Go to the bathroom. Consider going down for breakfast before thinking: Why the heck am I up right now? Go back to sleep.

9 AM— Wake up take two. Muuuuuch better.

9:30 AM— Breakfast, blogging, and Food Network watching!


English muffin with almond butter and pepita sunseed butter + Greek yogurt with honey, chia, hemp, and half a banana


A juicy peach

10:30 AM— Laundry, bathroom cleaning, dishes, and some burpees and handstands thrown in there for good measure.

12:30 AM— Rehearse singing the alma mater and star spangled banner with the other seniors in chorus at school in preparation for graduation. It already felt weird walking back into that building. Just thinking: I will never take classes here again. 

1:15 PM— A delicious but insanely messy lunch. I would never eat this thing in public, or else I would be judged as a barbarian. Eggs, tomatoes, and avocado pieces were rolling everywhere.


Whole wheat tortilla, spinach, avocado, tomato, and parmesan scrambled egg wrap + unpictured sugar snap peas


Plus a few dried pineapple rings

2 PM— Shopping with Daliza! We found our outfits for the senior awards ceremony last night, blasted Young the Giant in her car, and sang more Frozen duets.

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Super smiles

5 PM— Snack time. I finished my tomato and sugar snap peas from lunch with some hummus.



Plus some of these spiced crackers

6:30 PM— I tried out the 100 air squat challenge for time that I saw on Fitfluential‘s Instagram.

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7:30 PM— Snacked on some salt and pepper pistachios before the senior awards ceremony.

8:45 PM— Awards ceremony finishes and guess what!

I’m valedictorian. Meep. Madre was crying! :’)

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One of my best friends, Sam, is salutatorian! Congratulations, girl!

We were tenths of a point away from each other! Now I have to write my speech…stat.

9:45 PM— Went out with some friends after the ceremony to get snacks, but I needed dinner, so I got a yummy chicken gyro that satisfied my hunger very well.

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10:30 PM— Sam, Jeannine, Michael, and I went to Veronica’s house to play a game that Veronica introduced to us— Loaded Questions. That game is easily one of the funnest things of all time. We laughed so hard the whole time!

2 AM— Hit the hay.

There ya have it! Everything I did and ate yesterday. So many fantastic things for which to be thankful!

So tell me:

Do you have trouble eating homemade wraps too?

Which meal has recently hit the spot for you?

Two fun things you did yesterday!

10-15-20 Workout {MIMM #4}

Well hello there, Monday! I see you have brought me school today…

Yep, today is my last first day of high school. Wahoo! I’m kind of excited. I mean, I could complain about the whole shebang, but let’s find some marvelous in our Monday, eh? Head on over to Katie’s blog to stuff your hearts with more marvelousness!


Marvelous is…

The first day of teaching Sunday school this year! I’ve been a third grade teacher of religious education at my church for the past two years, and it has been a learning experience for all. I honestly learn as much from my students as they do from me. The first day wen quite smoothly! This year I have TWENTY-TWO students! Gahhh. It’s gonna be interesting. Thankfully, I have a wonderful assistant, and together we’re gonna make the class super duper fantabulous. With God’s help of course. 🙂

Marvelous is…

Not having rabid Chobani. Sorry to those who were less fortunate, like Katie. Foaming yogurt–yummay.

I bought five new-to-me flavors of Chobani not too soon before some of their products were recalled, but I’ve finished all five (delicious) cups, and I am alive.


Marvelous is…

The #slowdownchallenge. It is really awesome. Recap to come!

And to be quite honest, I have sorta fallen off the #100challenge wagon…I do different exercises at different times of the day, and I’m just really inefficient at counting the reps. I still do about 50-100 of the squats and pushups, but for some reason the situps (butterfly-style) just take more time for me so I don’t end up doing as many. Ahh well… Maybe I should just take one challenge at a time.

Marvelous is…

Chatting Obsessing about pumpkin recipes with my girl Lilly.

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Marvelous is…

Sunday Food Prep inspired by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean and all the bloggers that share their preparations! I will definitely need to be doing this every weekend from here on out so that I don’t go crazy during the week trying to make lunch and snacks in a pinch.


Turkey, cheese, herb, spinach sandwiches and caprese salad.


Banana muffins adapted from 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe!

Marvelous is…

Sweating it out!

On Saturday I did Lori and Michelle’s quick 16 minute workout at home, and on Sunday I went to the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical and Julie’s 30 minute circuit workout. They were both great workouts, despite their difference in length and type!

On Friday, I made up my own circuit workout that incorporates strength and cardio exercises back to back. This is by far my favorite way to workout! It was challenging and I was dripping in sweat by the end.


A lot of these exercises may not sound so familiar, so here are the demos:

Burpee with tuck jump

Triple pulse squats (pulse three times and then come up for 1 rep)

Med ball pulls 

Lunge hops (try not to lean forward quite as much as the demonstrator)


T Squat Thrusts

Spiderman planks

Split jack lunges

Plank jack pushups

Strict mountain climbers (right+left= 1 rep)

180 squat jumps

This took me about 35 minutes to complete. I had to take some breaks with those T squat thrusts. Burnin’ quads and lungs. Have fun (hardy har har), and let me know if you try it out!

Happy Monday, and have a fantastic school year everyone!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Is your Chobani foaming? Are you excited for pumpkin?! (<–I didn’t even need to ask that.)

Baked Salmon with Lime-Dill Yogurt Sauce

Have you ever had that feeling? One hour your fridge is fairly empty. Then you go to shop at your favorite store–Costco, Trader Joe’s, Publix, the farmer’s market, whatever– and your fridge is full to the brim with SO MUCH FOOD that you become overwhelmed. I experienced this a couple days ago after my mom came home from Costco and Stew Leonard’s. I know, my issues are unusual. I put some requested items on the grocery list, but she basically came back with enough stuff to set up a farmer’s market of our own. For some reason, I feel like I have to think of a bunch of ways to help use up all the food so that A) it doesn’t go bad B) we don’t get bored eating the same things all week C) I have an excuse to actually use at least a few of the bajillion recipes I have bookmarked on my toolbar.

Here are just some of the goodies she picked up:


Cowboy caviar! We shall see if this compares to the TJ’s version.

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Sweet deal on Wheat Thins. Everyone is loving those Sundried Tomato & Basil ones!


No dried figs, but no-sugar-added dried apricots were available! 


Avocado oil. We’ve never used it before, but I guess my mom wanted to see if it was good! Any suggestions?


Vanilla beans! I’ve never worked with real vanilla beans before and these are HUGE. I’m thinkin’ vanilla bean scones 😀

Aside from the lovely products above, my mom also got a plethora of fresh herbs–basil, dill, and cilantro. I absolutely love using fresh herbs whenever possible because they add such an aroma and flavor that dried herbs just can’t live up to.

Here are some recipe contenders that could help use up them greens:

Roasted Tomato and Caper Pasta Sauce via Yeah…Imma Eat That

Copy Cat Chipotle Cilantro Brown Rice via Fit Foodie Finds

Avocado and Basil Bruschetta via Little Ferraro Kitchen

Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad via Iowa Girl Eats

Did those make you hungry? Yeah, I thought so.

A couple years ago, my aunt and uncle made a fantastic salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and I fell in love. Salmon is one of my favorite things ever, and it’s oily nature paired so well with the fresh herbs and cool, creamy sauce. Occasionally, I still dream think about it, so I decided to take advantage of the fresh dill to make it myself!


Baked Salmon with Lime-Dill Yogurt Sauce

by: Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves

Serves: 8-10

For the salmon:

  • ~3 lb. fillet of boneless, skinless salmon
  • juice of half a lime (or lemon)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2-3 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lay out the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper* and add lime juice, salt, pepper, and dill to the fish. Use your fingers to distribute the juice and seasonings, then let it marinade for 3-5 minutes. Cut the salmon into fillets of desired size or keep it whole. Place in the oven and bake for 9-12 minutes if you cut it into fillets. Bake for 15-20 minutes if you kept it whole. **

For the yogurt sauce:

  • heaping 1/2 c. plain or 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (may omit if using 2%)
  • juice of 1/4-1/3 a lime
  • 2 tsp. mustard (I used spicy brown, but any kind would work)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Mix all ingredients together.


*We used a cedar plank that we soaked in water overnight to bake the salmon, which was wonderful, but definitely not necessary.

**We like our salmon medium-rare, so we cook it for the shortest time possible (still making sure it’s not completely raw though!). If you like it more well-done, cook it longer. Also, I kept it whole this time, but I would recommend cutting the salmon into smaller fillets. That way it can cook faster and you can remove thinner pieces sooner so that they don’t overcook.


Before going into the oven.


That sauce….yes, I even put it on my brown rice.

Ahh it was utterly delicious! Please let me know if you try this out. My whole family loved it and I am just happy that I didn’t drop the salmon or anything freaky like that. I will certainly be making this again (…and again and again)!

So tell me: Do you ever get that overwhelmed feeling when there’s so much food in the fridge? Any fun grocery finds recently? What do you like to make with fresh herbs?