What happened in a year.

I’ve decided to come back to blogging for a bit. Who knows how long this will last, but I have been wanting to write, so write, I will. A lot of time has passed since I last spoke on this little sliver of the interweb that I inhabit. With a lot of time, comes a lot of change. Here’s what has happened in the past 10 months…

In March, I ended my almost three-year relationship with my boyfriend. Not to get too personal, but a lot had changed between us. We were growing as individuals and, in turn, growing apart. March was one of the toughest months for me – emotionally and financially. I moved out of the house we shared and found a two-bedroom apartment right down the street from the studio I work at. For the first few weeks, I felt alone. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to support myself on my own. However, I also felt freedom and excitement for a new life. I formed new friendships and explored the city a bit more. I went on lots of walks and found freedom in going to new places on my own. I had lots of single-lady nights where I would grab dinner to go, rent a Redbox movie, and sip wine in my bed at 8 pm on a Friday night. Sometimes I felt sad that I didn’t have my familiar, my other half, but other times I knew it was just what I needed. It was the perfect time for me to find my individuality again and take steps toward what I wanted, without thinking of someone else. Sounds a bit selfish, but time alone was necessary for me to figure out myself. When I was in my relationship, I feel like I sort of put my own needs on hold so that I could hold the relationship together. However, the more I held on and tried to stitch it up, the more exhausted and empty I felt. Sometimes you gain more when you let go.

Eventually, I found a roommate (on craigslist, of all places) and I picked up more clients at the pt studio. I was feeling more stable, financially. Then, I started dating again. I found some failure in dating; I found some success. This little corner of my life is still a work in progress, but one that I am comfortable with. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and figuring out what I want and don’t want out of a relationship, what I like and don’t like in a potential partner. It feels really good to take my time in finding someone who can be my life buddy. It’s also shown me that I am my best self when I put myself (not my partner) as my #1 priority. I hold onto my individuality, my healthy habits and routine, and the things that make me unique and attractive to another individual. During this season of dating I’ve heard more than once from a guy that what they liked about me was how different I was – that I was unique, had a warm heart, and felt real. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but hearing this from them wasn’t anything new (I know my personality and the values I live up to)…it just made me realize that this a whole lot of what they see and care about. Not just my outward appearance, my taste in music, or my career success. Hearing that from multiple people also helped me realize that you can’t just fall for someone because they see the good in you. You’re always going to have the good in you. Do they have the good in themselves? Are they someone you would say the same thing to? What about them attracts you? Maybe this is a topic for another post. Here’s the lesson in all of this: YOU DO YOU. Don’t try to impress, persuade, or change a person to get their attention, affection, or attachment. Being yourself is the most attractive quality that you can have. But, also don’t fall for compliments or attraction from others so easily. They can like those great things about you, but you have to ask yourself, do you feel the same way about them?


In September I took a little solo, self-love sabbatical trip to Portland, OR. I was only there for three days, but it was such a great experience. Not only was I completely on my own, I got to slow down and just soak in the city and culture. This trip was much needed. I was craving independence and a change of scenery and pace. Portland was just that. The people there are so friendly. Bikes rule the road. You can find kombucha on tap and a coffee shop on every corner. Green and lush everywhere! A foodie’s paradise. Portland is my spirit city and the trip confirmed that I will most likely be living there in the near future.


Over the summer, I started thinking about going back to school to finish my degree in Dietetics. After some thought and positive influence from a few close friends, I decided to pursue a degree in Nursing. I start my last prerequisite course, Microbiology, in January, and if all goes as planned, I will begin an accelerated, 21-month nursing program in August of 2016 at IUPUI. I cannot wait to begin to this new life avenue. Since October, I’ve been working in a hospital as a Patient Transporter so that I can see what it will be like working as a nurse and in a medical facility. I get to witness so much every day and it only makes me more excited and sure that nursing is what I want to do. Being a personal trainer is definitely a fun, flexible, and rewarding job, but I want to do more to help others. As a nurse, I will be helping patients who are helpless, severely sick,  young, old, alone, hurting, and so on. Not to mention, there are so many different paths I can take with nursing. I have thought about a future in traveling nursing or even the Peace Corps. The first step, though, is to get started on the nursing program! One foot first.

And that’s how I am taking the remainder of this year – with one foot first. It’s a constant process, but I am getting better at letting go of a master plan and perfection. I will be writing more on this soon, but it feels so great to just slow down and see what comes my way as I take small steps forward. No time to look back and it takes too much energy to look too far ahead. I found this the other day, and it’s my current life motto: “When you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you are pissing on the present.”






Homemade [& versatile] Hummus!

I’ve been making a batch of this almost every week because it makes for a great snack, spread, or dip. AND you really can’t go wrong with hummus. Unless you are crazy and don’t like it. Then we can’t be friends.

Basic Hummus Recipe


  • 15 oz. canned garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained (or 3 cups cooked from dry)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Add everything to a food processor and process until smooth. Depending on the power of your food processor, you may need to add more olive oil or a bit of water to get things going.

If you want to spice up your hummus, try some of these flavor combinations:

  • cumin + chili powder
  • fresh cilantro + lime juice [instead of lemon]
  • italian seasoning + red pepper flakes + parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil + sun-dried tomatoes
  • curry powder + cilantro

Healthy Eating on a Budget: Week 4

After this post, I will be up to date on my HEB posts. I usually go grocery shopping on Thursdays or Fridays (just depends on when I run low on food). This week, I went on Thursday and only needed to stock up on a few things.

Dry Goods

IMG_1641  Bran Flakes cereal & 12 Grain bread 


IMG_1640 bananas, strawberries, frozen chopped spinach 


IMG_1639 1/2 gallon organic soy milk, part-skim ricotta cheese, coconut-vanilla greek yogurt, dozen eggs

The Total



IMG_1661 everything bagel w/ cream cheese & fried egg + cukes, red bell pepper & homemade red pepper hummus 

IMG_1658Saturday morning pancake breakfast w/ strawberries

IMG_1654 A frozen Asian noodle bowl my mom gave me that I doctored up with edamame for protein and avocado for healthy fats 

IMG_1653 snack of bran cereal, sunflower seeds, choc chips, banana & pb

IMG_1650 toast with basil aioli & fried egg + cucumbers, red bell pepper & hummus

IMG_1648  my early AM breakfast on M/W/F before work: breakfast cookie dough cereal topped with banana, strawberries, & chocolate chips  

IMG_1645 black beans, sweet potatoes, fried egg, avocado & salsa – such a quick, delicious, & cheap meal!

Healthy Eating on a Budget: Week 3

Welcome back to another week of HEB! Week 3, to be exact. I can’t believe how fun and [relatively] easy this has been . Sticking to a tight budget isn’t always the most fun for a person who is a self-acclaimed foodie, coffee-shop connoisseur, and Whole Foods bar addict. However, I have learned that keeping a tighter budget has made me appreciate the little things in life. Here’s what I got from Aldi last week:

Dry Goods

IMG_1599 100% whole wheat bread, everything bagels, over 2 lbs peanut butter (be still, my heart), Pinot Grigio wine, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


IMG_1602  3 lbs. oranges, 2 bell peppers, bananas, 2 lbs. pears, 2 avocados, 1 lb. cucumbers


IMG_1600 Reduced-fat cream cheese, dozen eggs, 1/2 gallon almond milk 

The Total:


Under budget again! I didn’t buy as many vegetables as I would have liked, but I have some frozen stuff still. Here are some meals I made with my haul this week:

The Meals

IMG_1614  2 egg scramble with leftover mushrooms & onions + 2 slices of bacon   

IMG_1633banana chia seed oatmeal topped with pb, chocolate chips, & coconut butter 

IMG_1637toasted everything bagel – 1/2 cream cheese, 1/2 basil aioli & fried egg + red bell pepper strips

IMG_1612snack time is often pb&j and/or pb&banana on whole wheat 

IMG_1608 everything bagel – 1/2 homemade hummus & cucumber, 1/2 smashed avocado & fried egg + leftover cucumber slices 

Healthy Eating on a Budget: Week 2

Hello! I am back again with another installment of my HEB [Healthy Eating on a Budget] series! Today’s post is going to show you my current budget of about $25-30. This feeds one person (me) for the week. Remember, I do have some pantry staples that help to supplement this haul. Also, since my budget is so low, I try not to go to multiple stores – too many temptations! So, all of this was purchased at Aldi, my grocery store of choice when I am on a tight budget.


IMG_1582 bananas, 3 lbs. onions, 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, head of cabbage, 2 avocados, 8 oz. mushrooms, 1 lb. baby carrots, frozen corn

Dry Goods

IMG_1584salsa, canned garbanzo beans, organic jarred pasta sauce, quick oats, coffee grounds, 2 lbs. dry black beans, whole grain spaghetti noodles  


IMG_1585 1/2 gallon soy milk, coconut greek yogurt, 8 oz. pepperjack cheese


Here are some meals that I was able to make with what I bought this week + what I had left over from weeks prior. I try to make 1-2 recipes to eat throughout the week to save time. I will also throw together a few different foods to make some quick and tasty meals and mix things up a bit.

IMG_1593  Black bean, cheese, & corn enchiladas 

IMG_1595 2 egg scramble w/ spinach, onions, mushrooms, salsa & 2 slices of bacon 

IMG_1588Whole wheat chocolate chip banana pancakes w/ peanut butter [click link for pancake mix recipe]

IMG_1578Random bowl of buckwheat noodles, ground turkey, pesto, broccoli, & sweet potatoes  

IMG_1574Lunch one day: open face hummus, leftover salmon, avocado & pb&j on whole wheat + baby carrots 

IMG_1573Banana oatmeal served in an almost-empty “nutella” jar & topped with coconut butter  

IMG_1568Breakfast for lunch – I was very hungry this day! 2 egg & veggie scramble w/ avocado and 2 slices of bacon + 2 slices of butter & jam whole wheat toast 

IMG_1565 A quick dinner: baked lemon pepper salmon, leftover sauteed veggies & avocado + baked sweet potato [prepped earlier in the week] w/ cinnamon & coconut butter

IMG_1560Open face egg sandwich with homemade hummus, cherry tomatoes & cucumber  

IMG_1552Saturday morning breakfast of chocolate chip & peanut butter pancakes + oranges  

IMG_1549Another buckwheat noodle bowl with ground turkey, broccoli, & pesto 

IMG_1547 Open face toast with fried egg, bacon & stone ground mustard + butter & jam toast + sauteed veggies

The Total:

IMG_1632 Woo hoo! I stayed within my $25-30 range. Barely. I originally said I was going to stick to $25 a week, but I am finding it very hard to do. That extra $5 really does make a big difference.

Healthy Eating on a Budget: Week 1

Today I am showing what my grocery haul looked like when I had a bit larger budget of $50/week. Nowadays, it is down to $25-30, which is very very low, but you do what you have to do. I am challenging myself to eat healthy on a very low budget so that I can build up my savings and get all my bills paid on time. Just for reference, $31.50 is what SNAP provides for one person for a week’s worth of groceries. So, I am setting my budget right around/below that amount. It’s hard, but it’s doable! Here’s what I got a few weeks ago with $50.


IMG_20150227_135323978 bananas, spinach, 3 lbs oranges, 3 lbs sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, 1 lemon, 2 avocados, grape tomatoes 
IMG_20150227_135904459_HDR baking soda, baking powder, garbanzo beans, crunchy peanut butter, rice chex cereal, all fruit strawberry jam

IMG_20150227_135708205 Organic soymilk, half & half, 3.37 lbs pork butt, 4.27 lbs chicken breast, Gorgonzola crumbled cheese, uncured bacon (so good!)

IMG_20150227_135956884  Aldi total: $48.33

Fresh Thyme Market 

IMG_20150227_140052365grass-fed yogurts, 2 red bell peppers, 1 red onion, red grapes  IMG_20150227_140105564_HDRFresh Thyme Total: $9.41

Grand Total: $57.74

I wasn’t planning on going to another store, but Aldi doesn’t sell onions or peppers separately. Also, the yogurt was on a great sale (2/$5) and was grass-fed. Something I don’t typically buy because it’s pricey. It was a nice treat for the week. The grapes were only 99 cents a pound and were delicious so I couldn’t pass them up.

I am pleasantly surprised by how much food I was able to buy for only $50. Aldi is where it is at when needing to stay on a budget and still wanting to eat healthy. I used to think of it as the “Goodwill” of grocery stores when I was a kid and didn’t like it when my mom shopped there. Now I shop at both Goodwill and Aldi and love how much I save, haha. Thrifty is the way to do it these days.

Food Prep   IMG_20150301_140151364 I had some leftover cucumbers, and whole wheat pasta, so I threw together a Greek pasta salad with the grape tomatoes, Gorgonzola, red onion, and a homemade dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and Italian seasoning 

IMG_20150301_155025376 baked chicken breasts, Hummusapian banana nut protein cookies, peanut butter oatmeal protein bars, brown rice, hummus, roasted sweet potatoes 

Some notes: The pork butt was frozen to be eaten at a later date. I also already had some of the stuff I prepped on hand (brown rice, ingredients for protein cookies/bars). This grocery haul was also for two people for one week. Next time, you will see what around $30 will buy for one person. Stay tuned!


I’ve been relishing the weekends lately because I get to spend them with Tony in our new home. For the past 3.5 years, I’ve been in temporary homes – a dorm, a house with 2 other roommates, apartments (alone and with roommates), and even my boyfriend’s parents’ house. It finally feels so great to call something MY home. It’s cozy and comforting to be here. To rearrange things just the way I want them. To decorate the way I want. And to even clean my own home! Yes, cleaning gets way more fun when it’s just your messes (and your significant other’s) you are cleaning up.

But ultimately, it’s not the possession of the home that makes it so special. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling I get when I am here. I think it boils down to being able to spend your days with your favorite person in a place that you both take care of and support. It’s our place of comfort, security, and shelter. The feeling of home really can’t be beat.

I am very, very excited to be able to spend all of my days here in just 3 weeks. Coming home to this doesn’t hurt either…. :)