Categories
Me

10 facts you might not know about me…part one!

I’ve seen quite a few of these posted on instagram so I thought I would bring it to the blog! Maybe some of you already know these things about me…but I guess we will find out!

10 Facts About Me Part One!

1. Did you know that I was a “whoops” baby? Well…I have heard only like half of pregnancies are planned..but for real though I don’t think my mom was anticipating getting pregnant at the age of 42! (yes you read that correctly!) – I just like to say that they kept trying until they got perfection .. ha! So yes! I have two older sisters that are 15 and 20 years older than me! (I won’t disclose my age so you can do the math ;)) I even became an aunt at the age of five! So I have four nieces and one nephew! So much fun being an auntie..and the youngest has grown way too fast!
2. I graduated from a class of 34! Yup. Small town kid. We had a pretty tight knit group – the boys in my class seemed more like brothers than anything and for the most part all of us got along really well and we hung out with the classes that were older and younger that us.I went to one of those schools who pretty much everyone was in all sports, was in band and choir – etc because if we weren’t we wouldn’t have enough to participate! My hometown doesn’t even have a stop light (and still doesn’t) but we do have a bar, three churches, a school, (sometimes a restaurant and bowling ally), a hardware store, beauty salon and a few other things!
3. Do you know the reason why this blog is called Fit with Heart? Well…I will share a part of the reason… I was born with a congenital heart defect called a Ventricular Septal Defect aka VSD – this means that I was born with a really small hole between the lower chambers of my heart. I have a heart murmur SUPER loud that I’ve been told it sounds like a “washing machine” when you take a listen with a stethoscope. Some people with a VSD are unable to do physical activity because simply they get very short of breath and can’t tolerate it. I’m SOOO BLESSED that (knock on wood) I have always been able to be active, never had any restrictions and just have to get it checked out every so often to make sure there are no changes. At this point I do not need to have the procedure to get it closed.
4. My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly seven years! Yes. You read that correctly. And to be honest..he is the first “real” boyfriend I have ever had 🙂 We met during college (I was 20 at the time) – we both went to the same college and both worked at Olive Garden! Him a busser and me a server – we rarely ever worked the same shifts, but when we did we ALWAYS ended up talking. With all of our mutual friends we eventually ended up hanging out together and even going on a first official date! Well – the rest is history and here we are today! He’s my best friend. My roommate. My number one. And I really can’t imagine life any other way – so I’m praying that I get the blessing to spend the rest of it with him!
5. I am a nurse and while so many people ask me “why I chose” that profession I really can’t really give you a direct answer! I was a nurses aid as a high school student and worked at a nursing home from the age of 16 through my first summer after my freshman year of college. I was one of those weirdos that went to college and knew that I wanted to be a nurse. Worked my patootie off to get a 4.0…got into the program at the school of my choice and graduated in four years… got my job of choice even prior to graduation my career in nursing starting off in Cardiac ICU! Nothing like jumping in head first…but I learned soooo much…
OK – that is enough for today! More to come on my fitness journey…health struggles and other good stuff (well I hope anyway) – Now I want to know – What are some facts about YOU? Share some below!
Categories
Food

Cookie Science! Creating the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie – Post 1

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Let me clarify – To me that means Chewy, doughy, soft, chocolatey, buttery, salty awesomeness. Its crazy how much baking truly is an art and takes practice and experimentation to get the “results” that you are looking for. Plenty of flour, sugar, butter and love have went into (and spritzed around) my kitchen lately as I’m determined to create my own favorite recipe!

Cookie Science! Creating the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – Post 1

Not all cookies are created equal! There is RARELY a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is identical to another one. I have a few “go to” recipes for cookies, but lately I have been trying different combinations of the elements that go into the ingredients in different combinations in order to find my perfect one.

This will likely be a series of blog posts – but here is a start!

First Ingredient… BUTTER – and more specifically…UNSALTED butter. Unsalted butter is used so that you can control the amount of butter in the recipe. Every brand of butter is different and no two sticks are for surely the same amount…so in order to maintain control… Unsalted it is! I buy my butter at Costco and store extras in the freezer!

Now – melted or softened to room temp???

The above cookie is made with semi melted butter…meaning that some of the stick was melted, but the rest of the stick remained shaped, but soft. There are also recipes that call for just “room temperature” butter – Meaning leave the butter out long enough so that when you press on it, your finger leaves an imprint.  I have NOT had the best results with using butter this way as I felt that cookies were too “tough” for my taste.

Browned butter is another technique I use fairly often when baking. To brown butter you add the butter to a saute pan that is set on the stove top to medium/low. Let the butter melt while stirring it and it will eventually start to bubble and foam. Keep a close eye on the butter so that it doesn’t start to burn..but starts to turn a golden color with flecks and you will notice a toffee like smell (mmm…) Remember to stir continuously! Once it reaches that beautiful golden color remove the pan from the burner and pour the butter into a glass bowl to let cool for about 15 minutes before adding to your cookie recipe. You don’t want it to be piping hot or boiling when you add it!

Butter Winner = Browned butter melted or just melted unsalted butter

Next element: sugar .. or I mean sugarS. I like a CHEWY cookie so I use more brown sugar than white granulated sugar – Like a 2:1 ratio. In my cookie recipe I have been using 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. Make sure your brown sugar is packed into the cup tightly! I tend to go with the light brown sugar, but there is also dark brown sugar which contains more molasses giving it a more distinct flavor. Some recipe call for equal parts brown and white sugar and some even do that more white sugar than brown – those are going to be your crispier cookies –

Sugar winner: 1 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

Next element… eggs! Eggs also have many options! I use a large size egg for all of my baking. Most recipe call for two whole eggs. My favorite? 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk. These make the most moist cookies! (sorry..I hate that word too!) Another tip – make sure your eggs are room temperature. Warm butter + cold eggs ay = scrambled eggs….ISH! – to hurry up this process I add my eggs to a bowl and fill it with hot water and let them sit for about 5-10 minutes before adding to my cookie dough.

Egg winner = 1 whole large egg + 1 large egg yolk

Ok … enough for today! Next round I’ll go into vanilla and the elements that make cookies puffy and/or chewy!

What are your thoughts on these elements that go into cookies?
​Any opinions on butter, sugar and eggs?

Categories
Food Health

I’m Seeing Changes from my Workout Program…but it’s NOT What You Think.

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so many times you start a new nutrition program, workout routine or other healthy change for the goal to make changes to your body… and years ago when I started running I would be lying to you if I said I hadn’t hoped for that. But now it’s different. I’ve been doing a workout program called Shift Shop the last few weeks and just yesterday I looked in the mirror and saw a huge change. I could seriously cry.

I’m Seeing Changes from my Workout Program…but it’s NOT What You Think.

It’s not a change in my figure. A change in muscle tone or growth. It wasn’t a change in the number on the scale. Or even abs starting to show.

It was looking at myself in the mirror and realizing that I felt good in my own head.

I have STRUGGLED with some workout programs because I feel like I’m doing it because all the other coaches are doing it and promoting it … so wouldn’t I too? And to be honest when I’ve done insanity workouts I didn’t like them. I did for a while, but go BURNT out with all the jumping and intensity and scream in your faceness. And at first I thought The Shift Shop was going to be something similar.

But I’m determined to go outside my comfort zone. I don’t want to be that person at the gym for hours or the girl running miles on the treadmill because she feels like she has to.
If you WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT you have to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Chris Downing is a different type of trainer. I did his workout LIVE in the Dominican Republic on the rewards trip. And he just has a way of speaking to you. He’s humble. Understanding. Down to earth. And the SHIFT he talks about it making one WITHIN you. Because you are WORTHY of everything you desire. And it goes much farther than six pack abs.

So for the last month I’ve been doing post on instagram and facebook about confessions. Confessions of my struggles with perfection. Just being me. No facade. And yesterday I finally feel a realization surfaced. I’ve been pushing play in this program for a different reason. I’m pushing play because doing something that is hard to me and overcoming it feels good. Knowing I CAN do something I commit to doing feels good. It feels like I’m sweating my way into a meditation and after I feel BETTER.

I’m working on a SIX PACK MINDSET. Not abs.

Are you ready for a CHANGE?!? I would be BLESSED to introduce you and be a part of these changes within too.

Quick form to fill out here and let’s work TOGETHER

What is on your mind today?
What changes internally have you been working on?
Do you struggle with things like this too?

Categories
Food

Easy Stir fry with New Costco Finds!

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Raise your hand if you like easy meals that are done in less than 30 minutes – taste delish and are actually good for you? OH and you can use up what you have in the fridge? – STIR FRY!

Easy Stir fry with New Costco Finds!

raises both hands in the air… ha! Stir fry is awesome….especially because you seriously can’t mess it up! So flexible – (unlike my personal self…ha!)
So I didn’t get it ALL from Costco – here are what I set out to use with it! The frozen stir fry veggie mix was from Costco. I believe this huge bag was like $7 only and it has a great mix of veggies: pea pods, broccoli, carrots, peppers, zucchini, beans and mushrooms. I also grabbed this can of minced ginger! Ginger is a highly anti-inflammatory food and with the gut issues I’ve been having lately I’ll take any healing food I can get! I also grabbed this bottle of liquid coconut aminos! Coconut aminos is similar to soy sauce, but this one is soy free, lower in sodium and gives you a different taste – something new right?
this was a Costco find! Its ramen style noodles made with only TWO ingredients – which is awesome in my opinion. It is gluten free – I’m not gluten free, but for those that have celiac or have an irritation to gluten this would be a great option for you too!
Ingredients: organic brown rice flour, organic millet – one serving is a half piece and the size of the pieces are about the same size as the regular ramen noodles I remember from growing up! Yup. I was that child that LOVED the chicken ramen noodles from the store! haha!
Bone broth…have you heard of it? I know it sounds gross! But like I was saying I have been reading and researching a ton on gut health! (more to come on that later) So bone broth is just that! So what is so special about it when it tastes just like regular chicken or beef broth? It contains a ton of collagen protein and it is broken down in the purest and simplest form so your body doesn’t have to do the work and can just simply be absorbed. It supposedly has some magical gut healing powers – and I’m all for that!
here is the finished product on my plate – i sprinkled on some daiya shredded cheese and some nutritional yeast too! … ok ok …I’ll share the recipe finally!
Now the How To…
Let me know what you think when you try it!

How do you like your stir fry?

Are you interested in gut health or have you had any issues yourself?

Any fun Costco finds?

Have you tried bone broth?

Feel free to pin and share this image or link with a friend!
Categories
Food

Easy Broccoli Salad

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An easy and versatile dish that is perfect for the holiday weekend or any time!

Easy Broccoli Salad

I used to make this salad ALL the time, but it has been so long! I think it’s because I hate cleaning fresh broccoli. Note to self: next time buy the pre-cleaned, pre-stemmed kind in the produce refrigerated section! You can easily use other vegetables you have on hand…some other ideas: cauliflower, carrots, peppers, zucchini, egg plant, peas – Feel free to add extra cheese, use shredded vs. the chopped or leave it out altogether. Really..do whatever you wish to suit your preferences.
Gather all of your ingredients and get to cleaning and chopping! Toss all of this into a large bowl. All of these “measurements” were guesstimations – SO really you can’t screw it up.

In a separate smaller bowl add all of your dressing ingredients. Regular white vinegar would work if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. I used stevia to sweeten, but feel free to use regular white sugar, another sweetener and I think even honey would work too. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and add pepper to your own liking! Dump the dressing on the veggies and stir it up! Put it in the fridge or eat right away – ENJOY!

What is your favorite dish to bring to family get togethers?
What is your least favorite veggie to clean?
Categories
Health

Sneaky Ways to Heal your Guts

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No one likes to talk about poop. But everyone does it. (or at least I hope so!) Some more than others and some more regular than others. It’s definitely something you take for granted UNTIL you run into issues…WIthout getting TOO personal today I just wanted to share a few things I have been incorporating into into healing my gut!

Sneaky Ways to Heal your Guts

There are a few things I have been incorporating into my daily routine and a few tweaks I have been making to my routine to ensure that things STAY on track. (if you know what I mean).
My daily Shakeology. It contains greens, high fiber nutrients like chia and flax and also has probiotics and prebiotics that help keep those little bacteria in our GI happy! and all the veggies – tastes like ice cream and its has $42 worth of produce in ONE serving.
SO many things about this picture above:

1. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies high in fiber! These vegetables literally SWEEP out the intestinal tract. Please use caution as vegetables such as these are NOT going to be easy on your digestion if you are going TOO much as it may be TOO stimulating to your system. so if you are following LOW FODMAPS these are NOT the right foods for you! But that is another post in itself! (more to come in another post if you would like!)

2. Adding spices like minced ginger and tumeric – these two seasonings are super high in antioxidants and anti inflammatory and have known to heal the body! Tumeric is a BRIGHT yellow seasoning that has also been known to treat Diabetes Type 2, Arthritis, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, reduce stress and much more! Ginger also has a TON of health benefits! Just a few include fighting cancer, is used as an anti-nausea, lowers cholesterol, soothes muscle pain as WELL as calming digestion issues!

3. Please note the spicy sauces and garlic and onions may also be upsetting to the GI – just depending on where you are at in your gut health!

Bone broth! Ever heard of it? I know it sounds creepy but it is super duper healing for your insides! It is literally from the insides of bones – sounds gross but its the most broken down form of collagen protein making it super easy for your body to break down! The many benefits to your health include healing the digestive system, glowing skin, decreased cellulite, boosts immunity and even improves sleep! It literally tastes good – the kind I tried tastes like chicken broth!
Probiotic fermented drinks like kombucha – and this sparkling kevita drink is my favorite! There are a ton of varieties with many flavors! Just check the label to make sure there aren’t a ton of added sugars that are unneccesary!
How is your gut health? Any issues? Do you do any of the above things to help your digestion? What works for you?
Categories
Food

Food Prep, Weekend So Far and He is One!

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You best believe these cookies happened and I LOVE them. Love them. Soft. Chewy. Plenty of Chocolate and don’t forget the SEA SALT on the top!

Ok – the last couple days has been on the go – but all good stuff (can you tell? um…I mean I did start with COOKIES!)

Food Prep, Weekend So Far and He is One!

I shared a few of my favorite tips for my idea of cookie perfection over on instagram – and I’ll share them with you too!

1. Use unsalted butter! Bring that AND your eggs to room temp before you start
2. Don’t over mix the flour in – it should be JUST until it’s combined
3. ALWAYS parchment paper – easy cleanup and even baking!
4. Chill the dough overnight…It might feel hard to wait but it is so worth it. SO MUCH FLAVOR
5. The cookies will look under baked – and that is ok! Pat them down lightly with a spoon and then sprinkle on some sea salt….let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 3-5 minutes before moving to the cooling rack
6. Don’t forget to add plenty of chocolate to your dough – I like to mix semi sweet and dark chocolate. Chopping up chocolate bars is amazing too!

What are your favorite cookie baking/making tips?

I went back home Friday and one of my work friends was back in her hometown nearby too! So what are we to do on a friday off? Well…meet up for a bloody mary in my small hometown of course!
So fun to catch up, enjoy a cold one and enjoy the small town life! There was us…and MAYBE four others in the whole place…
The rest of the afternoon I spent with mom and dad. I’ve been trying to get back home on my day off! Mom and I worked on this puzzle, drank coffee, went for a walk all while dad worked out at the farm!

Made it home by six and relaxed with B for awhile! We watched American Sniper and then ended up going to the bar and grill down the street and meeting up with some friends. I was nearly sleeping on the floor BUT sucked it up and went anyway!

FRENCH TOAST was on my brain when I woke up in the morning. Can’t believe it but I didn’t get out of bed until 8!

​Here is how I made it!
– 1/4 cup egg whites, a pinch of stevia, cinnamon, almond extract, 1 T Vanilla Shakeology and a splash of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk! Whip that all together and I used a piece of Sara Lee Whole Wheat Bread to soak it all up and then cooked like french toast! (duh!) Topped it off with almond butter and raspberries…the best! And of course I had to have some eggs too!

Spent the rest of the morning working on a coach things! Getting a new client started right in her workout program and nutrition regimen and answering facebook messages and emails. Had to also get the present wrapped that I got for my favorite and newest ONE YEAR OLD! One of my besties’ little man turned one 🙂 So me and B went to his party for a bit in the afternoon!

We didn’t stay long, but little man DEFINITELY loved his cake! Has been SO FUN to see him grow up although it’s happening way too fast!!!
When we got back to town B had a golf outing planned with a few friends and for some reason I really felt like going for a walk/run. So I just went! I downloaded the latest Tony Robbins podcast episode that featured Gary Vee – talking about investments, gratefulness and other randoms. The best multi-tasking! Do you have any favorite podcasts?

Nine years ago today was my first half marathon! Today I have no idea how far I went, how fast I went and man that wind today was killer! (welcome to ND. ha!) – but you know what? I can honestly say that it felt good to just go out and MOVE. THAT is what activity should be about people. No obsessing over numbers, times, distance – but just a celebration of what we CAN DO.

Gotta love that the basketball hoop in the background toppled over into our yard. (see what I mean? … wind!)
Tomorrow on the agenda: some meal prep and a baby shower!

Prepping some side salads, roast some broccoli, marinate some duck, sloppy joes and homemade paleo buns too!

Will post more about that later…

How is your weekend so far?
​What have you been up to?

Categories
Food

Air Fryer Chicken & Steak Fajita Bowls

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I put off getting an air fryer for so long … I didn’t want to get another fad appliance that would just sit in storage! But so far I have been using it so much it has been allowed to stay on the counter – Decided to try making all the ingredients for fajitas in there… and they turned out great!

Best part? I cooked once and this meal has already been eaten in two different ways!

Air Fryer Chicken and Steak Fajita Bowls

I’m sure this meal could be done in the oven or stove top too –

Here is how it went down!

1. Cut up your proteins! I chose chicken breasts and venison steak and sliced them into even strips. Added them to a bowl and seasoned with Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning – but use whatever you have on hand! (I’ll post the link to the seasoning below)

2. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees and start! I let it run for about 4 minutes and then sprayed the basket with cooking spray before adding the meat.

3. Let cook for about 6 minutes and flip the chicken and steak! Cook another 6 minutes and remove. (I like my steak medium rare … so cook to your own liking)

4. Meanwhile… get going with your veggie while the meat is cooking. I used 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, a container of sliced white mushrooms and half of an onion sliced into strips. I added all the veggies to a bowl and seasoned again with the Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning.

5. Clean out your basket of your air fryer – and now spray again before adding all the veggies. I cooked them at 400 for about 10 minutes and shaking them up about half way through.

Now grab a bowl and start layering!

layer one: a few greens! (I used a favorite chopped salad mix)
layer two: all the meat!

layer three: the peppers, onions and mushrooms
layer four: a drizzle of chipotle ranch and hot sauce
layer five: a few crunched up nacho chips

You could also add any of your favorite fajita toppings! Some ideas are guacamole, shredded cheese, salsa, black beans – whatever comes to mind.

Best part of this? It was made multiple ways – You could also add the fixings to a tortilla!

The possibilities are endless!

Do you have an air fryer?
What are your favorite toppings?
How would you make your fajita bowls? or do you prefer tortillas?

Find some of my favorites from the kitchen below!
Categories
Me

A WEDDING IN FOUR MONTHS? ARE YOU CRAZY?

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maybe a little bit but aren’t we all??? I have been asked so many times how we have planned our wedding in such a short engagement period. Most people are engaged for a year – when we got engaged in May I couldn’t imagine waiting over a year for a wedding! We have been together over eight years…I couldn’t wait to be able to call B my husband… and with hunting season coming up in September we chose the only date that in the month that didn’t involve another friends’ wedding OR impede on bird/bow hunting season… September 15th, 2018 – We got engaged May 11th – so we had about 4 months to plan! Bring it on.

A Wedding in Four Months? Are you Crazy?

First things first I dove right into research and nailing down the main things. We had a venue we have had our eye on for a while a new place – so I contacted him so that we could come see it! I reached out to photographers, a dj and pastors in the area as well as the one back home.

After visiting the venue we sat down and had a big conversation about the benefits and negatives of the place…and we decided to put a big YES on it. We set up a meeting with the caterer we work with.

Another big thing? (no pun intended … ) BUDGET. Google docs has a premade template we used for wedding planning. We sat down and created an estimated budget. I had to have a cold one or two while we did this… we wanted to make it nice, make it fun but make it reasonable and nothing outrageous!

One of the other first things? Creating a guest list. We did this in the google doc – starting with closest family…and working our way outward to friends. Also having to figure out our wedding party was so hard! I knew a few of my friends wouldn’t be able to be a part of it due to other commitments on the day of or before our wedding. Decided on our people and I sent out some cute invites for them! They already knew anyway…because I did ask per phone 🙂 When you don’t have much time to work with you have you don’t mess around!

I asked B what he wanted to be a part of intimately when planning and what things he did’t mind me just going for – I didn’t want to just start doing things because we are a team! But I also know him and know he doesn’t want me to ask about every specific detail.

Two rules we and I have had.

1. He told me “You aren’t allowed to pull the panic button unless someone is actively dying.” Noted babe.

2. Make a decision and go with it. Something I told myself from the beginning because we BOTH have a tendency to hmmmmm and haawwwww over things.

Start scheduling things and making decisions.
Schedule engagement photos – get them back – make the invites – get them and SEND THEM.
Created a wedding website for RSVPs and wedding details.
Make a hotel block – research what i the best deal in the area.
Decide on cake and food.
I kept it simple and let the bridesmaids get their own dresses – just told them the color.
Found a dress at the first place in 45 minutes and bought it off the rack.

Stay organized throughout the process.. I have an ongoing list that I check things off as I do them each day – If somethings takes like a half hour to do – DO IT NOW and don’t just wait until the week of! Need bride make up? Go buy it now. Need to wrap bridal party gifts? Perfect go do it now. Need to pack the decor in totes? Great do it. Oh and amazon prime and etsy are amazing.

Hope this helps you all get an idea of how we have been going about it, not stressing too much and just enjoying it. Something I remind myself EVERY day is how pumped I am for our MARRIAGE – the wedding is just one day! 🙂

How long was your engagement?

Anything surprise you after reading this?

Categories
Lifestyle Me

Punta Cana 2017

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blog recap of our Punta Cana trip! It’s nice to be home, but also I miss it at the same time! If that even makes sense? I feel so blessed to be able to have gone – it is through the company beachbody that I earned this trip for free just for helping people and also while working on my own goals too! B came with me on the trip and I couldn’t be MORE GRATEFUL that he was my adventure and traveling partner –

Punta Cana 2017

We drove down to B’s parents house the night before our flight left – unfortunately the closest airport that I could find a flight for was four hours away (I try to fly local whenever possible!) We got to their house late, took a nap and we were up and on the road again by 3 am to get to to the airport. We made it to our gate with about an hour to spare! We met up with my coach Jana and her bf since they were on the same flight as us and actually were sitting right in front of us. SO OBVIOUSLY we had to take an airplane selfie! (B refused to be in the picture)

It was a long day of traveling which is always the worst part! We flew MSP to Charlotte and then Charlotte to Punta Cana. We arrived around 3:30 pm their time and it was sunny and 80 degree. Palm trees, sunny skies, happy people…how can you go wrong? OH and did I mention that it was LITERALLY SNOWING when we left MN??? They had to de-ice the plane before we flew out!

We met another couple on the flight to Punta Cana – Eric and Emily – I seriously feel like Emily and I are so much alike and it was fun to meet someone new and we hung out during our stay in Punta Cana too!

When we arrived at the Hard Rock we were greeted with live music, a dude on rollerblades that lit up like rainbows, batman driving a batmobile and were handed fruity delicious cocktails as we came into the lobby. I’m dead serious about all of that.

Once we checked in we made our way to our room! We stayed right on the beach which was PRETTY FAR from the main lobby…oh well – I guess we got our steps in! AND we were close to the ocean!

How crazy huge is this resort? and this is just the MAIN lobby area! While we stayed our full three days I know we didn’t even see half of the property. INSANE.

After getting settled in our room we got ready and ventured out to explore a bit, say hi to the ocean and get some FOOD. SERIOUSLY traveling makes a person so hungry! We ended up eating at a cafe because it was just right there – but the food wasn’t the greatest! (oh well) – at least the drinks were good! We also checked out the huge welcome ceremony and grabbed dessert there! There were soooo many people! We were in bed so early this night … we had been up since about 3 am with little sleep the night before!

I have a serious obsession with the bathroom they had there…WALK IN SHOWER with double heads, HUUGGGEE getting ready area oh and there was a JACUZZI in our room too! I also didn’t hate that they provided me with a comfy robe and slippers….
On Friday, us coaches met up at the live workout at 7:30! NO you DON’T have to workout, but we were PUMPED to be able to do workouts LIVE with the actual trainers, in a room full of energy with a BLASTING DJ! The energy is UNREAL. We did Core de Force and also got to workout with a new Beachbody Trainer Chris Downing – his new workout called Shift Shop comes out in July! See a preview HERE
Core de Force is one of my FAVORITE workouts and it was a blast to be able to workout with Joel and Jericho live. ALSO I wasn’t sure what I would think of the new Shift Shop workout – but I honestly think CHRIS is what makes the workout awesome. The moves remind me a lot of athletic training and everyday felt like leg day! (good thing leg day is my favorite! ha!)

Check out his motivation and drive HERE – this is actually a video someone took from the event and he actually took someone on stage with him!

It was an afternoon pool and ocean day! Laying on a beach chair, cold drink, the boys in the pool hanging out. The sun was out, but not TOO intense and it was JUST warm enough. Jana, Alicia and I visited and the boys were playing around in the pool and busy trying out all the drinks. I looked over at B and said “this is pretty terrible isn’t it…” and he had to agree… (I hope you caught the tremendous sarcasm…)
As you can see I’m DEFINITELY NOT hating life right here…

Eventually we ventured up to the ocean area! The others wanted to play sand volleyball so we went up there to make a team and find someone to play! (I was content watching!)

but before we left we of course had to get a picture with our favorite bartender! “Fetty Wap” – All of the workers at the resort had nicknames on their badges – their real name and then a name of a singer/rapper/rocker.

At the beach we grabbed a snack too! There is ALWAYS food around. Absolutely no excuse to go hungry! Even at the ocean then had grills going with kabobs, fish, burgers, hotdogs, nachos, pizza (their pizza doesn’t have sauce and had corn on it! interesting right?) There was even ICE CREAM! I’m sure there were other things too!

We even ran into our president of Global Sales…Jeff Hill! (so of course the picture!) It was awesome to be able to visit with someone from corporate.. He expressed how grateful he is for us COACHES! We are what change lives he said – He felt so blessed to be in Punta Cana with us!

After a beachy afternoon we went back to our room to clean up and meet up at the steakhouse. I was HUNNGGRRYY. The food was much better here! I went with fresh salmon and steamed veggies!

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Jana and I had to snap one more picture before I headed off to bed! B ventured up with the rest of the crew to check out the casino/bars for a bit – I am a grandma and went to bed. He eventually found his way home….
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Back at it again the next morning! We did double workouts again! Alicia and I were SO SPENT by the end but it was too fun to leave! My phone did a cool trick this day…did a HARD RESTART. I’m still working on recovering things…but for the most part I lost all of my pictures…

OH WELL! We will just call it part of spring cleaning!! – We did another LIVE Core de Force this day and a Shift Shop workout! Cardio and strength training both workouts. They had Shakeology available between workouts and after and you BET I sucked that thing down SOOOO FAST!

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When afternoon hit we all met up at the same pool again and then ventured down to the ocean! Jana’s bf and mine rented boogie boards so we watched them get attacked by waves! haha They were having a blast! While they did that we had our own ocean photo shoot…
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so much fun! and major KUDOS to Jana for doing amazing handstands…I think that will be my next fitness goal (since mine didn’t go so well….)
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That night for dinner we hit up the steakhouse again – it was super conveniently located right next to our room! This time I ordered a filet minot and steamed veggies and RED WINE. The server brought me the whole bottle! I definitely did NOT finish it! haha My food was again super good!
We met up with Chris and Jana and then also another friend and coach Kalai – her mom cam e with her on the trip too! Her mom I have to thank for taking a ton of pictures and videos of us throughout the trip. I loved hearing about how adventurous these two have been during the trip to Punta Cana. They hardly sat still, did a TON of excursions and had a blast!
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Later I had a craving for something sweet! (weird I know..haha) so HELLO ROOM SERVICE that brought me this oreo cheesecake. I had a hard time picking between that an a brownie with ice cream…

SERIOUSLY – there is anything here! We also had a mini bar in our room with anything you could ever dream of wanting…I wish I had this service at home!

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 The LAST full day started the same as the last two! To be honest I wasn’t sure how many of the live workouts I would do on this trip…but Alicia and I decided we might as well do doubles on the 3rd day too. I’m not going to lie. It was HARD. We did the first workout Shift shop and at the end we held a TWO MINUTE bear crawl plank. I swear everything was shaking. Then we decided to stick it out and do Core de Force – and they announced they were going to give us the full live experience and do TWELVE ROUNDS! Please note that the other days we did 6… It’s definitely more of a challenge to work out in the humidity! And I’m sure I was dehydrated and not to mention being out of a “normal” eating routine, sleep routine and extra cocktails too! (sorrynotsorry!) The hanger started to get real during the last couple rounds…and I don’t think I’ve EVER sucked down Shakeology so fast! But seriously – we rocked it! Eric and Emily came too!
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Sadly it was POURING RAIN for our last day! But hey…what do you do? We were lazy around our room and ordered room service breakfast and just tried to RELAX on our last day! I would much rather be in the Dominican where it’s rainy… versus being back home in the cold and snow! I was going absolutely STIR CRAZY so we found a break in the rain and ventured up to the main lobby! We browsed the shops for a souvenir and ran across this virtual golf! NO ONE ELSE seemed to know about it! B played a round and then we caught up with Alicia and Scott!
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We grabbed some pina coladas while the boys golfed together! I think they were on that thing for a few hours! Then we wandered the stores, grabbed some snacks, checked out the ice cream shop, got our pictures taken with a spider monkey and some parrots (no big deal) and just kinda bummed around. Lots of laughs for sure!
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Pina Coladas for the win! I want one of those slushy machines for the lake…and don’t forget the rum!

On the last night at the resort they had a big farewell party for us coaches! Unfortunately due to the weather it was moved from the beach to the indoor huge ballroom. But the show must go on! We went back to the room and got ready for our final night!

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He’s pretty handsome…I think I’ll keep him 😉
Had to snap some more pictures of course! Seriously had such a blast with all of these people..lots of laughs, sunshine, brainstorm sessions, sharing and just LIVING.

Let’s just say morning came soooooo fast. We headed back to our room about 10 pm and our alarms set for 3 am! We had to check out the hotel and be on our shuttle to the airport at 4 am (keep in mind this is like 3 am back home!) –

We made it to the airport and stood in the longest line EVER to check a bag. SERIOUSLY that was the longest part of the whole airport experience and I was super nervous we weren’t going to make it to our gate in time..but long story short…we did!

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We even had time to grab some food and water for the plane! Who remembers these suckers? The sucker stick is a whistle! I SO remember these from elementary! Unfortunately I didn’t buy one of these big ones, but I did snag a few to try: apple, strawberry and watermelon!

Despite the rain our flight was on time! Yay! We were even on the same plane as all of the super trainers: Joel, Jericho and her family and Chris Downing was actually sitting right behind us on the plane. I was pumped about it, but B told me to quit being such a stalker…

Not going to lie…that layover of 4 hours in Miami sucked! We were exhausted and just ready to be home! But our flight was on time again…yay! We landed in Minneapolis at about 4:30 pm so even a little ahead of schedule. My luggage made it too which is always a win…but my luggage bag is pretty destroyed. Anyone ever seen how they handle luggage? No wonder it had a HUGE RIP in it… BUT if that is the worst thing we are good shape! We found the car and hit the road for our four hour drive home…but hey. We were closer!

We were absolutely STARVING!!! I wanted something FRESH (B inserts eye roll here) He dropped me off at Subway while he grabbed a burger down the street. I seriously had the guy put everything on it – INCLUDING two chicken breasts and scarfed. plus two cookies. and a diet coke (random craving)

We made it home by 9 pm. Exhausted. I crashed for sure! But at the same time my head was spinning. How in the WORLD did we just go on that trip. I get to do what I love every day – I mean I enjoy helping people in their health goals, I love working on myself…and I get to travel to awesome places too. Seriously what would you have to lose from doing it too!

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Until next year – Riviera Maya here we come April 2018! Will you be joining us?

Have you ever been to Punta Cana or anywhere in the Dominican Republic?

What is your favorite place you have ever traveled?