Archive | Nutrition RSS feed for this section

My Journey to Cleaner Eating

21 Jun

Over the last 6 months I have been making a conscious effort to eat well and think about what I am putting in my body. Basically, I’ve been trying to “get clean”.

It all started in January when I decided to do a 28 day detox program created by Arbonne. I love Arbonne products, and trusted the program. I had some work to do in regards to my eating habits and was excited to see what improvements I saw with my body and my health.

I love good food. And I could easily eat out every meal. I love to try new things and enjoy different foods. While this has been a great way to compile a list of ‘Best Food in Kansas City’, it has not been good for my body. I started to think about how often I had been getting sick, and how often I felt tired and sluggish. While lack of sleep could play a role, I didn’t think it was the main culprit.

Cutting back on all the pizza was a little hard!

Cutting back on all the pizza was a little hard!

My 28 day cleanse lasted about 21 days. And I cheated on the weekends. I mean, I have to live my life and if my friends invite me to happy hour I refuse to sit there and drink water and not eat. So making it through the week days “clean” seemed like a great goal for me. It also seemed like a great way for me to focus on what I was putting into my body and how it made me feel.

Yes, month one of the new “cleaner-eating-Ali” was a bit rough. I was cranky and just wanted my sweets and restaurant food. But each day seemed to get better than the one before. And I was noticing that while mentally I was a little bitchy, physically I felt awesome. And the stomach aches I often had subsided. I knew my mind would catch up to my body. And it did.

Before I make my food decisions now, I run through a list of questions in my head.

Do I really need to eat this? Usually, the answer is no. I used to snack ALL day. Now, I plan my snacks and bring them to work with me. Instead of eating pretzels, granola bars, or candy, I stick with a yogurt, nuts or a homemade energy bar or bite. And instead of drinking high calorie coffee drinks as an afternoon boost, I have tea or put some fruit in my water.

I make a breakfast item every week now as my pre-workout snack.

I make a breakfast item every week now as my pre-workout snack.

Obsessed with energy bites!!

Obsessed with energy bites!!

Can I make it healthier? When cooking a recipe, I always look at the ingredient list to see what I can sub. Sometimes the results are good, others are not so great. But at least I tried. I also apply this to every day when I make my lunch. I used to put things on my sandwiches without even thinking about it. Now I use only ingredients that are beneficial to me and providing some sort of healthy benefit.

Instead of ground beef, I use ground turkey. This was an awesome Turkey Meatball recipe from my Runner's World cookbook.

Instead of ground beef, I use ground turkey. This was an awesome Turkey Meatball recipe from my Runner’s World cookbook.

How will I feel after? Is eating this ____ (insert donut, cookie, etc) going to make me feel good afterwards (mentally and physically)? Is it really worth it? Sometimes, the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. And sometimes it takes the greatest willpower on earth not to shove the bag of doritos my husband brings home into my mouth.

Never knew how much I loved stuffed peppers until the detox!

Never knew how much I loved stuffed peppers until the detox!

I do feel that the smarter-eating-Ali is a much healthier Ali. I am absolutely not a “clean eater” by the standards of some people, but I do believe I am much better than the average person. I have seen improvements in my body physically, and also mentally. I don’t know about weight loss, since I try not to use weight as a measurement, but my clothes still fit and I am feeling happier about my body. I have also been warding off illnesses and feeling more energized during the day.

I practice "Eat This, Not That" a lot at home. Ramsey always wants the pasta, so I am able to make myself a low carb version on lettuce.

I practice “Eat This, Not That” a lot at home. Ramsey always wants the pasta, so I am able to make myself a low carb version on lettuce.

Sure, I still have PLENTY of cheat meals. But I have far less of them than I did before. And to me, that is a victory (progress, not perfection). I am sure a lot of people would cringe with some of the junk I still put into my body. I’m not perfect.

I do not believe in depriving yourself, but I do believe in making smart decisions about what you’re putting in your body. If there is a day where my co workers bring cupcakes for a birthday, naturally I will eat one. Or two (ughhhhh). But then I go back to the clean eating ways and it all seems to even out.

I will never turn this down. I will just try not to eat the entire box of them :)

I will never turn this down. I will just try not to eat the entire box of them 🙂


How do you balance your eating? Do you have any tips for someone who wants to make “cleaner and smarter” eating a part of their life?


Recipe: Favorite Guacamole

9 Jun

I love guac. A lot. I used to hate it, but now I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Over the past few months, I have perfected my guacamole recipe, and it is ready to share.

This recipe is totally clean and can be used at every meal. For breakfast I throw it on eggs, lunch I put it on sandwiches and salads, and dinner I will put it on anything that can be used as a vehicle to get the stuff in my mouth. Like I said, I love guac.

  • 3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (I like red onion)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (or 1tsp of cilantro you get in the spice aisle)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Mash the avocados with a potato masher. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy in all the ways mentioned above, or throw it on some whole grain tortilla chips. These are my fav.



How do you make your guac? Any tips for my recipe?



Recipe: Overnight Oats

15 Oct

I am obsessed with overnight oats. I could eat them every single day, multiple times a day. So darn good.

So what are overnight oats? Well, you’re about to find out!

Overnight oats are a combination of ingredients that soak in your fridge overnight. There are so many awesome combinations of overnight oats, and it is hard to go wrong when making them.

Below is one of my favorite recipes for the oats that I make a few times a week.

One thing to be aware of when making these is to monitor what you are putting in. If you don’t watch your ingredients carefully this could become a higher calorie meal or snack than you would want.

Almond milk, greek yogurt, PB, Chia Seeds, Oats, Fruit

Almond milk, greek yogurt, PB, Chia Seeds, Oats, Fruit

image (8)

The chocolate almond milk is amazing!! But you could use regular almond or plain milk.

image (3)

This Greek Gods yogurt is now one of my favorites.

image (7)

Use frozen fruit or fresh fruit. All works great!

image (6)

These take some getting used to but have great benefits (so people say).

image (5)

Old fashioned oats.

image (4)

When I am not marathon training I use PB2. Lighter calorie option for the PB flavor.

Layer it all up, put it in the fridge overnight!

Layer it all up, put it in the fridge overnight!

Stir up and enjoy in the morning. I like to add some crunchy Kashi on top.

Stir up and enjoy in the morning. I like to add some crunchy Kashi on top.

Calorie counts depend on the ingredients you add. This combination is around 300 calories and I eat it for breakfast. You can make it lower if you use lowfat yogurt, PB2 and plain almond milk.

  • 1/2c Almond Milk
  • 1/3c Greek Yogurt
  • Fruit (frozen or fresh)
  • 1tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4c Oats
  • 1/2tsp PB

Dump all ingredients in a bowl. Put in the fridge overnight. Stir up and enjoy in the morning.

(This will stay good for a couple days, so make a double batch to save time!)

Hope you enjoy!!!

Have you made overnight oats? Any tips or tricks to share with me?


Determined to Get Well Soon

4 Dec

Dallas is quickly approaching, and as of last week, I was more than ready to run this race. However today, it is a different story.

I have been a total germ-a-phobe the last few months and have done everything I could possibly do to not get sick. All of my precautions worked, until last Friday…

When I woke up on Friday morning, I knew things were not good. You know that feeling you get right when a cold is setting in? Well, I had it. With my asthma, I get knocked out by a cold. For me, I know what it entails, because I have been dealing with it my entire life. A cold means I get a respiratory infection and it means I spend at least a week hacking and coughing and feeling miserable (I know, poor me!!!).

With my big race on Sunday, you can imagine why I am freaking out a little bit. I have been training for 21 weeks for this race (which is over half of a pregnancy btw)! I want to rock this race, and run my heart out on Sunday. And the last thing I want is for my breathing issues to get in the way of that.

As soon as I felt the illness coming on Friday, I called my Doctor and got two of my inhalers refilled. I thought I would be able handle it with those and not have to go in for more medicine. Well, yesterday I had to give in an actually go into the Doctor for additional meds.

I am now operating under a full on “Get Well Plan”. Included in this plan is a ton of rest, lots of fluids, Emergen C and plenty of medicine.

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online...this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online…this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I am on Day Two of the plan, and still feel like crap. However I can tell that I am starting to get a little better.

Tonight I was feeling completely stir crazy and decided to get my bike out and ride stationary in the living room. Not working out since last Thursday was making me nutty. I had to sweat a little, and I am so glad that I did!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

My hope is that by Thursday I will be able to run, and by Sunday I will be able to rock my race! Sure, my breathing won’t be back to normal, but I do think it could be manageable to run a good race.

I welcome all tips and tricks you have for a breezy and fast recovery!



My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better!

My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better! My Mom has been quite the help too! 

MonaVie RVL Product Review

26 Feb

A few weeks ago, my friend Bev gave me a set of MonaVie RVL products to try out.

The RVL system is all about weight management in a healthy way. It is also about a lifestyle change, and ensuring that you can fit the products into your everyday life and follow the program without any added stress. See more in depth overview here.

The RVL System

The RVL system I got to try included protein shakes, vitamins, energy bars and acai juice.











I tried the vanilla shakes, and they were delicious. I would blend them up each morning with soy milk, frozen fruit and chia seeds.I would also mix them with water for a quick lunch at work.

One serving of the powdered shake had 180 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 27 grams carbs, 7 grams sugar, 12 grams fiber, 18 grams protein.

The shakes kept me feeling full for a few hours (which says a lot for me) and were very tasty. I was actually pretty sad when the product ran out.

Energy Bars










My mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack consisted of a RVL Nutrition Snack Bar, split in half (half in the AM, half in the PM).

The Snack Bar I tried was berry flavored. It tasted great, and I didn’t mind it at all (and you know how gross some of these bars can taste….).

The serving size is half of a bar. Each serving contains 100 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 12 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 5 grams protein.











The Dietary Supplements are to be taken twice a day. I took one at each snack time.

I only had three days worth of supplements, but I felt great when I was taking them.

Final Words

I loved the MonaVie RVL line. It was easy to add to my life, and tasted great also.

While on the RVL program, my energy levels were high and I felt amazing! I need plenty of nutrition to support my workout habits, and this line did the trick for me. I never felt like I was starving, and was never irritable because I was unfulfilled from the program (that happens to me 🙂 )

I would give my stamp of approval on the MonaVie program, and suggest that you should try it too.

Have you tried MonaVie? What did you think??


P.S. Want to try MonaVie too? Comment or email me and I will hook you up with Bev!!


Arbonne Review

29 Jan

Good evening, friends!

Last week I wrote a blog post letting everyone know that I would be trying out the Arbonne Essentials line over the next 5 days.

After trying a ton of products, I have to say I was pretty dang impressed by all of them. Below is a full recap of the products I tried, and the thoughts I had on each of them. Enjoy!

Protein Shakes

Each morning, I would enjoy a protein shake on the drive to work. The pre-packaged shake mixes were great to blend up with some frozen fruit, water and chia seeds. They kept me full until lunch and tasted so good, it was like having dessert for breakfast!

The pre-made version of the protein shake was also great. It was very convenient and yummy!

The stats:
160 Calories
20 grams vegan protein
13 grams of carbs
2 grams of fiber
20 essential vitamins and minerals

Contains NO lactose, cholesterol or gluten
Contains NO Trans Fats

Daily Power Packs

Everyday at lunch, I would take a power pack.

The power pack included 5 different vitamins.Packed in these 5 vitamins were 20 essential vitamins and minerals. The women’s version also included extra calcium to keep our bones mighty strong!

Sometimes multivitamins can make me feel nauseous, but I did not ever feel this way after taking these.

I did continue to take my nightly vitamins (calcium, vitamin C and fish oil) during this regimen, and never felt a vitamin overload” from taking so many. I just felt super healthy!

Energy Fizz Tabs

I, like many others, struggle with and afternoon sweet tooth and hunger.I was hoping that these fizz tabs would help with that problem, and keep me from indulging in any junk laying around.

I received the fizz tabs in two flavors: Pomegranate and Citrus. Both flavors tasted great!

The fizz tabs for sure helped with my afternoon hunger and gave me an extra energy burst. They actually kind of reminded me of Nuun, but had a stronger flavor. These tabs tasted great, and were an awesome way to perk up your water. Plus they only had 10 calories per tab!

Fit Chews

The fit chews were another great way to handle my afternoon hunger and sweet tooth!

The chews were a tasty chocolate, and did taste like candy! It was no Kit Kat, but it was still pretty darn good!

The chews are supposed to suppress appetite, and increase metabolism. I am not sure if helped suppress my appetite, but I can say it was a tasty alternative to hitting the candy jar at work (my worst enemy).

Herbal Detox Tea

The herbal detox tea was my afternoon and evening “warm me up”.

I love having tea in the afternoon, and I was hoping that this tea would actually good. Well…it did. I am obsessed with it. And it is amazing.

The tea is supposed to help support body cleansing and liver and kidney health. I felt refreshed after drinking it, and I am already craving my next cup!

Final Thoughts

So…what did I think about the products and my week of Arbonne? Well…I LOVED it! I felt great while taking the products, and had amazing workouts all week. My energy levels were through the roof, and I looked forward to having the products everyday.

I cannot wait to get more of these products and continue to use them on a regular basis. Considering how amazing I felt after one week, I cant imagine what I would feel like after a month!

Want to try Arbonne too (and I really think you should)? Contact my friend Jessica that hooked me up with all this yummy goodness! You can contact Jessica via email:, on her website or on facebook! And be sure to tell her I sent you (maybe you can even get a deal on some stuff!).

Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!



Healthy Cookie Heaven

25 Jan

I LOVE cookies, and I wanted to take a quick moment to share with you all my favorite healthy cookie recipe.

This recipe is from celebrity chef (and my favorite Bravo-lebrity) Bethenny Frankel.


1 & 1/2 cups Oat Flour (I use wheat flour)
3/4 cup Rolled Oats
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 raw sugar (yeah..I just use regular)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (dark chips are fab)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/3 cup soy milk
1/2 cup banana puree (I blend 1 large or 2 small bananas up in my GNC blender)
1 teaspoon vanilla

**If you’re adventurous, add some Chia seeds! This will give it an extra crunch and added nutrients!

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine all wet ingredients, mix
  3. Combine all dry ingredients, mix
  4. Mix it all together until the batter is sticky (don’t panic – this recipe is relatively dry)
  5. Use tablespoon and scoop batter onto cookie sheet
  6. Bake 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking (monitor cookies to ensure they do not over cook!)





A Week of Arbonne

22 Jan

My friend Jessica was so kind to give me a weeks worth of Arbonne products to try out and review. I will be kicking off my week of Arbonne tomorrow morning, and will be following it through Friday.

For a sneak peak of the products I get to review, please keep reading!

The protein shakes are number one on my list of products to try! I have them in these little packages, and also in a pre-made bottle. I have vanilla and chocolate to try, and with 20 g’s of protein packed in these babies, I have a feeling they will be an awesome meal replacement.


The power packs are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Each pack includes 5 supplements, and each one does something super special and awesome for the body.

After a week of taking these supplements, I am hoping to feel the difference in my mood and energy levels. I am also always looking for supplements that make my tummy happy, and these claim to do just that. Bring it on, power packs!

I expect these fizz tabs to get me through my afternoon lull, which hits daily at 2pm.

The fizz tabs contain antioxidants, and a blend of nutrients to give me a boost of energy (ginseng, green tea, guarana). Best part about them is the fact that they only contain 10 calories, and come in a pomegranate flavor!


The Herbal Detox Tea will serve as my mid-morning and late night boost of heat. I love drinking tea for the warmth, and this tea will also benefit my body by naturally detoxing my system.

And with no caffeine, I can enjoy it each night.

Along with these products, I also have some other exciting products to try during the week. I will share  all of these with you when I write my full review next Sunday. Look out for my tweets as well for a sneak preview of how I am liking these products!

Are you a fan of Arbonne? Any tips for me on how to maximize the results from the products?

Wishing you a great week ahead!



P.S. Are you intrigued enough by this post that you want to order Arbonne before I write the review? Contact Jessica at her website or on facebook!

%d bloggers like this: