Things I’m Loving Lately

Hi friends! I haven’t done a things I’m loving lately post in awhile so I thought it would be fun to mix it up. Enjoy!

1) The Winter Shape Up Facebook group!

You guys are an encouraging, supportive, and fun group! If you’re participating in the Winter Shape Up and haven’t joined the Facebook group yet, you should. Having peer support makes eating healthy and fitting in workouts so much easier. :) Loving all the updates and photos – please keep them coming!

winter shape up photo collage

My Winter Shape Up co-host/partner in crime Gina put together the cute collage above using some of the photos that have been posted in the Facebook group. Love it!

Speaking of the Winter Shape Up, since I’ll be traveling/mostly offline tomorrow, I got the week 3 meal plan posted early, so you’ll have plenty of time to review it and go shopping this weekend! You can find a link to it over on the Winter Shape Up landing page. :) Enjoy!

2) Having in-person running coaches!

I’m so happy I decided to sign up for the PR Running training group! It’s so amazing having someone tell me exactly what to do – and to be there in person to make sure I do it/show up. Great motivation having others out there working hard as well! I reeeeeally wanted to sleep in this morning but I’m so glad I didn’t.


This morning’s workout was two 10 minute tempo runs around the track with a short recovery jog in between. I did mine at right around 8 or 8:05 min/mile splits. From there, we moved on to a nearby hill to do hill repeats! It was really windy on the track and I felt sluggish, but once we got to the hills I felt good. I even beat one of the super speedy women up the hill twice – sweet! The hill was about 0.2 miles long, and I ran it 4 times, powering up it as quickly as I could. I think all those weighted squats and lunges have been paying off – I felt strong!

3) Burgers!

I’ve been really craving burgers lately – must be all the hard runs and workouts I’ve been doing – so I was pumped when Matt made us some fun homemade ones on Tuesday night. Check out this monstrosity:


Plus a kale side salad, for balance. :)


Hit the spot!


4) 90 second quinoa.

You guys know how obsessed I am with 90 second plain brown rice, so imagine my delight when I discovered 90 second plain, unseasoned quinoa the other day at Target!


I tested it out on a salad earlier this week for lunch. Delish! I know quinoa is relatively quick and easy to make on the stovetop, but having an even quicker option (especially for weekday lunches) is awesome. Will def be buying it again!

5) Books written by good friends.

First up – my friend Gina! I received a review copy of her new book, HIIT It!, recently, and I’m really impressed.


I love Gina’s approach to food – healthy, simple, balanced, and realistic. On the workout front, she focuses on training smart – rather than just training – by utilizing short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. The book includes a library of training plans, including detailed photos of workout moves, too.


There is also a great HIIT-inspired eating plan that has you eating frequently, listening to your hunger, and not stressing about food. I love her quick and easy snack ideas, and her recipes look amazing – I have my eye on these lettuce wraps, as well as some of the slow cooker recipes! I’ll definitely be trying some of them soon and will let you know my thoughts when I do.


If you’re looking to shake up your routine in a fun, sustainable way that will get you some real results – check out HIIT IT!. You’ll love it!

Next up is this awesome smoothie and juice recipe book written by my friend Tina!


As you guys know, I’ve been really into green smoothies lately, but I feel like I always make the exactly same thing or slight variations of the same thing. I was really excited to receive a review copy of this book – the recipes look easy, creative, and delicious – beautiful photos, too! I was really intrigued by this Spicy Green Smoothie – I think Matt would like this one!


I also want to try this Peppery Pear Juice! I have never juiced arugula before – such a good idea. Juice is another thing where I always make the same thing (usually carrot + ginger + apple + spinach or kale), so I’m looking forward to getting out of my rut and trying some of her recipes.


If you’re looking to mix up your smoothie and juice routine, or to start incorporating more produce into your life in an easy and tasty way, you’ll love Tina’s book. :) I’ll share reviews of the recipes once I start making them, so stay tuned!

6) Getting to see a bunch of my grad school friends this weekend! (Elder and Jill, we’ll miss you!!)


My grad school BFF Libby is turning 30 next week, and a big group of us (Matt included) are meeting up this weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado, to celebrate (and ski)! I can’t WAIT to see them, and to ski for the first time on the west coast! Any tips? :) Matt and I leave this afternoon!

See you guys back here tomorrow for an easy and tasty afternoon snack recipe!


  1. 1

    Once you set foot on real powder snow – you will not want to ski on the East Coast again. Have fun this weekend! And see you soon girl!

  2. 2

    So jealous of you getting to hit the slopes! Doesn’t look I’m going to get to this year! Have fun!

  3. 3

    Have fun seeing your grad school friends! Reunions are the best!

  4. 4

    I’m definitely going to get that Quinoa! Woo hoo! 90 seconds!!!
    I just got back from a ski weekend in Vermont. It was great. My boyfriend and I were talking about making plans for a ski trip out west. Can’t wait to hear about Breckenridge!
    Have fun.

  5. 5

    Your burgers look amazing! Sometimes you just need one. I love the idea of the smoothie book. I tend to use the same fruits/veggies in a few combinations. It’d be fun to branch out and try things I hadn’t thought of before.

  6. 6

    You know the Rockies aren’t on a coast, right? :) Breckenridge can get really crowded, so try to avoid Peak 8 & 9 during prime lift line time. Peak 7 has really fun rolling blues that are easy to navigate. Also- Modis has great cocktails and happy hour, and is great for a spendy dinner!

  7. 8

    Yay for coming out West! I love in Denver and ski most weekends. Tips – drink way more water than normal. Camel backs are great for on the mountain. Breck is always windy and cold; I usually add another layer. Sunscreen! Try to be on the mountain when the lifts open. Peak 9 has fun runs ranging from green to black. The restaurant at the base has good breakfast burritos. It is faster to take the bus to peak 9 rather than messing about with the gondola at peak 8. Peak 10 is steep and fast, blacks and double blacks, but it can get icy fast. Peak 6 is new and has fun blacks. Peaks 8 and 7 are the most crowded. Have fun!

  8. 10

    Epic burger! Two buns?! Even having a workout buddy makes all the difference :)

  9. 11

    I’m loving that burger and the Simply Balanced products from Target- have tried some of their stuff already and loved it, will have to check out the quinoa!

  10. 12

    You will LOVE Colorado!!!! I went to school there and went to Breck or Vail as much as I could. West Coast skiing is the best and arguable easier than East Coast – sooo much less ice!! I’m so jealous. By the way, when you’re getting used to CO skiing, go over to Peak 7 at Breck. It’s almost all just really fun blues – nothing too hard. I loved that part of the mountain!!

  11. 14

    So jealous! We were in Breckenridge two years ago and it was such a blast! I didn’t ski because I had just torn my ACL but my husband had a blast and the little town is so awesome with great little shops and food!!!! You’ll love it!!!!! Plus it’s perfect weather to ski then you get to the bottom and it’s beautiful weather to walk around in too!

  12. 15

    So many fun things in this post! I have been wanting Gina’s book!

  13. 16

    Have fun seeing your friends! So many good favorites here.

  14. 17

    You’re going to have so much fun skiing in Colorado. The mountains are so pretty.

  15. 18

    Whenever I make quinoa, I always throw it in a rice cooker and make a bunch so that way I can have some throughout the week.

    There’s a burger place I went to soon after moving to Chicago called 25 degrees and that burger was huge and amazing. Now I am thinking I need to go back soon…

  16. 19

    Thanks for posting the Week 3 plan before you head out! Enjoy!

  17. 20

    Have fuuuuun!!!! We’re skiing too but in Utah:)

  18. 21

    Colorado and the Breckenridge area is beautiful! If you have time, I really recommend Beaver Creek resort, too. I’ve been there a few times and I think it’s the best in that area of Colorado…huge runs, big wide areas to work with, friendly folks working the lifts and just gorgeous scenery. Keystone is also fun and a bit closer than Beaver Creek….you really can’t go wrong out there!

  19. 22

    You guys do it up right! Mike was just in Breck of his “Stag party”. Boys just wanna ‘board & bum around, apparently. ;)

  20. 23

    Ninety second quinoa?! We’ll have to look into it and add it to our app! Thanks for sharing! :)

  21. 24

    The HIIT book brings to mind something that I’ve been loving lately: Fitness Blender workout videos. Have you tried them? They have a lot of variety including many HIIT options and I really like the white backgrounds and positive attitudes of the husband and wife team that make the videos. They have inexpensive workout plans to purchase and the videos are totally free on YouTube. Highly recommended!

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