Climbing Down the Mountain {Workout}

climbing down the mountain

I grew up playing team sports. They brought out the best in me, inspiring teamwork and competition to keep me on the top of my game. I was in amazing shape in high school, but once I hit college, it all went downhill, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I still went to the gym. I ran and lifted weights — I thought I was doing everything right. But it took me years to realize the reason I wasn’t seeing the same progress I did in high school. It was because I didn’t have a coach. There was no one yelling at me to keep going, cheering me on, and no teammates to compete against. Without that external motivation, it was too easy to let myself take it slow or quit before I’d really made any progress.

Then I discovered group fitness classes, and I knew where I belonged. Recently, I’ve been going to my gym’s Bootcamp class, which is a great mix of weights and cardio, and always different. The routines target the whole body and usually feature circuits, tabadas, or rotating group work. With the instructor there push you, and the other people in class there to make you push yourself, it’s an ideal solution for someone like me who deeply misses the intensity of team sports.

And boy does it kick my ass. Last night, my legs were shaking as I hobbled down the stairs to head home. I forgot how good that kind of pain feels… And now I want to share it with you!

Grab a partner or take the challenge on yourself — either way, you’ll get a killer workout. The only rule is that you can’t quit until you’re done.

Scared yet? Just wait…

When doing this workout, expect to work. It was tough and took me almost an hour to finish, but don’t give up! Go at your own pace, and make it your goal to have good form and finish strong, no matter how long it takes. (Don’t forget to foam roll after. Your legs are gonna wobble!)

Feel free to print it out, memorize it, or bookmark it for later!



Defining Your Success


How can you work to improve yourself when you have no idea what you’re working toward?

A friend raised this point to me recently, as I listed the many things I do  to better myself each day.

“But why?” he asked. “If you don’t know what success means, then you’ll never be satisfied no matter how much you do.”

He had me there.

Even though listening to podcasts, practicing Spanish, reading, and watching documentaries did make me more interesting at parties, every time I slacked off or didn’t do something I viewed as productive, it made me feel awful. I refused to let myself have any down time, because I couldn’t see how far I’d come or how far I had left to go — I was wandering aimlessly toward enlightenment and hopelessly lost in the pursuit.

But this is not a problem without solution. In fact, the solution was simple: I needed to define what success is to me.

How can anyone hope to achieve greatness when they don’t actually know what greatness is?

For an actor, it might be simple: greatness is becoming a huge movie start.

For a writer, it could be publishing the next Harry Potter series.

But for me, someone who is perfectly happy at her job and in her daily life, yet still hopes to someday achieve greatness…what does greatness look like for me?

We can only answer these questions for ourselves because the answers will unequivocally look different for us all.

Take a moment and ask yourself:

What would your life have to look like for you to describe yourself as “successful”?

Does that version of your life make you happy?

If you answered ‘No’ to the second question and that vision of success doesn’t make you happy, then is that really success? Is that really your greatness, or the greatness that someone else has prescribed for you?

We don’t all have to become millionaires to be great, but we also don’t have to settle for anything less than what would make us happy.

Ask yourself those questions again. Really think hard on it. If your greatness could be anything at all, what would it be?

Now take a deep breath.

You have direction.

So make it happen.


6 Reasons You Talk to Your Coworkers


Every office is different, and yet, they’re all the same. There’s always the coworkers who rush home to their families while others stalk the halls looking for someone they can convince to grab a drink. Some refuse to share any details about their lives outside of work while others share way too much about what they did over the weekend.

While each office has these characters, your relationships with each kind may differ.

Here are 6 reasons why you bother talking to the people in your office:

1. For Inside Knowledge. There is someone in your office that has all the dirt and when you need to know what’s really happening, you seek them out. Sometimes you ply them with booze, other times they share willingly. You don’t really talk with this person about anything but office gossip, because they probably work in another department and have little to offer you otherwise.

2. For Drinking. Rough day? This person will grab a beer with you. They might be busy, but they don’t really have anything going on at home or in their personal life so once they’re done with work, they have no problem spending a few hours with you at the bar. They might talk about work, but really, they want to do some shots. And when you want to do shots, this is the person from work you call.

3. For IT help. It’s either the IT guy. And you probably don’t have any reason to talk to them other than for computer help. That’s fine, they have other things going on and don’t feel the need to socialize about anything with you either. You’ll probably leave your office to get coffee while they work and hope they’re gone after you get back. You kind of feel bad about it, but also don’t really feel like making awkward small talk.

4. For wanted chit chat. This person knows your life. They know what’s up. They ask what you did over the weekend. They ask how the date went. And when you want to escape and catch up, this is the person you head to. Because they know what’s going on with you and you know what’s going on with them. This almost feels like friendship, but you never actually see them outside of work.

5. For unwanted chit chat. This person searches you out, no matter how much you try to hide. They always find you…and they always make you talk to them for at least 20 minutes. And it’s always the worst.

6. For friendship. This person is actually your friend that you see outside of work. Okay, this person probably doesn’t work there anymore, but did at one point, and because you had to make an effort to see them, it became a full-fledged friendship. And you’re pretty happy about it.


Spicy Lime Shrimp Salad {Recipe}



Salads are easy. Like, really easy. They are, at their core, just lettuce, toppings and dressing, hence why I refuse to pay upwards of $10 for one (I’m looking at you SweetGreen.)

Simple, yes, and yet so many people complain that salads are boring. But I contest that idea with the assertion that salads are only as boring as you make them. People just happen to make really boring salads.

So I’ll share a secret with you. There’s a trick to making awesome salads, and here it is: steal.

Okay, maybe steal isn’t the right word. You have to recreate. Recreate and modify. And that’s how this salad was born. (Take that, Chop’t!)

So let me introduce you to a new staple in my summer lunch collection: The Spicy Lime Shrimp Salad.

I snagged this idea from the lime shrimp salad topping at SweetGreen and added my own twist. Not only is my salad delicious and filling, but it also cost waaaay less than if I’d bought it already made for me. And it only took me maybe 10 minutes to put together. Seems like a no-brainer to me!


The Spicy Lime Shrimp Salad


5-6 Raw Shrimp, cleaned
Coconut Oil, 1 tsp
Lime juice, 1 tbs or 1 lime
Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
Onion Slices
Cherry Tomatoes
Hemp Seeds (optional)



1. Combine the coconut oil, lime juice, crushed red pepper, and shrimp in a bowl to marinate for a few minutes.

2. While your shrimp marinate, combine lettuce, tomatoes and onion in another bowl, then set aside.

3. Add the shrimp and marinade to a frying pan over medium heat. Cook until shrimp curl up and turn pink, usually 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.

4. Pour shrimp and leftover marinade over your assembled salad. Sprinkle with hemp seeds for some crunch! Then enjoy :)


Here’s another version where I added some quinoa (DIY grain bowl!) to make it extra filling. Hopefully this will convince you to stop paying $10 for salads that you can easily make at home! (But then again, who really wants to keep all these ingredients on hand…)


mmm…more please!


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