What Do I Really Eat Every Day?

I recently wrote a post about living a healthy lifestyle and how to get started. If you’re anything like me you’ve struggled with finding the right balance. Something you can make a lifestyle out of. Growing up I could eat whatever the heck I wanted. I was doing gymnastics on a daily basis and I ate ice cream, pasta, cookies; you name it. If I wanted it I ate it. That was until the end of high school and the beginning of college. Everything started to change. I started gaining weight. So I tried running on the treadmill for hours. I’d starve myself only to end up binging on a bunch of crap. It was vicious cycle and I started resenting food and fitness. I’d eat healthy for a few days, torture myself in the gym and leave unhappy and unsatisfied. My idea of “healthy” wasn’t actually that healthy. I ate salads containing mostly lettuce and I usually didn’t have enough energy to lift weight at the gym. I’d just do a bunch of running and take a few spin classes. It wasn’t fun. So I’d go out drinking with my friends and binge on a bunch of junk food only to disappoint myself and start all over. I suppose you could call it a vicious cycle of “yo-yo” dieting. 

Everything changed when I started working with a group of individuals and a trainer who put us through boot camp like classes and made working out fun again. My trainer started helping me with my diet and I’d write everything down that I ate. If I screwed up my trainer would get disappointed with me but he’d help me to start over the next day rather than give up like I always had when I made a “mistake”. I actually became addicted to working out with my trainer and I became friends with the others who joined me in training every day. It was always something different and it became a little bit competitive. I started trying new recipes and I started to enjoy my food a lot more. After college I stumbled upon CrossFit and then the Paleo diet. It took some time adjusting to this new lifestyle, but now I’m so glad that I did. Making a change in your life like this isn’t always easy, but if you can find the right balance, you can make it work. I promise!

*Side note, I’m not a paleo perfectionist. The paleo diet as a guideline has been great for me. I feel fantastic when I eat this way. But not everything I eat is 100% paleo. I like cream in my coffee, I eat protein bars and drink protein shakes out of convenience. I like to eat rice every once in a while and I have a sweet tooth so on occasion I might have a paleo or gluten free cookie or a bowl of ice cream. But that’s because I’ve learned what works for me and my body. And I’ve found a balanced diet that I can maintain. Here’s an example of what a day for me might look like:


  • 2 cups of coffee with a splash of heavy whipping cream (if you don’t do dairy, don’t use the cream)


  • 1/2 sweet potato, chopped and sautéed in olive oil with onions and spinach
  • 2 eggs sunny side up


  • Training



  • 5 ounces of grilled lamb
  • 1/2 cup rice (sub cauliflower rice if strict paleo)
  • Mixed sautéed veggies
  • 1/4 avocado


  • Perfect Bar (or any high quality protein bar that’s gluten free and mostly paleo)



  • 2 squares of dark chocolate 

What is GRID? And why did I fall in love?


The Draft

Two years ago I heard about this new sport emerging called the National Pro Fitness League (now the National Pro GRID League). I wasn’t entirely sure what it was, but I was intrigued. The owner of the gym I had previous coached at was starting a team and suggested I try out. All I knew at that time was that this sport was going to pay athletes to workout and compete, something I had been paying someone else to let me do. Did it sound too good to be true? Yes. Did I want to be a part of it? Of course.

I went through the first year combine. It was a pretty cool experience, first the pro day in Los Angeles and then the combine in Las Vegas. I quickly fell in love with how fast and exciting it was to race on the GRID. We were lifting heavy weights and I got to showcase a lot of my gymnastics skills. I was a little shy during the combine and I didn’t talk to too many teams but I was hopeful that I would still get drafted. I sat in front of my computer the day of the draft waiting for my name to be called. I heard some of my friends names called as they got drafted to different teams. I waited and waited, and then the last name was called, and it wasn’t mine. I would not be drafted in the first year of the NPGL. It was a strange feeling. I was excited for my friends that had been drafted, but extremely disappointed that I was not. I decided I didn’t need GRID. I was just beginning my career as a competitive CrossFit athlete and I would continue to focus my energy on that. 

Things popped here and there about GRID in my news feeds and on social media. I’d glance at them and continue to scroll. Then the San Francisco Fire (the team local to me) had a match in town and my friends on the team got me tickets. I decided I’d go to support and cheer them on. I was still disappointed that I hadn’t been drafted, but this was about supporting my friends. And I certainly hadn’t expected to have as much fun at the match as I did. I’d even brought my cousin who was visiting from Belgium along and she loved it. It was so exciting to watch live. And right then and there I decided I was going to get drafted next year. I was going to do whatever it took to prove I deserved a spot on a team. Rather than feel sorry for myself, I was going to get better. 

In GRID there are three types of athletes; strength specialists, body weight specialists and generalists. I know that I’m a generalist, but I also have some special skills from my background as a gymnast and I’ve developed a good amount of strength through CrossFit and Weightlifting. So while I continued to focus on CrossFit throughout the year, I made sure to hone in on my skill work so that I could become (for lack of a better term) a generalist specialist.

The 2015 season rolled around and I signed up for the pro day. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical at first, but I think that was my fear of being rejected again. That’s no way to go about life though! A good friend of mine once told me “you can be disappointed but have no regrets”.  So after the pro day in San Francisco I went to the combine in Baltimore. Another fun experience to say the least. And this time I had talked to three teams who were all hoping to draft me. I’d come in with a lot more confidence and I was anxious for the draft. In the first round the San Francisco Fire called my name. I was so excited. I had honestly just hoped that any team would pick me, but to be drafted by my local team with so many of my friends; that was pretty cool. I instantly received multiple texts congratulating me. It was a good feeling. I couldn’t wait for the season to begin.

Training Camp

So June rolled around and it was time to head to training camp with the team. We had a two-week training camp that would end with our first match of the season against the Phoenix Rise. About half the athletes on the team were returning from the previous year and about half of us were newbies. The team bunked us up in hotel rooms and shuttled us to and from practice every day. The first week was spent getting to know everyone. And everyone seemed to get along pretty well. Practice was fun. And after practice a lot of us would stick around the gym to train more. It was basically a dream come true. Someone was paying me to workout with a group of phenomenal athletes all day every day.  And when we weren’t training? Well it was summer in California…so we spent a lot of time at the pool swimming, tanning, and playing a variety of outdoor sports. The epitome of a perfect day in my mind.

Although June was fun and it was exciting to win our first match against the Phoenix Rise in a nail biting finish, it wasn’t until we came back in August for the full season that people really started to open up. It was fun, and a bit crazy at times. Eleven of us would move into a house in the Diablo Hills and live together for six weeks while we trained and prepared for the next two matches and then the finals. 3 girls and 8 guys…in one house. We spent our days training and our evenings sitting outside by the pool drinking wine, eating lots of food and telling crazy stories. My teammates are awesome to say the least. We’d go out to the movies, lay out by the pool, train in the backyard. Whatever we did we had fun.

As my teammates opened up I became closer and closer to each and every one of them. Will, who I thought was shy and quiet back in June ended up being one of the funniest guys on the team, with some of the craziest stories from the past. Every night he’d convince us to ROMWod in the living room (stretch for a half hour) and we’d laugh the entire time. Candice and Adam were my wine-drinking buddies. I’m not going to admit to how many bottles we went through together. And when I wasn’t drinking at the house I was usually going out for a glass of wine or two with my teammate Chad who had just kicked my butt after practice. It was usually a lot of running and burpees because he knows they’re my favorite. And Eric, our team ninja, was always down to do something fun, or teach me new skills, or lift heavy weights with me.  We got close. And it showed when we got out on the GRID against Miami and LA and won. We did it for our teammates who were working their asses off, and our coaches and staff who sacrificed a lot for us. We became a team of friends and we had each other’s back on and off the GRID. 

I wish I could say that everything about the season was a high, but that would be a lie. With any sport, and pretty much anything in life for that matter, there are ups and downs. We had a lot of little things here and there going on that sort of started to accumulate in our last two weeks leading into the finals. 6 weeks is a long time for athletes to be away from their families, especially considering the distance some had travelled: Australia, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, Canada, etc. And sometimes if one person gets down or upset about something, they can bring others down with them. A few athletes got injured and then three days before our semi final match against the Phoenix Rise three of our guys came down with the stomach flu. We weren’t the team we’d been all season going into that match and it showed. Our loss in the semi finals was a bummer and not the way we’d wanted to finish our season.

But I’m not here to dwell on one match or one week of an entire season. This season was an incredible experience. I had no idea when I got drafted to this team that I would have this much fun. I didn’t expect to make so many friends. The whole experience vastly exceeded my expectations. Needless to say I’m excited for next year and for the growth of this new sport.

“Grid is the world’s first professional spectator sport with co-ed teams that compete in strategic athletics racing. It’s a mainstream sporting league that is fan, TV and sponsor friendly. Each two-hour match features two 14-person teams (7 men, 7 women, one of each being over 40 years old) going head to head in 11 fast races. Grid races are easy to follow and are played with pre-set rules and unlimited substitutions designed to force teams to strategize.” NPGL.com

3 Tips to Avoid Overtraining

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last week who also happens to be a phenomenal athlete about overtraining and how to avoid it. He mentioned to me that a while back he started acting strange, he was angry during his workouts and just not himself by the end of the day. He thought there was something wrong and went to see someone about it. They pricked his finger and took a small blood sample. Then they left him to watch some cartoons. When they came back they checked his blood again and things had already changed, simply because he’d laughed a few times at the cartoon playing on the TV. It might sound a little crazy, but it goes to show how important a little laughter in our life really is. This lead me to think more about my own training, and my past training as well. Have you ever started a fitness program and given up on it? I surely have. Many times. Until I found CrossFit. But why did CrossFit work for me?


I think I can attribute it to two things:

  • Motivation
  • Enjoyment

With anything in life, I think these two things need to be present. We need to be motivated by something, and we need to find enjoyment in what we’re doing. In the early stages of my CrossFit career almost every day was fun. I enjoyed every opportunity I got to train and I was motivated to be better each time I set foot in the gym. There was always something new to learn and something to improve on. As my CrossFit career progressed and I began to compete I was motivated by upcoming competitions and the opportunity to be amongst such phenomenal athletes. But now I’ve been at it for 7 years. And sometimes I’m not happy. Sometimes I get frustrated with my workouts. I get discouraged. I get in my head. I get mad. And motivation can only take you so far without enjoyment. So what do you do? How do you reignite that enjoyment? Here are my three suggestions, and here’s what’s worked for me:

  • Get outside and play
  • Laugh
  • Relax a little

It may sound simple, but it’s so important. Honestly, if you follow a program or fitness routine, switch it up once a week (at least). I love being outside. I might go for a hike or ride a bike. I also love the water so I may go for a swim or do some standup paddle boarding. And I’ll probably take some friends along and try some silly things and fall in the water and laugh at how uncoordinated we are. I’ll probably get a workout without even realizing it, but even if I don’t that’s alright too. The opportunity to be outside with my friends brings me so much enjoyment.

So even though I take my training very seriously and I spend hours in the gym, I make a point to enjoy life, to laugh, and to relax. Make fitness fun, or make sure you’re having fun outside of your fitness routine. What are some of my favorite things to do? Here’s a little list:

  • Activities
    • Hiking, biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, water skiing, swimming, zip lining, rock climbing, camping, cooking, golfing, playing with my dogs, going to the beach
  • Laughter
    • Comedy shows, drinks and live music with friends, dodge ball tournaments, trampoline parks, amusement parks, movies, sporting events, barbecues
  • Relaxation
    • Massages, hot tubing, sun bathing, meditation, coffee dates with friends, yoga, reading

So what is the moral of this story? Enjoy life. In anything we do, if we overdue it we’re likely to burn out, or at least resent whatever it is we’re doing. If we can find a way to enjoy ourselves, we’re more likely to succeed. Whether you’re a high level athlete with a strict program or someone who just wants to find a routine you can stick with and get fit, it’s so important to schedule time for yourself. Whether it’s solo time, or time with a friend, make sure you’re doing something that makes you smile and keeps you from burning out and overtraining. Listen to your body and pay close attention to your emotions. If something’s out of balance it can take a toll on your fitness and your life. More training doesn’t always equal more results. Balance is so important. 

Peach Berry Iced Tea with Probiotics

Probiotics are important. I know that. But why are they important? And why have I not been so focused on including them in my diet? There are always things we can do to improve our diet, and I'm so glad I was able to spend some time with the guys from PurePharma at the CrossFit Games last month because they reminded me of their importance. It's always great to hang out with likeminded individuals who also happen to be very smart. They're passionate about diet and nutrition and extremely intelligent when it comes to developing high quality products that supplement our diets in the best way possible.

So what did I learn? A lot. Probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut that keep us healthy, and by maintaining the balance of our gut flora we support our immune system and help to keep our digestive track healthy. But it doesn't end there. Probiotics have many benefits. I could go on but PurePharma has a great article here with All You Need To Know About Probiotics.

I was recently craving some iced tea. It's been hot this summer and we had a bunch of peaches and blackberries in the garden so I whipped this up and it was so delicious and refreshing. It was also super easy to make, and I'm all about things that are quick and easy to prepare.

Peach Berry Iced Tea with Probiotics

Prep 15min, plus 1 hour to cool

Makes 8 cups


  • 8 cups water
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 4 flavored tea bags (I used a peach tea)
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 packets of PurePharma SB3 (optional)


  1. Bring the water to boil.
  2. In a heatproof pitcher add the tea bags and pour in the water. Let steep for 10 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
  3. Add the sliced peach, blackberries, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Refrigerate until cool.
  5. Before serving add the SB3 if using and pour over ice.



I get a lot of questions about diet. What should I eat? How much should I be eating? Timing, portions, macros, the list goes on. And there's so much information out there. There's some really great resources, but it can also all be very confusing, especially if establishing a healthy lifestyle is something new to you. I take for granted everything I've learned over the years and I forget that it hasn't always been easy. The fact of the matter is, if you truly want to live a healthy lifestyle, you can, and you will. But if it's not important to you, you'll continue to find excuses. For me, being healthy and fit is a part of my life. I compete in CrossFit, GRID, Weightlifting, etc. So I put a huge emphasis on eating foods that fuel my performance. But I also love being able to go hiking with friends on a whim, hop in a boat and go waterskiing, visit with my parents and go pick a bunch of fresh food out of their garden, all things I can do because I put a high priority on my health. So if you're trying to find a way to get started on living a healthier life, or you're struggling and just need a little help, I've put together a list of some of the things that have helped me, and hopefully they can help you too.

Don't "go on a diet"

At least for me, this strategy has never worked. If I said I was "going on a diet" I was automatically setting myself up for failure. I'd put too many restrictions on myself and after a couple of weeks (or maybe even a couple of days) I'd find myself binging on something I shouldn't have and telling myself "oh well, I'll start again on Monday". Eating a healthy diet shouldn't feel restrictive. Think of your diet as a lifestyle, something you can maintain forever. And if you do eat something that's on the less healthy end of the spectrum, own it and move on. We're all human, we all give in to temptation, but we shouldn't throw away everything just because we made one less than perfect choice.

Be realistic with your goals

If you have hefty goals (and there's nothing wrong with that) you may need to be a little bit more strict with yourself. Although I said we need to be flexible with our methods and make this a lifestyle, we also need to be honest with ourselves and what it is we're trying to achieve. If you want to be healthy so you can go be active with your friends or play with your kids and run around, then making a little mistake here and there isn't the end of the world. But if you're suffering from a seriously health problem or you'd like to lose a large about of weight, or you have a big competition coming up, then those little mistakes can add up and cost you. As an elite athlete every choice I make affects my performance. I want to be the best I can be, and if that means passing on the bowl of ice cream I so desperately want that all of my friends are enjoying in front of me, then that's the decision I have to make.

Make sure the people around you support you

This leads into my next bullet point. Make sure those around you support your lifestyle. It's not easy changing the way you eat and live if your friends and family don't support you. It would be great if they all decided to take this journey with you (and if that's something you think they'd be willing to do then I highly encourage you to bring them along!) but if not, at least let them know what changes your making and that their support is important to you. My family has been incredibly supportive in my decision to eat a whole foods, paleo diet, and I'm lucky that the majority of the time they cook and eat this way with me. I mean it's delicious, so why wouldn't they? But I know it's not always that easy. I struggled for a long time with my best friends from college wanting to go out drinking every weekend. That's what we'd always done. That's how we had fun. But as I became more involved in CrossFit, I didn't want to spend my weekends drinking. I wanted to train, I wanted to be outside. Fun for me was going on a hike, or to the lake. It's taken time, but they get it now. And to be honest, they've started to enjoy being active and eating healthy with me.

I was just going through some old photos and came across this picture from my first CrossFit competition in 2011. I had to put it side by side with a photo from this year. Crazy. CrossFit won me over that's for sure!

Get started

Today! Right now. I know it isn't Monday, and that's okay. Here's what I suggest:

  • Meal prep. Plan your meals, make them on Sunday night, or whenever is convenient for your schedule, and take them with you. Especially lunches. You can usually get up and make breakfast, and you can most likely come home and make dinner, but sometimes lunch can be a scramble. If you're always prepared with a healthy meal, you're less likely to grab something you shouldn't. 
  • Eat a balanced meal. I try to get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat at each meal. Balance is key to getting the proper nutrients throughout the day and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As far as portions go, I don't want to get too in depth here (that could be a whole other article in itself) but if you have questions feel free to ask me, especially if you have a certain goal in mind. Personally I use the zone diet as a rough guideline which is 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat, and depending on my goals I may up my fat and lower my carb intake.
  • Try new recipes. Variety is key to maintaining a healthy life. And there are SO many resources out there that you should never get bored with your food. Check out some of my recipes here and a list of bloggers I love here.
  • Snack smart. This goes back to the balanced meal stuff. You can have snacks, especially if you need something pre or post workout, but make sure you're getting the nutrients you need. It's easy to grab a bag of nuts, but that's not the healthiest choice. Make sure your snack has protein in it too. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. With all of that being said, sometimes we still struggle, and we need help. If you think you're doing everything right but still don't feel like you're reaching your goals, ask someone for advice. When I first started down this journey my only saving grace was my coach who made me write down everything I ate. I had to bring it in every week for him to look at. Sometimes I just wasn't being honest with myself, and sometimes I just didn't realize that I was making poor choices. It wasn't meant to punish me, it was just to help me learn how to make smarter choices until I was able to do it all on my own.

Follow my blog and instagram for recipes and delicious meal ideas to keep you on track!

And feel free to leave any comments or questions. I'll do my best to answer them!