What I Buy at Whole Foods

I make no secret about this…I am really into Whole Foods.

The first time I went into Whole Foods, I was in my second year of graduate school, and looking for a place to get food that wasn’t Jimmy Johns or Dunkin’ Donuts (the two places that were directly across the street from my school at NC State).  I stumbled into Whole Foods, and it was one of the first times since I returned from fat campthat I felt like I’d found my people.  Weird folks.  Who wanted a salad.  Just like  me.

Following my grad school graduation, when I couldn’t find a job, but needed to pay bills, I took a job in the Whole Foods bakery and coffee shop, where I blended, latte-ed, and packaged baked goods with some really cool people for a few months until I could find something a little more in line with what I wanted to do.

Working there, I was absolutely immersed in the culture, and tried foods I’d never imagined trying.  Kombucha, chia seeds, vegan treats, natural remedies for common ailments….the whole shebang.  I went from a diet of subsisting primarily on Lean Cuisines and Yoplait Light to more “whole” (tee hee) foods, and saw a real change in my body and my energy (I started running pretty regularly around that time too).

So, despite the fact that Whole Foods can be pricy, and sometimes grates on peoples’ nerves, I’m pretty loyal, even as some of the other chains branch into organics, because Whole Foods, in my mind, was one of the first that made good food accessible to idiots like me.

Want to see what idiots like me buy on our trips there?  And mayyybe get a little explanation as to what all this crap is?


//Frozen fruit + Trop 50. I use this for my smoothies in the morning. Typically I do a red solo cup, fill it with fruit, add a scoop of protein, some chia, and some Trop 50 to cover the fruit to make my smoothie. It’s quick and painless, and doesn’t require much prep at all. Plus it’s WAY cheaper than ordering a smoothie, and easier to control what goes in it.

//Cedar Roaster Red Pepper Hommus.  Their spelling, not mine!  I like hummus, but I have yet to find hummus as good as what I had at fat camp for my alternative vegetarian meals.  This hummus ended up being okay, but really didn’t change me.  It was pretty cheap for hummus though.

//Noosa.  This full-fat Greek Yogurt is absolutely delicious, and because it’s so calorie-dense, an entire container can serve as a meal in the morning, or half can serve as a snack after lunch or something.  Again, pricey at first glance, but two servings in a container softens the blow.

//Lettuce.  Pretty straightforward.  Sometimes I eat green things for lunch.  Not too many though, cause holy fiber these days!

//Bulk dried mango.  This one is a treat for me.  I LOVE dessert, but it doesn’t love me back so much.  The bulk dried mango is probably one of the cheapest sources of dried mango you will find without any added sugar.  Added sugar and chemicals are usually the trap with things like Craisins and mango.  This is more like fruit leather, just cut up and dried out for a few days.

//365 Black Chia Seeds.  Chia has been this pregnant lady’s best bud as of late, but it can be super expensive.  Whole Foods has an in-house brand, which is a whopping $3 cheaper than the other brands.  Great source of soluble fiber, protein, and a little burst of energy as well.

//Fruit mixes.  This one is a pricey luxury because I wasn’t loving any of the prices on produce anywhere this week and I need fruit.  So I ate like half for dessert the other night, and brought the other half in to supplement my lunch.

//Grape Leaves.  This baby can deal with Mediterranean food for sure.  These are a great snack, and delicious!

For a grand total of about $81.  My priciest items were definitely the fruit and the chia, and I escaped without kombucha or a cookie that would have driven the bill way up randomly – so I should be set for a while, minus the more perishable things (fruit and lettuce), which I will need to make a run for next week again.

Do you have any special foods needs?  (Veg, Gluten Free Options)?

Where do you do your shopping for fruits/veggies?


#whatdoyoupeen (and a serious question here at the end)

Yesterday, the world of pop culture, my world was ROCKED by photos of Justin Bieber on vacation in Bora Bora.

Should I have been probably biting my nails to the quick in prep for Sunday’s marathon?

Yep, probably.  But instead, my friend Mollie and I set about assaulting as many people has we could with photos of Justin Bieber *ahem* enjoying some time in Bora Bora, and gauging reaction.  Reactions ranged from ::eyes looking emojii:: to “leave me alone!”

I’d say, all in all, my day was a success as far as that was concerned.

Tofu SteakFor dinner tonight, I was on my own since the Austin Samps was playing volleyball with some friends.  I made a tofu steak and a teeny sweet potato.  I bought the regular sweet taters, and not the ones you get at the farmer’s market.  For some silly reason, these babies are grown smaller (and less soily) so it’s really like eating a little bite of baby potato.  I only can eat half of the ones from the farmers market.

QaloI got some more Qalo.  Mostly because Austin’s ring was starting to get a little stretched, and I had my eye on the athletics collection.  But I love this color.  I’m hoping to partner with them on a post soon.  Cross your fingers!

Fashion ShowJen posted these photos from the Headbands of Hope fashion show I did a few weeks back.  In every pic, I look like I’m having the time of my life.  ALSO, I look like my butt is huge.  Whatevs.  I squat a lot more than I have ever squatted in my life.  I generally can say, eating differently, my chest, arms, and booty are much more beefy.  I’m still shaped extraordinarily like my brother.  Tall, long, and lanky.  It comes from the Jonassaints.  My brother’s brother used to have to bend down to get into doorways.  But I’m definitely starting to pack more muscle onto my 5’8″ frame.

Ok.  So time for a serious question.  I will blow this up on social media.

I don’t think I’m listening to Spotify for most of Chicago on Sunday.  Maybe for a first few miles, just because I struggle with anxiety during that “pre-race chatter” part of a race.  BUT for those first few, I will take suggestions from some of you beloveds.  I need something that makes me smile.  Not something that was on my wedding playlist, because I’ve been known to cry (hard) when I’m being really physical (bawled during ‘Roar’ and ‘Run the World’ during a race because I appreciate what Queen Bey and Katy Cat have done for me and women).  But, all that said.

What songs would you suggest for my marathon playlist?


I ate a turkey sandwich!


What are you doing?

We’re doing a whole lot of nothing because I sort of forgot that it was a holiday weekend, so I’m taking advantage of the day by catching up on work, and blogging and all that fun stuff.

So where you last left me, I was really seriously considering eating a turkey sandwich.  Which to most, isn’t really a huge deal, but since I’ve been a pescatarian, sometimes vegetarian, and a full-on supporter of vegans, it’s sort of a weird thing to wake up craving.  But alas, I woke up on Monday of last week really craving a turkey sandwich.

I describe to you guys how it felt.  Really weird.  I posted on social media about it. Most people assumed that I was pregnant, which I’m pretty sure I’m not.  My husband, who has never seen me consume meat in my life, thought I was joking at first.  And a few of my friends theorized that my body may be craving protein, and since I’m normally super healthy, that turkey protein, being one of the leaner options, was what I was going for.

I went a few days craving this sandwich.  Talked it over with friends.  Called my sister and her husband.  And finally decided that I would set about getting this sandwich.

My first order of bidness, since I probably haven’t ordered a turkey sandwich in like 15 years, was to find a place where I could get a good sandwich.  I figured that a place like Subway or Jersey Mikes would be fine, but that the meat might be pumped full of sodium, and I wasn’t superbly interested in being bloated.  So I set my sights on a Boar’s Head meat that I spied when I was shopping for some snacks at Harris Teeter, and ordered a turkey sandwich with mayo, lettuce, and tomato.


I ate it.  It was fine.  It wasn’t life-changing.  It tasted fine.  I felt fine when it went down, and didn’t experience any adverse side-effects as a result of eating meat for the first time in however long.  But it DID quell my desire for the sandwich, calmed the curiosity down, and I think I got whatever I needed from that sandwich that I’d been thinking about for a week when I ate it.

I’m curious though.   I pay pretty close attention to my diet, and get a ton of protein though beans, nuts, and nut butters.  So I’m trying to figure out what my body was telling me, and if the loudness of that little voice is indicative of any sort of deficiency.

“Food” for thought.  Haha.

What are you eating for dinner tonight?                     

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I was inspired by this post yesterday on The Importance of Being Reese – this chick is actually kinda close to me and I didn’t know until I started reading her blog!  Cool huh?

So anyhoo, obviously, as the resident veg in charge, I couldn’t do a chicken tortilla soup, but I used my noodle, and whipped up a quick and delicious veg tortilla soup, totally packed with protein and deliciousness for you to enjoy.

Soooooo here goes, my little poodles.


What you’ll need:

A thingie of low-sodium vegetable broth

1 can of black beans

1 can of corn

1/2 can of diced tomatoes

Some paprika

Some cayenne pepper powder

A tad bit of cilantro

A some crushed tortilla chips

What you’ll do:

In a soup pan, dump your can of black beans, juice and all in there.  Now drain your corn, and dump that, along with the tomatoes in there too.  Paprika, cayenne, and cilantro to taste, along with with a pinch of salt.  Add a little bit of vegetable broth.  Make it as juicy or as thick as you want, and heat on high til you see a boil, and then let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  As you serve it, sprinkle some tortilla on top, add some guac, or add a spoonful of rice.


Seriously delish.

What do you think?

Part 2 – Would I train with an overweight trainer?

So before we get started on all the dramz, lookie at what Mama Chelsie sent me yesterday! I was laying on the couch yesterday, when she sent me a gorgeous pic and a recipe of what she’d made for dinner. Since I had nothing for lunch today, I decided to give her recipe a whirl, put a little more of a spicy twist on it, and pack it for lunch. I hope it’s good, cause it’s all packed up now!

photo 1

photo 2

So the way it all works is really easy. One can of seasoned black beans, drained, and I smooshed them all up in a ziplock. I mixed the smoosh up with an egg, some paprika, some garlic, and some hot pepper, added a half-cup of bread crumbs, and I grilled it up with some olive oil. With my refined palate, I added a dab of ketchup to eat it with tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how it turns out. But it smells BALLER. And in case you forgot about Chelsie, she’s the mom who helped out with my post last week. Click to read, it’s super, super good, plus there are pics of my super cute niece on there!

But moving right along.

Yesterday, without any prodding or judgement, I asked you all if you would work out with an overweight personal trainer.  The answers ranged from “absolutely not,” to “why not,” to one particularly sweet answer from one of my campers, and here it is.

Considering I’m still considered overweight but I am very healthy and teach Zumba and am becoming a personal trainer I would say I would pay a person who was overweight because the weight doesn’t mean anything. I have a dangerously slow metabolism which makes it extremely hard for me to loose weight consistently unless I’m working out all day basically, but I still know how to help others to be successful, ya know?

God. I tear up when this beautiful girl says this.

Here’s my take. 

Would I work out with an overweight personal trainer?  


I am very fit, and very active now, but if I ever freed up some of my time and got into weightlifting, I would employ the help of a personal trainer.  Damn right I would allow an overweight personal trainer to train me, and here’s why.

I’m not perfect, and I don’t have x-ray vision.  Can I tell if someone is healthy by the way they look? Can I tell if they know what they’re doing?  Can I tell really much about them?  Not a ton.

I’m not overweight, nor have I been.  I’ve lost weight, gotten fitter, and learned to love my body. If, when I was in my transition period, someone had not given me a chance, I wouldn’t have had the strong Zumba following I have today.  I appreciate folks who stuck around while I figured things out, and I would do the same for others, especially given if they know what they’re doing.

I am a counselor.  Do I need to have gone through a divorce to counsel a divorced couple?

Does a heart surgeon need to have had a heart attack to successfully operate on patients?

To raise funds for Haitians in the earthquake last year, need I have been a direct victim of its devastation?

I think you know where I’m going here.  And I don’t hate or fault anyone for their opinion.  But for me, if Bre wants to train me?  Bring it on sweet pea.  I know you know what you’re doing. 🙂

I made a Facebook page! And scenes from the week!

Yous know I love my social media right?  So it only seemed fitting that I’d make a Facebook page for the blog, and folks seem to be enjoying it.  So here’s the deal, if you love me, and you’d love to interact with me a little more, do a few things for me:

  • Read the blog obviously.
  • Follow me on Bloglovin‘ if you’re a fellow blogger.  (Seriously, the most useful tool for keeping me and all my blogs organized and in one place, rather than logging on to every single blog.)
  • And follow me on my Facebook .  It’s a little more interactive, because there’s no real lag time between when you comment or ask me a question, and when you get a response, either from me, or from another informed reader.

Okay, moving right along, I hope you guys had an amazing 3-day weekend.  Usually I’m a little more service-oriented and reflective on MLK Day, but since I made a little addition to my family…

photo 4


…I spent a lot of the day doing laundry, straightening up, vacuuming, and using my degree in Psychology to train my little girl to make sure she only poops outside.  She’s doing so well!  She’s extremely clingy, and she keeps hurting Austin’s feelings, because she’s glued to me, but she could take or leave my husband-to-be.  He texted me yesterday and said “I hope Coco starts to like me more.”

photo 1


My shadow and I went for a run yesterday morning.  She’s very tall, and her hair is long.  Is that what I look like?

photo 2


GoodNESS, these Raleigh hills kicked my butt.  Look closely at the end of that road.  Mama ran ALL of that.

photo 3


The legs got to come out yesterday, and probably for the last time all week.  They’re predicting snow tonight.  Woo-hoo!  Raleigh never gets any good snow!



And finally, look at this dinner I snagged last night!  Me and the nearly-husband met with some good friends from undergrad at the Remedy Cafe, a little joint that features a lot of local, vegan, and vegetarian items.   I went with friend “chicken” and some veg mac and cheese.  It was awesome, and I split it in half, added a salad, and brought the rest of it for lunch today.

How was your weekend?  Hope it was lovely!

I overdid it. Now what?

I celebrated Elon University’s Homecoming this past weekend.  Elon is many things.  It’s beautiful, stunningly beautiful.  The student body is smart, attractive, and critical thinkers.  And…we know how to throw a party.  I’m not really going to get into what all I ate/drank yesterday, but suffice it to say, it was off my normal nutritional path.


So, with the holidays approaching, it may happen.  To me, to you, we may overindulge in drinks, food, and feel terrible about ourselves for the rest of the day.  So what do we do when we overindulge?  With the help of our friend, hot mom, Maria Kang, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you beat after-overdoing it despair.  Not that I’d know…

  • If you can, make a plan so that you don’t actually overdo it.  Two Thanksgivings ago, my sister made an amazing pumpkin pie.  I ate SO much pie, that I felt sick for like two days after.  If I’d approached that meal a little more reasonably (like only had a teeny bit of everything), I probably would have saved myself a ton of grief.  Plan.  Plan.  Plan.

So you’ve actually overdone it, and you feel like you need to be rolled to you car…

  • Don’t do this. “Well the day’s already gone to hell, might as well eat everything in sight.” Don’t starve yourself either, though.  Take it one meal at a time.  And your next meal?  It might not be a bad idea to eat something nice and light, so at the very least, you don’t feel like crap the next day.  A salad, some veggies, just something that won’t make you feel like you’ve compounded your issues.
  • Drink water.  For me, it feels like the water flushes out some of the nasty you’ve had.  If you’ve had a meal high in sodium or fat in particular, this tip works wonders.
  • Work out!  This probably isn’t the time for your 20-miler.  And it SHOULD NOT, should not, be viewed as a punishment for yourself.  Just go for a brisk walk to kind of get the gross moving.
  • Do better.  Just move on.  You had a good time, and got a little rowdy with libations.  Next time, plan for better, and try to recommit to healthy foods for the rest of the week.

Do you guys have any tips you like to follow to get back on track after a particularly gnarly meal?


I’m desperately trying to figure this out.

So we all know by now, unfortunately, that I’ve been having some GI issues, issues that culminated in me vomiting mid 26.2 last weekend.  Hey, it happens.  But it makes working out difficult.

So I’ve since scheduled a gastroenterology appointment, and in the meantime, I’ve been slamming Tums and Prilosec like my life depends on it.  An ulcer is the suspected culprit of my troubles, though.

I’ve been doing a little research, and I’m trying to eat foods that are gentle on my belly – so less booze, NO caffeine, and limited amounts of dairy.  I’ve made the switch from more pescatarian, to a full-on vegetarian diet, and the combination of all those things has proven only mildly helpful.  But as I do more research, signs are pointing to a gentle, possibly vegan diet, even temporarily, until we can get this all healed up.

So I’m thinking of trying it out, at least for a month, with extra emphasis on the dairy elimination part, as the dairy is the party that really makes things unbearable.

What do you guys think? Can any vegans out there help a brotha out?

(This means no eggnog lattes 😦 )

I was weight-gain pescatarian girl :(

Shape magazine posted this article from POPSUGAR Fitness.  How I Gained Weight as a Vegan: Don’t Let It Happen to You!  Check it out.  And it’s so true.  Everything she says is hella true.  I was that girl.

And by the end of school, beginning of graduate school I’d gotten to here.

ME…and had to fix it to go to here

Me 2

A good, 40ish or so pound difference.

Now look.  I know, I’m not delusional.  I recognize that I’m no ‘Biggest Loser’ Contestant, but I had to take off some lbs.  It wasn’t going a good way. 

And it wasn’t completely about the way I looked, either.  I felt tired and sluggish all the time.  But I won’t front.  I totally wasn’t confident in the way I looked, in particular, I hated my stomach, but I think that more had to do with the fact that I never worked out, and I generally felt crappy.  That crappy feeling, from eating crappy food, will spill over and cloud your view of yourself, so it was just a nasty cycle.


I transitioned to a veg/pescatarian lifestyle my sophomore year when I was living with this girl.  The food at Elon at the time wasn’t my fave, and truthfully, I’d never really been a beef person.  Chicken was my friend (let’s perpetuate the stereotype, Cheri), and that was the one thing I’d have trouble giving up.  I’d switch back and forth between Pescatarianism (eating no animal products but fish) and Vegetarianism, and despite the fact that I wasn’t chowing down on Big Macs, I packed on a little bit of pudge without even really noticing until swimsuit season snuck up on me.  And that was always traumatic.

But the main reasons why my veg-ish lifestyle packed on a little pudge?  

    • I worked out sporadically, at best.  Once a week here.  A few weeks off.  Once there.  Off.  And I never gained a sense of why and how exercising was important to maintaining a healthy weight.  Plus, when you exercise more, you don’t necessarily want to eat all the crappy stuff that’s gonna make a workout miserable.  Now, I’ve changed it by doing something every day, with about one day off a week.  I run, run, run, cycle, yoga, and then I teach class on the side.
    • I didn’t realize how important diet was in how your body looked.  I literally remember one of the Real Housewives of Orange County, Alexis Bellino, saying how diet was like 80% of how your body looked, and feeling horrified in the knowledge that if I were ever to lose the bottom part of my belly that I didn’t like, that I’d have to stop drinking Cokes to stay awake in class.  Which brings me to this…
    • I drank my calories.  I had no sense of what percentage of my calories were liquid.  I drank Cokes to stay awake in class.  I drank fruity alcoholic beverages with whipped cream on top.  I just was doing too much.  I’ve since switched to waters, sparkling waters, Kombucha, and nonfat lattés with skim.  Obviously, I’ll treat myself, to a Gatorade or a fancy drink from Starbucks, but definitely, it’s more far and few between than it was.
    • I didn’t know how to read a label/what a calories was.  I had this abstract sense of labels and calories, but not really how it applied to me and what I was eating.  It really wasn’t until I consulted with a nutritionist at Camp Pocono Trails, where I was working, that it made sense.  And I kept track of everything that I put into my mouth until I had a firm grasp of what I was eating.
    • I was still eating fast food. I can’t even…okay.  I ate at the most disgusting places.  All vegetarian mind you, but all disgusting.  One of which included the Filet-o-Fish from McDonalds with the nasty piece of cheese and a glob of tartar sauce on top (who puts cheese on a piece of cod?!) and the Sampler Platter from Applebees, which included mozzarella sticks, spinach and artichoke dip, and cheese quesadillas.  All of these items were fried in some way, shape, or form.  I am so kind of ashamed when I tell people that.
    • I didn’t eat any “whole” foods.  I didn’t eat salads.  I didn’t read labels to see what ingredients (ingrediences, right Teresa Guidice?) foods included.  And I never packed my own lunch.  How can you maintain a healthy weight when you don’t even know who’s making your food, right?

So if you’re contemplating vegetarianism or veganism, bravo! However, if you’re doing it for weight loss, you’re barking up the wrong tree. You can just as well fall into a nasty trap and gain a ton.  Balance is absolutely key and without all the pieces of a healthy lifestyle, it’s just not gonna work.