Step Up Your Game

BEC Green Smoothie


Isn’t the BEC Green Smoothie THE BEST SMOOTHIE EVER? Guys, it really is. But, believe it or not, I have a few ways to make it pack even more punch without realllllllly changing the taste (too much).

1. Mix in a little water.  I like my smoothie with a looser texture so I used to add extra coconut milk (my current non dairy milk of choice). Recently I starting using half coconut milk, half cold water and you cannot taste a difference.  Love the texture, love using less milk, and obviously it contains less calories!

2. Throw in some seeds.  I used to swallow a spoonful of chia seeds every morning then it got to the point where I would rather stay in bed all day then walk down the stairs and choke down chia seeds. Now I drop a tablespoon of the white or black variety into my smoothie (we love the seeds by Health Warrior). Chia can makes things “gelatinous” but this small amount doesn’t change the consistency and adds Omega-3s, protein and fiber.  Flax seeds are also always in my smoothie; they’re cancer and disease fighting so why not?

3. Camu Camu Powder. I love throwing some of this fine powder in my green smoothie every day. It is full of immune boosting antioxidants and Vitamin C.

4. Cinnamon has so many benefits we should all be sprinkling it onto everything all the time. To name a few it’s anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants and multiple nutrients, and can even boost your mood!

5. Change up your greens game. We know the usual green smoothie suspects…kale and spinach. But try mixing it up. Today I used a bag of romaine in mine and as usual, delicious. Try micro greens, beet greens, collards or dandelion greens (these last two can be bitter so maybe use a little less for your first attempts). Different greens give us different things, y’all!

6. Throw in a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Just a bit won’t alter the taste but you get loads of benefits such as lowering blood sugar, aiding in weight loss, and fighting bacteria!

Do you have any smoothie tips that you love?  Let me know!

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Happy New Year (Resolution Time!)

2016 was the best year of my life.  I had my little boy, who made me a mother, and he makes me happier than I ever knew was humanly possible.  But a lot of people close to me didn’t have such an awesome year whether they dealt with the death of a loved one, illness, or any number of difficult things.  No matter how 2016 treated you, it’s always exciting to close the door on one chapter and start fresh.

Do you make resolutions?  You know, set a goal for a positive change in your life for the upcoming year?  It’s like a clean slate, right? There’s no better time to make a promise to yourself but a lot of times these promises are broken by say mid March.  I have a few suggestions on how to make attainable, reachable, DOABLE New Year’s resolutions for a fabulous 2017, something we all deserve.

  1. DRINK MORE WATER.  Duh.  Sort of a no brainer.  But it’s something we can all do, all the time.  Buy a nice water bottle that you will want to carry around with you ALL THE TIME.  And do.  Fill it constantly and chug chug chug.  It’s good for everything but especially your insides, your skin, your digestion, and can even help fill you up if you’re feeling ravenous.
  2. MOVE every day. I have a goal to work out every single day.  It doesn’t happen but if I shoot to exercise every day, when I miss a day, it’s NBD.  On days that I don’t attend a class or break a sweat, I still have a mini goal to at least move. I walk my dogs, push Aubrey in his stroller (uphill as much as possible), plank on my bedroom floor, squat while I am holding the baby, whatever.  Something is better than nothing.
  3. Cook More, Dine Out Less.  No one loves to go out to dinner more than me.  Like, for real.  I LOVE RESTAURANTS.  Especially now that I have a baby.  I can sit down to eat?  Someone will bring me my food?  I don’t have to load the dishwasher after with one hand?  Sign me up.  BUT even when you’re eating out and making healthy choices, there are so many unknowns.  What sort of oil was your food cooked with?  How much salt was used? Is anything organic?  Is this a reasonable portion?  When you cook at home you know the answers to these questions and can control all of the factors. You will also save a ton of money.
  4. EAT MORE GREEN.  In fact, make it a goal to eat something green at every meal.  Breakfast and dinner are easy for me.  I have the BEC green smoothie every morning and some sort of salad for or with dinner.  Lunch is tough because I am usually on the go.  I am going to try and do better this year!
  5. ORGANIZE.  Say what?  I know what does organization have to do with it?  A lot, actually.  The more organized I am, the better I am doing at the life game.  I have a grocery list with healthy food on it, I have meals planned for the week, I am using my time in the best way possible, I am making it to all my classes this week, etc.  Get organized and stay that way.
  6. Cut Down on the Booze.  I know. I know.  I am like, zero fun. I didn’t say cut it out completely!  Just cut back when you can and preferably where you won’t miss it.  Sometimes after work Douglas will ask me if I want a beer (so crazy, I always hated beer but I love dark stouts after having a baby) and I want to respond YES every time but do I really need the empty calories?  No.  But when we are out with friends for happy hour or dinner or a cocktail party, then YES I really do!  Pick your poison they say, just don’t pick it too often.
  7. Be Nice. No this isn’t going to clean up your lifestyle but it will make you an all around happier person. Times are tough and people can be mean, so take it upon yourself to talk to strangers, hold open the door, don’t beep your horn, return someone’s grocery cart…come on y’all.  We could all stand to be a little nicer!

CHEERS to a happy and healthy 2017!

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How to cut out over 100 POUNDS of sugar this year by changing one thing.



After reading Mary’s ideas for New Years Resolutions, I decided to do a little continuation on one of her recommendations. Drinks.

I live in the south where people just love sweet tea. But I came from New York where so many people start their day with a Starbucks non-fat pumpkin spice latte. In Portland, they go crazy for Egg Nog Lattes, in Los Angeles the obsession is Frappuccino’s. I know tons of college students who boost their day with a 20-ounce soda or an energy drink.

So today is the day to check out a few calculations on how much sugar we are ingesting from these drinks.


1) Starbucks Grande Non-fat Pumpkin Spice Latte—NO whipped cream—

pumpkin spice latteImagine how people would look at you if you opened up 12 packets of sugar and dumped them into your coffee……this is what you are doing without knowing it.

4,471.25 packets of sugar

71,540 calories from just sugar

93 cups of sugar

20 pounds of weight*

2) Apple, Kiwi, Kale Smoothie from Smoothie King (medium) —this information should terrify you, just when you thought you were being “healthy.”

apple, kale smoothie king smoothieThe deception of this ad literally makes me sick. They spend millions of dollars to make you think these are healthy. It is NOT your fault.

8,486.25 packets of sugar

135,780 calories from sugar

176 cups of sugar (a portion is coming from natural sugar from fruit)

38 pounds of weight*

3) One 16 ounce bottle of Minute Maid Orange Juice –this is nothing like fresh squeezed orange juice or cold pressed orange juice.Orange juice

4,380 packets of sugar

70,080 calories from sugar

91 cups of sugar

20 pounds of weight*


4) One 20-ounce Coke or other soda. (and diet coke is just as bad if not worse, we’ll talk about that another time.)


At least we know we are having lots of sugar when we drink soda. 

5,931 packets of sugar

94,896 calories from sugar

123 cups of sugar—Yuck.

27 pounds of weight*


5) A medium sweet tea from McDonald’s and most other places too. 

sweet tea

Again, if you were in a restaurant and ordered sweet tea are you REALLY going to dump 14 packets of sugar into your tea without being slightly embarrassed?

5,110 packets of sugar

81,760 calories from sugar

106 cups of sugar

23 pounds of weight*

*WEIGHT:This information is based on 3500 calories equaling one pound. However, I personally believe each person loses weight very differently so this number varies greatly between each individual. Please see Mayo Clinic’s article for more details.

So if you are consuming any of the above or something similar (AKA, any soda, coffee mate creamers, juices from concentrate, sweetened lattes, Frappuccino’s, energy drinks, Vitamin Waters, Snapples, many of the Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie “smoothies” haha…….trade it out. Swap it for a 20 ounce water or a Kombucha with less than 10 grams of sugar, or a sparkling water with some freshly squeezed fruit.  Check out some of these ideas to make your water more appealing.

What will happen if you do this? You will feel so much better. You will NOT go on the sugar rollercoaster of gaining some temporary energy and then crashing and grabbing for MORE sugar. Your cravings for sugar will go down tremendously. (Once you get a taste of this white stuff it’s pretty hard to stop…..if not all out impossible. Trust me, I’ve been there.) You will GAIN ENERGY. You will LOSE WEIGHT.

So basically you would be much better off having a Hershey’s bar every day–NOT that I am recommending that, just making a point. These hidden sugars are destroying our bodies on the inside and out and making us feel like crap. Contributing to heart disease and causing diabetes. So just do it. Make this swap. Start today.

Breaking the sugar habit is not easy. But it can happen one step at a time. This is your first step to gaining your health back this year. I know you can do it.  And just for the record the American Heart Association recommends 6 added teaspoons (packets) of sugar per day for women, 9 for men, and 3 for children. With just this one drink you are already way over the recommendations for good health.


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rihanna www.insidegrind.com


Also known as my favorite “I forget I’m working out” workout.

Okay okay I know, it’s almost October and we could all SUP on the streets at the rate the rain has been coming down lately BUT I am holding on to summer as long as I can.  One of my favorite parts of Summer and Fall is changing up my workouts with hiking, swimming, and Stand Up Paddle Boarding!  Have y’all tried this?  I am obsessed.




I spent a few weeks after Labor Day with some great friends in Wrightsville Beach and enjoyed SUPing every afternoon.  I already cannot wait until my next warm weather travel destination to do it again or for Spring to get here so I can get back into a SUP routine! It works your abs, arms, thighs, butt, literally everything.  I love the soreness I experience the next day in places I NEVER feel sore.  It is so much fun with beautiful scenery and excellent results!




Not to mention if it’s good enough for these beauties, it’s good enough for me!






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