Should You Drink Caffeine Before a Workout?



For those of you who don’t know, I’m a self-proclaimed espresso connoisseur. Anything less than four shots of espresso will put me to sleep. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Aside from being that girl in the library at 2am discovering why a Red Eye is the best coffee drink of all time, I also am not a morning person. So when I needed to do morning workouts in order to fit them into my schedule, I wondered… can I drink coffee or other types of caffeine right before a run or a gym sesh? Leg day would surely be better with some cold brew, amirite? [Read more…]

7 Day Clean-Up: Passing the FBI Fitness Test and Other Fitness Goal-Setting Tips [Day 3]


This is part of the 7 Day Clean-Up Series. See all posts in the series here.

This summer, my best friend was like, “Amy, we have to be able to pass the FBI fitness test. Y’know, for fun. Also job security since we’re graduating.”

I foolishly agreed, thinking that it couldn’t be that hard. I work out, and I’m also currently training for my third half-marathon (in part because this guy I like asked me to run it with him #priorities).

The first part of the FBI fitness test is 60 seconds worth of sit-ups. Easy. Doing yoga has its benefits.

Second task: 60 seconds worth of push-ups. I was able to get through about one push-up before collapsing, and could only get through 30 seconds of knees-on-the-ground push-ups. Clearly my upper body strength needs work.

Third task: a 300-meter sprint. That’s about 3/4 of the way around the track. Suffice to say my “sprint” was more of a “light jog.”

So while yes, I am in fairly good shape because of yoga and lifting, my endurance and upper body strength needs some serious work. My best friend and I want to be able to pass the test before winter.

While you may not be training for a life of adventure and mystique within the walls of the FBI like we are (or pretending to, anyways), it’s good to set goals you can actually measure.

If you don’t have fitness goals, you don’t have any indication of where you’re at now and if you will have made any progress six months from now.

3 Great Fitness Goals to Set:

  1. Pass the FBI or President’s Fitness Test
  2. Complete the 30 Day Shred
  3. Complete the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

So set some goals and get ready to join the FBI.

Or just get really fit.

7 Day Clean Up: Staying Motivated to Work Out [Day 2]


This is part of the 7 Day Clean-Up Series. See all posts in the series here.

Hey everyone! Welcome back! Today we’re going to sit down and get an epic workout plan in place for you, talk about ways to maintain that workout plan, and the secret to staying motivated.

Day 2: Making a Workout Schedule

Step 1. Design your weekly workout plan using this guide. Make sure you’re working out enough days to reach your goal and have a good balance of activities you enjoy. For example, I love yoga so I do it all the time, but I find variety by trying different types of yoga like hanging yoga and different vinyasa flows.

Step 2. Create a workout calendar. I have a workout calendar I hang on my wall, and I make myself check off each workout so I feel motivated to get it done so I can check it off. I highly recommend making one of these! At the start of every week it helps to plan out what workouts you’re going to do so that you can stay motivated and look forward to it.

Step 3. Double check to make sure your workout schedule isn’t falling into any common traps or problems. Having a balanced schedule is a bit of an art, but make sure it’s well rounded with strength and cardio and you should be golden.

Here’s this week’s workout schedule for me: [Read more…]

7 Day Clean Up: Eat Clean, Live Clean [Day 1]


This is part of the 7 Day Clean-Up Series. See all posts in the series here.


Here’s the thing about leading a healthy life and eating clean: it takes constant work. Sometimes you fall off the wagon and have to reset yourself.

The 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge is a good introduction to eating clean, but this 7 Day Clean-Up is more of a check in that you can do anytime you feel like the siren song of junk food seduces you back to the dark side.

Eating healthy and exercising is tough, so don’t get down on yourself for

Day 1: Plan, Prep, Detox, Re-Focus

If you haven’t prepped for clean eating before, check out this post.

There are three things you should do on day one:

  1. Remind yourself why you’re eating clean. There are so many important reasons to eat clean: you’ll feel more energized, you’ll live a longer life, you can continue to improve your body and mind — pick a reason that matters to you and write it on a post-it note where you can see it.
  2. Pick recipes and go grocery shopping (but not when you’re hungry). Go grocery shopping with a list and a game plan about what recipes you’re going to make this next week. I don’t supply a meal plan because everyone is different as long as you stick with the clean eating basics, any clean recipe will do to help you reach your goals! We’ll be talking more about macro nutrients and other ways to make sure your diet is balanced later this week.
  3. Detox, do yoga, meditate, and reset. The holidays are extremely stressful, so make sure you’re taking time out to relax. I took a meditation class, and saw my stress levels decrease dramatically. I highly recommend trying this body scan meditation and do it every day for at least a week to begin to de-stress. A clean life begins with a clean mind. Not to mention most of the aspects of unhealthy and binge eating stem from cravings and other constructs or emotional needs not being addressed in our minds.

Day 1 Recipes

On day one, I suggest making some foods that carry over throughout your busy week, like the following: [Read more…]

Dining Hall Survival Guide: FIT STUDENT

Fit Student Series dining hall survival guide

Since I’m an RA, I’m back at that unlimited swipe life, which has its pros and cons. Pros: I don’t have to cook or do dishes. Cons: the siren song of dining hall carrot cake.

However, I have gotten good at learning how to beat the system and eat healthy at a dining hall determined to use its temptress powers to sway me away from the land of clean eating where focaccia bread is not a major food group (sadly).

Here are 5 tips on how to survive the dining hall and get the healthiest meals!

1. Fill your plate with healthy stuff first. No dessert or foccaccia bread until you’ve finished your veggies and lean protein first! I know it’s tempting to grab that brownie on your first pass but you may overeat if you grab dessert every time and then feel obligated to eat it when you may not want it after you finish your healthy food anyways. [Read more…]

Healthy Dorm Recipes: Honey Parfait Jar


I’m back in the dorms! This time as an RA, the person who enforces da rules and puts on cool programs. So, here’s my guide to eat healthy in the dorms with simple, no-appliance-necessary recipes.

For my first recipe, I used a mason jar and made a healthy parfait that has plenty of protein to keep you full during busy days of classes, studying, and hitting the gym. This is a good breakfast or snack, depending on how much you make. I love this recipe because it’s simple, easy, and delicious.

Be sure to try and get ingredients that are unsweetened, and then use a little honey to sweeten it to taste.


  • 2 containers of plain, unsweetened vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup(ish) of granola or oats (unsweetened)
  • Honey
  • Bananas (optional)


1. Drizzle honey into an empty mason jar. Empty one container of yogurt for the first layer.

2. Layer granola on top of the yogurt.

3. Another layer of yogurt!

4. More granola, and bananas if you see fit.



If you want to make this the night before an early day, you can leave out the granola and add that in the morning so it won’t get soggy in your minifridge overnight.

Happy studying!


3 Things You Need to Do After Every Workout

3 things to do after every workout

So there’s a new yoga instructor at my gym. He’s basically pioneering the concept of “cardio yoga” and the workouts are super intense, with nonstop vinyasa flows, jump squats, and screams of pain and anguish. Kidding about the last one (sort of), but the point is when you’re doing hellish workouts you need to make sure you optimize your workout and help your body recover and improve. A post-workout routine is just as important as a pre-workout routine!

1. Eat protein within 15 minutes after your workout.

Your muscles are hungry! Feed them. Eating protein right after your workout ensures that your muscles can recover and grow, and it also reduces muscle soreness.

Some good sources of protein include lentils, nuts, lean meats, and quinoa. Check out my list of 8 post-workout snacks for more suggestions!

2. Stretch to remove toxins.

Vigorous exercise releases free radicals in the body, while stretching and yoga inversions help disperse and remove them. Stretching also helps improve circulation and is just a good idea after a workout. Stretching is key for pre-workout, too, but before your workout make sure you’re doing dynamic stretches instead to reduce injuires.

3. Drink water to rehydrate and energize.

Drinking water also helps flush toxins, but also makes sure you don’t feel fatigued and helps you re-energize post-workout, especially if you’ve been working out in hot weather.


Have a great week of fitness, everybody!


I Tried Hanging Yoga and Now Everything Hurts (Workout Review)

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 8.28.51 PM

I feel like it’s my responsibility as a girl who runs a health blog to continue to explore the great wide world of fitness and tell you what works and what doesn’t. So, dear readers, I ventured out to The Yoga Hangout and did exactly what you see in the picture above: hanging yoga.

What Is Hanging Yoga

It’s exactly what it sounds like. There’s a strap on the wall, and you do all sorts of yoga poses in mid-air using the strap in different ways. In my class we did a TON of suspended side planks and as a result it hurts to laugh because my obliques are so sore.

One of the moves we did in class was a plank/pike. We lowered the strap so it was like six inches off the ground, put our ankles in the strap and did a plank so our feet were off the ground suspended by the strap, and then proceeded to “pike” in a v-shape, keeping our legs straight and drawing our hips up and feet towards our hands.

Is Hanging Yoga Effective?

[Read more…]

Clean Recipe: Cucumber Sandwich

cucumber sandwich

Good evening, everyone! Today I danced for FOUR hours as part as a marathon International style Latin ballroom dancing workshop — and I needed some fuel so this is the sandwich I turned to after I got back! Cucumber sandwiches are delicious and simple, and at home we have fresh, homegrown sprouts. Sprouts are pretty easy to grow, so give it a try!

For this recipe to be 100% clean, use hummus instead.


  • 2 slices whole grain toast
  • 1/4 cucumber (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
  • handful of sprouts
  • whipped cream cheese
  • OPTIONAL: provolone cheese, sliced black olives

Directions are pretty self-explanatory (this is why I love sandwiches!)


Build Your Own Acai Bowl: How To + Recipe!

 buildyourownacaibowlFind more delicious and photogenic recipes here

Acai bowls are the hottest things in superfoods since Forever 21 discovered Kale. Have you been to Nektar? Sure you have. Acai (pronounced ass-ay-EE or somethin like that) are those bowls sold at Nektar, and they’re essentially thick smoothies with delicious toppings, but with the benefits of the acai berry superfood. [Read more…]