Hi Everyone!!

Hope you have a lot of time to kill at your desk today because today’s Update has a LOT of great fitness info, random updates with me and CROF and fun tidbits of info! Buckle up!

I’m going to start off by expressing some gratitude for my friends and family… I’ve been feeling really luckily lately to have great friends in Boston but also to have stayed so close with my college friends. Last weekend I spent time in Cincinnati for my good friend Bailey’s bachelorette party; it was so great to spend time with her and see other college friends I haven’t seen in a few years.


Today I have some very exciting client updates in the Client Spotlight section, but these two clients of mine are so darn cute I had to put them up here! Congrats to Carlos and Sarah– you make one STRONG couple ๐Ÿ™‚


Carlos and Sarah eloped in the British Virgin Islands on an incredible sailing trip and sent me videos of their daily push-ups, and couple’s squats (see the spotlight for video proof!). I am so excited that their trip went well and they are back safely, and onto their regimen again ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also in the Nutrition section today I’m going to give you a round-up of my Boston restaurant go-to dishes and other advice for dining out– not because you need to restrict when you go out to eat, but to highlight really good protein options at local places and to reveal some of my nutrition strategies.

This Boston “food crawl” section was inspired by a week I had when I ate out at least once a day for 10 days straight. It all began about 2 weeks ago when I got back to Boston from Aspen and played host to a friend from Nashville. After he left my week of dining out continued with two dinners with friends and another meeting with drinks involved. I figured I’d give you guys not only some helpful advice on how-to not only find some great Boston food and drinks, but how to do so in such a way that doesn’t involve feelings of guilt. I want you to be able to go out to eat and make good choices, but still enjoy your food!

In other news, the #Daretoeat Nutrition Group is over halfway through their 8-week program and I’ve included some of their recipes and go-to snacks! I’ve also included some updates and tips from a few #Daretoeat group clients!

I will be moving my online training #Daretomove Program onto an app called Gym Cloud this month and I am SO STOKED about this.

Thanks to my friend Kenton’s new app called Gym Cloud, my clients will be able to access their Dare to Move program on one simple app– an app that will has all of my videos in it, (straight from YouTube!). If the client isn’t sure of the exercise, they can see me doing it right there while they sit on the bench resting between sets!

Trainers, if you haven’t heard of Gym Cloud yet– you’re in for a great surprise! Check it out!

One more thing, I’m 99% sure I will not be competing in the November 5th bikini competition I planned to do in Nashville. I say 99% sure because I have my still have my flight to Nashville, but due to a Real Estate exam, three upcoming weddings and a fun trip to Austin, I don’t think I’ll be able to fully enjoy each event if in the back of my mind I’m worried about a competition. More on this in the Training section!

I also have an update from my very first ever #Daretoeat client in the Client Spotlight Section, nostalgia much?!


ย Training:

This week’s training update is short and sweet because I want the focus of this update to be on Nutrition. But, it’s important to know that yes, I am still powerlifting 3x a week. However, the past three weeks it’s been about all I can handle (3x a week) because of travel and doing other “active” things, like boxing, mountain biking and gymnastics. This insta says a lot:

It is important to know that while I might not be posting my deadlift-bench-squat days very often as of late, I'm still powerlifting, 3 days a week. Most weeks I break my training into 4 days, and one of the three lifts gets a day when I literally only do its 3×3, 5×5 etc (whatever my plan is) and the 4th day of my lifting has some structural compound exercise and then picks up the accessory work of whatever lift I only did 3×3 or 5×5 etc that week. Bottom line: I powerlift and I adapt my training based on how I'm feeling (some might call this biofeedback, because I decide based on how I feel the day of). Without rigidity of a program per se, I'm very consistent. It's easy to stay lean and get lean when you understand your body's weekly demands. It's fun to watch your strength grow. It's cool to have found a groove with fitness that I've sustained for over 2 years now. Last week I hit a 1 RM of 275 in the deadlift (hadn't gone for a 1RM since my meet in January) and in July I hit a 1RM in the squat of 200. I will be going for a 1 RM in the bench this month, and also hope to get the 24kg chin-up by the end of September. Above is 105 for 5. Being strong makes life more fun. Being strong gives me confidence. Having strength keeps me sane. #daretomove #powerliftinglife #daretolift #bench #strong

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Instead of boring you with lifting videos I’m going to give you five tips to take one of your upper body days and turn it into a more full body workout!

I’ve been doing this on my bench day, because I’ve had little time to train. I’ve been trying to maximize my training on bench day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then read on to see some gymnastic videos and boxing clips!

How to turn upper body training day into full body training:

  • Plan for a longer than usual training session (think 1 hour)
  • Use leg drive on your bench press. Drive through the floor, activating your quads. Think about pulling your chest up to meet the bar, by squeezing your upper back. A strong back makes for a strong bench.
  • After heavy bench presses move QUICKLY through your other exercise circuits. Jog from station to station, do little rest during the accessories if you want more of a ย conditioning feel later in the workout.
  • Add push-presses to your upper body day because they too, use leg drive, require core stability and power.
  • By doing some type of squat as a finisher, you engage your abs as the body is front loaded.

Here’s a fun, quick FREE upper body workout I did a few weeks ago:

  1. Bench Press 3×5 reps, resting in between 2-3 minutes
  2. Circuit 1 (3 rounds)
    1. 1.5 single arm chest press (6-8 reps)
    2. Machine chest press neutral grip cluster 5-4-3reps
    3. Neutral grip seated cale row (8-10 reps)
  3. Circuit 2 (3 rounds)
    1. inverted row (6-8 reps)
    2. front squat or goblet squat (6 reps heavy AF)
    3. bicep curl (10-12 reps)

See video of inverted row ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is a fun Instagram of me at MIT’s adult gymnastics open gym. My friend Meghan and I did an hour of the beginner class (to go over basics) and then played around for another hour. I was sore for three days, but the good news is, I still got it!

Laying it all out! #gymnastics #practicemakespractice

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For Bailey’s bachelorette weekend, we took a really fun boxing class in Cincinnati and got to work one-on-one with some fighters! Let’s hope I don’t get mugged in a dark alley; my boxing skills are a little too giggly.

There's no laughing in boxing. #comeatmebro

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To begin today’s section I want to give you a quick review of two products I ordered from Instagram. You got that right– I found out about Muscle Egg and DoughBar Doughnuts from Insta, and finally bought them two weeks ago.

Muscle Egg:


Flavor: cake batter

How I ate it:ย Microwaved 1 cup and added PB2 and sugar free jam so it tasted like a PB&J. I also tried it with Walden Farm’s calorie-free carmel sauce!

Overall Rating: 6.5

I think I prefer regular egg whites or egg beaters more.

Doughbar Donuts:


Flavor: basic plain doughnut with 4 icing pack (maple, chocolate, vanilla and cake batter)

How I ate it: microwaved it 15 seconds and spread glaze on top, for a snack.

Overall Rating: 8.5

If you saw my recent “Instagram Story” you saw me eat them for the first time! They were very good, but unfortunately NOT gluten-free. I guess I’m so used to everything being gluten-free these days (like Quest Bars) that I didn’t double check. They are very very good but very akin to a mini-bagel. Unless you use the 30-calorie portioned out “glaze” or icing, they aren’t that unordinary. Expert tip: use TWO glazes for one donut ๐Ÿ˜‰

Two things I’ve actually cooked to get me through my restaurant-escapades:

Chicken taco-less tacos:

I’ve been cooking 1 pound of ground chicken or turkey and eating 1 serving (4 ounces) with salsa and Bolthouse dressing and shredded lettuce Monday through Thursday for lunch. It’s filling, taste and EASY.


Cold pasta salad:

This has been amazing because one, I love carbs! Two, this is basically carb-free, because I buy the 10 calorie Shritaki noodles, found in the vegan section of the store! Add Bolthouse 40 calorie Cilantro Avocado dressing (two tablespoons) cherry tomatoes, basil and 2 ounces of turkey and its basically 110 calorie COLD pasta!!! Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰


Restaurant Review Section:

Despite watching my waist-line, I feel like I’ve been on a food crawl the past three weeks. I’ve had friends in town, birthdays, bachelorette parties and more, yet somehow have managed to stay on track, due to choosing wisely.

What do I mean by “choosing wisely?” I do NOT mean I’m restricting and ordering broccoli and chicken every meal. It means prioritizing protein, choosing veggies and choosing your indulgences. Choose something that you can’t often get, something you’re craving and something that you can portion wisely! Read on to see where I’ve been dining out!

Saltie Girl:

Key: Saltie Girl does not take reservations. If you get in by some crazy chance (I got seated at the end of the bar after a 30 minute wait at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night), you will have an incredible experience! I never order scallop ceviche, but it was recommended so I went with it. The taste was impeccable and my friend got the traditional lobster roll. We shared oysters and unfortunately they were out of the ones I wanted, but the others were great. The oysters are served with the garnishes in droppers, so it’s easy to design your oyster ๐Ÿ™‚ This new restaurant is a must-try in Boston.


Porto is a new restaurant in Back Bay, right near the Avalon. I ordered their greens salad and smokey tequila cocktail. My friend Lauren ordered their eggplant dish. We both really loved what we ordered but were still hungry so an hour later we ordered the pesto pasta and black squid ink pasta. What I loved was being able to “indulge” in both pastas because they were flavorful, but not too heavy. They were also served in tiny portions so we each had a few bites. Porto is a bit pricey, but the views are worth it and if you are looking for yummy small bites this is the place! They also have great Rose!

ink pasta

squid ink pasta is a black colored pasta!

Union Oyster House:

Rumor has it that Union Oyster house is the oldest restaurant in Boston. Monday I deadlifted and taught a Cyc class so I was OKAY with having the cornbread they serve upon arrival. My friend Kenton and I had different approaches to the menu, however. I went with a large side of veggies, (full corn on the cob, onions and roasted peppers) with shrimp cocktail, to accommodate a dirty martini and 1/2 of the loaf of cornbread. Kenton got lobster ravioli because, #carbs #wheninboston.


Drink is a Speakeasy in Boston that I love because no matter what I tell them I like (there’s no menu so you have to hope the bartender can understand your drink of desire) they always hit the nail on the head. Last time I was there I said “st. Germain and Vodka,” because I was okay with a higher calorie drink. This last time I said “Vodka with a lot of cucumber and a hint of grapefruit,” and they nailed it! It’s not uncommon to see blazing fire-y drinks, people drinking out of pineapples and other spectacles at this basement bar in Ft. Point.

Legal Test Kitchen:

My friend Candace and I are both watching our waist lines and we wanted to go out for seafood beaseu #protein and #lowcallife. We ended up only being able to get into Legal Test Kitchen two weeks ago so we both got simply grilled shrimp with seaweed salad and broccoli. We split a roasted sweet potato appetizer and skipped the drinks. It was a very guilt-free delicious evening!



Lula’s ia a cool restaurant in OTR, (Over the Rhine) an up-and-coming area of Cincinnati. I have a LOT of clients in the Cincinnati area so I had to mention this place because their raw tuna appetizer was AMAZING. It was perfect because it had only a TINY bit of avocado and lots of tuna. I also ordered a very yummy side of mushrooms since they are low calorie but flavorful, leaving room to indulge in a piece of the margarita flat bread! If you live near Cincinnati, Zula’s is worth it!



You know I love tacos, but Lolita is relevant in my recent food-scapades because I’m LIVING for their spicy-cucumber margarita! If you haven’t tried it you should. If you’re watching your waistline, stay away form Lolita because everything is too good to pass up ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sweet Green:

I went to Sweet Green three times, three days in a few weeks ago, and I thought it was worth talking about. When I go to SG I *always* plan my day to account for roughly 130-150 calories of their Spicy Cashew dressing because I wouldn’t want to NOT get it.

My order :tofu, chicken, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, red onion and cucumber #alltheveggiesandprotein

JP Licks:

I took my Nashville friend here, even though I’d never been. I was SO excited to find low calorie, dairy-free CUCUMBER ice cream and also sugar-free vanilla fro-yo! It was the perfect 110 calorie snack on a 95 degree summer day! In case you were wondering, you CAN get peanut butter-oreo cookie dough milkshakes here as my friend ordered.


I go to Trident once a week. It’s a place you can get breakfast any hour of the day! I went to Trident three days before my fall bikini competition. I love this place because if you want something hearty and unhealthy (hello world’s best sweet potato fries) you can get it, but if you want to eat a LOT for few calories you can also do that. I always get a tofu scramble, add egg whites, with broccoli, red onion and mushroom. Enjoy with extra salsa! If you follow me on Snap Chat you’ve seen this meal plenty of times ๐Ÿ™‚

In a few weeks I’ll be traveling more frequently and so next week I’m going to share my top 10 nutrition tips for traveling ๐Ÿ˜‰ Stay tuned!

Group Nutrition Updates:

Emma’s BLT:

Emma has been making her very own low-cal BLTs because they satisfy her craving and help her hit lower calorie ranges during the week when she is less active and social. One of her biggest struggles is not wanting to go overboard with drinking alcohol and eating high-calorie snacks on summer weekends. In order to have a little more room to enjoy those treats on the weekend she has her low-cal BLTs during the week and feels fulfilled, not wanting for other things.


English muffin, 3 slices of turkey bacon, 1 serving of light mayo, tomato slices and lettuce!

skinny BLT

Tip from Vic: Similar to Emma, Vic is very social on the weekends and finds social drinking to be quite the challenge for her fat loss goals. She too likes to eat slightly less during the week, but without feeling deprived. On days when she feels like snacking more than others she enjoys Kim’s Deli Pops! They are kind of like rice cakes but only 10 calories each, so you can have that crunchy chewy sensation without the guilt. Makes for a good snack when you are at work, so you aren’t mindlessly munching on high calorie things.


Tips from Kym: Kym has been loving my very ownย protein pancake recipe! It’s a pretty low cal item (1/4 cup of oats, 2 tbsp PB2 and 1/2 cups of egg whites or egg beaters) because I want my clients to find a way to dress it up on their own. Kym has been adding 1/2 of a banana, some blue blueberry yogurt and honey to taste!!

kym pancake

Bani’s pancake: Bani had been adding Tripact protein powder to her protein pancake recipe as well as some fruit. I’m very thankful for Bani’s leadership in the group and her willingness to help her mom with the program as well! It is a team effort!

Bani pancake

Ranju’s helpful find: Ranju has never counted her macros before. She’s used to eating tradition indian cuisine and finds the fat content to be very high. During the week she works on keeping fat lower so that not he weekends she can enjoy some higher fat meals. However, she is doing a great job of learning how to swap out certain things to eat less fat and more protein and what dishes to avoid all together. Her favorite find as of recent is Trader Joe’s flourless bread for her sandwiches!

Mother-Daughter dinners:ย Bani and Ranju are attacking the #Daretoeat Program together, head-on. They have both consumed some alcohol during the program, exercised moderately and learned how to find things they love– like this meal below. Some people my find tilapia and broccoli boring, but for them it has become a staple, mother-daughter dinner that keeps them full and helps them stay on track on days when they have higher carb and fat breakfasts and lunches. It’s all about balance and I love that they’ve bene able to indulge and find go-to meals that satisfy them! Way to go guys! Way to keep each other accountable!tilapia and brocoli Bani


What I’m Reading:

  1. Meet Dustin martin, Owner Barry’s Bootcamp Boston via Bruswick Park
  2. Sore Throat Remedies via Authority Nutrition
  3. You are Allowed to be via Sarah Vance
  4. Lean versus Ripped via Bryan Krahn
  5. The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype? via Precision Nutrition
  6. 8 Great Rowing Variations via T-Nation
  7. Random thoughts on training installment 21 via Eric Cressey
  8. Sorry, Not Sorry: things that don’t require an apology via Girls Gone Strong
  9. I Blamed the Broccoli via I am Coach Fowler

Client Spotlight:

Danielle’s 22-Week Update:

Danielle is my badass client who is almost done with her second Dare to Eat cycle. I wanted to share her Top 3 tips for fat loss because she has gotten stronger and kept pushing despite not seeing the scale move for 7 weeks! She learned to be patient and trust the program and I’m SO darn proud of her ) Read on for more!


1. Find a core meal /general day of eating that works best for you, and that you know will hit your lowest numbers. Then finding variations of it with additional snacks added in for higher calorie days makes it easy to hit your numbers without thinking about it too much. For a low day, do your base meals. And for higher days add in some extra snacks. That has worked really well for me.
2. find replacements for your favorite treats that taste just as good, so you don’t feel deprived. Mine have been halo top ice cream, skinny pop popcorn, oh yeah one birthday cake and lemon cake bars, and occasionally Lenny and larrys protein cookies.
3. trust the process. Changing your eating habits is HARD WORK and staying at a deficit while continuing to workout is tough. It’s easy to be hard on yourself and to expect to breeze through this with no bumps, but give yourself a break and don’t expect to see drastic progress right away. Sometimes when the hanger is hitting you hard during a lower week and all you want to do is eat all of the candy bars from the checkout line at CVS, just remember why you started and hop on a quick call with Garrett. She’s so positive, motivating and understanding that you’ll instantly feel so much better and ready to get back at it. I’m not sure how she does it but it works every time!
*** 4th bonus tip – literally throw the scale out of your window. There’s basically only a 10 lb difference between my before and after photos, but I have gotten so much leaner and stronger.

D side

My first ever client, Amy:

Amy sent me this message last week :

“Hi! I just wanted to update you on my progress–I moved form a size 12 (when I first started with you) to a 2 petite!!! (in 2 years)!!!! Still tracking my food and macros just how you taught me ๐Ÿ™‚ and still working the crazy hours, but making it a priority and seeing results!!”

Amy was my first ever Dare to Eat Client and we did 3 cycles together before she took things into her own hands ๐Ÿ™‚ I could not be more proud of her and love that she has continued to work arduously toward her fitness goals!

Carlos’s sailing squats (might I add, he lost 10 pounds):

First of all, CONGRATS to this handsome groom who successfully lost 10 pounds before his wedding! It took him 22 weeks, and despite some frustrating weeks, travel for work ad teaching lots of spin classes, he never gave up!

Here he is with his beautiful new wife (and fellow #Daretoeat client) Sarah, on a boat in the British Virgin Islands ๐Ÿ™‚ Clearly they are hooked on fitness! Sarah crushes 10 push-ups at the end!!!

Taylor’s tank top:

This beautiful lady was a fellow competitor at the NPC Natural Indiana I competed in last April. We didn’t get the chance to connect at the show but met on Insta weeks later. She recently bought her own “No Deadlifts, No Date” shirt and she rocks it well! She is strong and beautiful and I can’t wait to see how strong she gets and what she does next! Go, Taylor!!


Shree’s Birthday Celebration:

My client Shree is KILLING IT. She has been at it for a little over 8 weeks, and despite only seeing a 3 pound shift on the scale she is relentless in the pursuit of her goals and has lost several inches! It has not been an easy ride for Shree. Unfortunately, but also fortunately, she found out she has a health condition that forced her to change her eating habits in week 4. The good news is that the dietary changes she has made has got her feeling better and still making progress. I wanted to share this photo with her because she made SURE to have a very delicious banana dessert at Empire for her birthday! And doesn’t she look beautiful!!! Go, Shree! #daretoeat




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