Bfast and Eff Ayyy Cues

Hi friends! Happy almost-Friday! Hope your day is going well <3

I woke up with a crazy allergy attack! My nose and throat hate me. Teaching will be interesting, but maybe this means that cooler weather is on the way?

Thank goodness for a nice, hot bfast to help with the ick:


Gingah tea with honey in a Wizard of Oz cup 🙂

+ berry chocolate protein oats


-GF oats

-almond milk

-Sun Warrior

-frozen organic mixed berries <—added in a couple of minutes before oats were finished cooking

-cocoa powder

-cinnamon, Stevia, blob of almond butter


I loved reading all of your FAQ questions!

Here are the ones I picked to answer this morning: [and it ended up being a way more wordy post than I anticipated]


I first got into blogging when the Pilot told me to “get a hobby” when we lived in Valdosta. I was so bored, we had just moved there, I had quit my soul-sucking job working as a department store area sales manager to become a personal trainer, didn’t have many friends yet since I was always working at the department store when the squadron would have events, and spent my free time online shopping or working out.

One day, I had googled a recipe and Jenna’s blog came up. I remember being shocked to see the types of food she was posting about… [“She likes quinoa?!”, “I like quinoa!”] and was so excited to see that there was someone out there who enjoyed eating healthy food and working out as much as I did. It kind of gave me a connection at a time where I felt totally lost in my new surroundings, especially is a less-health-minded city than I was used to. From there, I discovered a few other blogs (Kath’s and Tina’s) and decided that I could do that, too. I thought it would also be a fun way to share recipe and workout ideas with my clients, since they’d usually ask about what types of workouts and I food I enjoyed. From there, the little blog was born.

[Everyone says this, but] I really didn’t expect anyone to read it. I knew my mom and nana would, since they liked knowing what the Pilot and I were up to, and that a few clients might, but figured it might just be something fun that I did. I had no idea that behind the blogworld was an incredible community of men and women, of all ages, from all over the world, with similar interests, who would become future lifelong friends. dinner

[with Ange, Gena and Sabrina]

I’ve met SO many amazing, intelligent, talented and caring people through the blogworld. Many of my good friends are bloggers, and having the community and support of the blog world (especially during tough times, like 2 out of the 3 deployments to Afghanistan for the Pilot) has been more valuable to me than you could ever imagine. Even when things were going on in my life that I couldn’t necessarily write about, having the blog helped me get through it.


My #1 tip for blogging is: write about what you love, not what you think others want you to say. Don’t think of it as a “job”, or go after it for the money. If you love what you do, it will show and the readers will follow. Blogging should be fun and the second the fun aspect starts to dwindle, it’s a good time to take a step back and reassess what you’re doing.

*more blogging tips are *here*

My traffic first started to significantly spike about 2 years ago, after my first blog facelift. It became my official-ish full-time job last summer (2010) and I started to focus even more of my attention towards making the blog as fun and informational as I can. I have some pretty huge goals and plans for the blog and am always trying to think of ways to make it better <3

How I keep everything in track:

-I wear a lot of different hats: wife, friend/daughter/sister, mom-to-be, puppy wrangler, fitness instructor, blogger, maid/cook 😉 The thing that helps me keep track of everything and make sure it all gets done is my trusty notebook. I write down EVERYTHING and plan out each day by what needs to be accomplished. I love ninja-kicking to-do lists and crossing things off. I’ve really learned how to cut myself some slack, so sometimes I take the day off from the gym, ditch the to-do list and take a breather. For the most part, it really helps me stay organized and on top of things.


When the little Nugette arrives, I plan to take time off from teaching, but not really from the blog. The Pilot will probably tweet for me when the baby is born and I’ll have some guest posts and pre-written content (like the Winter Shape Up!) ready to go 🙂 I’ll also post a few updates in the first week or so until I resume my normal schedule.

As far as teaching goes, I still need to figure out how much time off I’ll get. I only teach part-time, so I’m not sure what the allotment for time off is. Might be a good time to start figuring that out…. 😉 I’m really thankful that we have so much family here in Tucson (my family has 132 people in it! Learned that from planning the wedding, haha) so it will be nice to have help when the baby is here and I need to teach a class, get in my daily workout, or take a shower 😉


The second I found out the Pilot was in the military, my heart dropped. Immediately I thought about what it would be like to have him leave, and it scared me. I didn’t grow up in the military and only had a handful of friends with military families, so it wasn’t something I knew a lot about. It’s funny because the Pilot told me that he used to tell previous girls he dated that he was a kindergarten teacher because the second they found out he was a Pilot, things usually ended pretty quickly. For me, I knew I wanted to marry him pretty shortly after we started dating (I said “there’s my husband” the second I saw him!) so it was a sacrifice I was more than happy to make.

Now that I’ve been in a military relationship for almost 6 years, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The unknown, moving and deployments have been extremely hard, but when they come home, there’s nothing like it. It’s almost like honeymoon period never ended with us.. and I have a feeling it probably won’t 😉

us (5)


I started eating an almost entirely gluten-free diet when my doctor did a saliva DNA test to check my hormones and response to gluten. He said I was borderline intolerant (which I knew, because gluten had a knack for making me feel kind of gross) and recommended just staying away from it. This was last fall.

Since then, I’ve stayed away from gluten for the most part but will have some when I really want it. As long as I don’t have it more than two days in a row, I feel fine. If I do have it on consecutive days, even if it’s a small serving, my stomach isn’t my friend.

Something that is worth the gluten:


Nana’s funfetti Bundt cake


I used the train clients, but am now just teaching classes. At the resort, guests can book me for private training sessions, too.

The things I loved the most about training clients were: watching their results happen first-hand (and being able to cheer them on!) and the friendships I’ve made- many friends were once clients.

The hardest part about training for me was training people who weren’t yet ready for change. They liked the “idea” of having a trainer, but didn’t want to work hard or change their eating habits. This was extremely challenging for me to try to train them and not see any results, and also watch them waste money. Some people paid me to basically hang out with them and chit chat while they “kinda” worked out. In the end, I had to *break up* with these types of clients because it wasn’t beneficial for them, or for me as a trainer. When you’re training at a gym, you want other people at the gym to see your client working hard and changing their health/body. If this isn’t happening, it can affect your credibility.

If you’re still reading, thanks for hanging in there for this long-y post!

Your turn!

How do you keep track of the different *hats* you wear? If you’re a blogger, why/when did you start your blog? If you don’t blog, when did you first start reading blogs ? What’s the first blog you discovered?

Off to do the work thang 😀 It’s a Zumba and LaBlast kinda day!



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  1. Niki on September 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I am a Post-It Note FREAK. I color code them according to different tasks. At present, I work full-time outside of the home for the first time in years, run a non-profit with 3 events in the next 3 months, coach 6 year and under soccer team, freelance write, write a blog and recipes, run a family and household, and study for both my personal trainer and yoga certifications. Oh, and I’m a college student, studying Psychology and Nutrition. I wear enough hats to keep me constantly busy and never board!

    I started my first blog about 3-1/2 years ago as a place to put recipes and crafting things. I would focus on writing for a few months, then my focus would shift, so I’d can that blog and create a new one. Once, I had 3 different blogs at a time. Now, I have a fitness and nutrition blog where I post recipes I’ve written or altered, fitness advice and plans, and general health information.

    The first blog I discovered was The Pioneer Woman. I still follow her to this day!

  2. Leslie Wingate on September 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I don’t blog. Thank the Lord, right? 😉

    I found your blog by searching for different health blogs for women that weren’t totally extreme. I tried paleo, but it is meats, eggs, nuts/seeds, fruits and veggies. Then, adds that if you want to lose weight, try limiting fruits and nuts. Everything tasted like coconut too. lol It seemed like I ate an animal a day and felt so blah. I really liked your ideas and the fact that you are keeping off weight you already lost too. I’ve lost 80, and I was scared to start my “maintenance” phase. I’m tweaking things now and trying to find how many calories I can eat without gaining and how to get the most bang for my buck nutrient-wise from the foods. The more plant-based way of eating has me feeling well so far. 🙂 Thank you for doing what you do!

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      i didn’t know you lost 80 lbs! WOW- amazing
      and i wish you had a blog 🙂

  3. Emily on September 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    A great post with great responses. I am amazed to hear of the humble beginnings of your blog because it is so amazing and thriving today. I also love to hear about how you wrapped your head around being in a relationship with a military guy; I was recently dating an national guard guy who was considering becoming a pilot and I immediately turned to your blog of advice and assurance. Looking forward to more of these faq’s!

  4. Laury @ thefitnessdish on September 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring my question! I loved this post and read every word! It’s so interesting to me. I can totally relate to you about having clients that pay to hang out and chat with and I have definitely gotten burned out and had a hard time with that. It’s a tough situation for sure because it will dumb you down as a trainer when you can’t challenge your clients and use all of your talents. I LOVE training clients that are super serious and make all the changes I suggest. Nothing in the world to me is more rewarding watching them transform and get off medications.

    I started my blog in May 2009 for some of the same reasons as you. People always asking me about my workouts and my diet and things I ate. I have a girlfriend that would harass me daily ad ask me what I ate for bfast, lunch, dinner. Then I also did it to motivate my clients and to have a resource to go back to when we discussed things as far as lifestyle changes or why to avoid “I Can’t believe it’s not butter” when they thought that was healthy.

    When I went to my 10 year hs reunion a girl I went to hs with told me she was reading my blog. i posted it a few times on facebook. She was telling me how much she loved it and how she loved healthy living blogs. I had NO idea there was this whole community! She told me I HAD to read The Fitnessista. It took me a couple of months, but I finally ventured over here and LOVE at first sight 😉 So much in common with you and loved reading that someone else had the same interests and philosophy, etc. From here I found some others now I have all these new friends that don’t think I am weird eating quinoa and drinking Kombucha and sprinkling noosh on my zucchini pasta 😉

    You also inspired me to do more with lists. I am so ADD and it helps when I write things down…otherwise, it’s lost in my mommy brain

    Thanks for this post!

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      we definitely have a lot in common 🙂

  5. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig on September 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to do a post like this – it was very informative and great to read! I started reading blogs around April this year and thought it was something I could definitely do! I’ve been blogging since June and love it and the blogging community in general.

    I work full-time as a financial journalist, plus I try to be a good wife 🙂 So it is tough finding time to blog sometimes, but I maintain three times a week.

  6. Hillary on September 8, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Loved all these FAQ answers. I just started blogging in May, but I’ve been reading blogs for about two years. Yours was actually the first I found! Your breakfast cookie recipe was on a magazine site (maybe Glamour? I honestly can’t remember) and the rest, as they say, is history!

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm


  7. jen fuller on September 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I loved this post! Thanks for answering so many questions and talking about the things that help you focus your blog. With my own blog, I do just write to have fun – that way it is for me in the long run and I can keep at it! Easy have fun with my blog since it’s all about my baby boy 😉
    Smoking Crayolas Blogspot

  8. Laura@mypurposefullife on September 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    This is such a great post! It’s always clear how much time and effort you put into writing thoughtful posts, it definitely shows. I just recently started blogging in May after reading blogs for about 2 years. It’s so strange, but I can’t remember which blog I started reading first?! I think maybe Carrots ‘n’ Cake because I saw Tina’s column in Health magazine. But I know yours was one of the first, and, more significantly has consistently been one of my favorites the entire time.

    I started my blog as a way to chronicle my recovery from years of binging/depriving myself. I am an ex-competitive swimmer and when I stopped swimming at the end of high school got really negative comments from people in the swimming world about how I better not eat too much, or keep eating “like a swimmer”, and “are you sure you don’t want to swim in college?, you are going to gain so much weight”. These comments were irritating, but it was my own Type A personality that led me to be too extreme when I stopped swimming. I made it about 6 months, where I was hungry all the time and would not go a day without getting in a run/going to the gym, before the binges started. I never got to an unhealthy skinny, and I never had anorexia per se, but I definitely ate way less than my body needed to for my height/body composition, and finally it backfired.

    Once the binging started, I of course would try to regain control by not eating, which perpetuated the cycle. As I would feel more out of control, I would feel more guilty. I was still the perfectionist type person, but was feeling so out of control of my body, and even life, that I was starting to worry I was not still me.

    Now I am a year out of college (I stopped swimming right before college-I was super burned out as competitive swimming will do), living in NYC with my boyfriend of 7 years, and half-through a program at Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Holistic Health Counselor. I am slowly but surely taking baby steps to regain control of my health and my body, and one way I am doing this is to blog. It took me a long time, though, before I had the courage to start my blog because discussing something viewed as negatively as binging, or any eating disorder for that matter, makes me feel vulnerable. The entire 5 years I didn’t tell anyone except my boyfriend-and I too am a hugger! 😉 Meaning, I am very close to all of my family, get really close to people in my life, and am just a generally open person. So the fact that I felt like I had this toxic secret made me feel even more like I was no longer myself. It was just my deep, dark secret, But now I am discussing it openly to heal and create the life I want to live. I realized that I had to stop judging myself, and now that I’m out in the “open”, anyone else can judge me for my “weird” eating disorder, but I forgive myself, and that’s all that matters.

    Honestly, though, getting to the point I am now, as early in my recovery as it is, came about largely because of you and a few other bloggers who are a great inspiration to me. Thank you for writing such a truthful, heartfelt blog.

    That’s the story of my love for blogs and starting my own. Sorry for such a novel! Haha, I guess you inspire me to write 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      i loved reading your comment!
      i’m so proud of you for taking care of your health <3
      keep rocking it out 🙂

  9. James on September 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Great post! I am in awe of the amount of time and energy you put into this blog, just look at how thoroughly you answered all those questions! Inspirational!

  10. Dana Marie on September 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I have a LOT of off small jobs- the hardest thing is following up when paychecks maybe dont come – or are slow. I started reading blogs when I stopped posting on this one message board I was always on for clubbing – I stopped drinking/going out and tried to adopt more healthy lifestyles –

  11. Dana Marie on September 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I have a question about hormones -I tend to be extremely emotionally unstable when I am pms’n and I was curious about explore more about assessing my hormones and things that could affect it positively so i dont have such emotional fragility every month – What was the test you sought out for the gluten testing and is there like one general one – or what? I dont have insurance or a doctor- so this is just for thought

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      i have no idea what the test was called :/ my doc does it for each of his clients and i had to take saliva samples 4x during one day.

  12. Gia @ rungiarun on September 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Love this post. Thank you for sharing your secrets to success!!
    My hats are twin mom, wife, marathon runner, healthy living fanatic … I started blogging about those 3 things just 1 month ago at
    I was super inspired by fitness bloggers. I frequently get asked tip and tricks for keeping fit and eating healthy by my friends and family. I thought starting a blog would be a good place to answer their questions!!

  13. Brittany (Eating Bird Food) on September 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    It’s always so intriguing to find out how/why people started their blogs!

    I started mine March of 2008. I had been reading Self’s Eat Like Me for a while and it led me to Kath’s blog. After following both for a few weeks I decided to start EBF.

  14. Amanda on September 9, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I never considered the last point you made about breaking up with clients because they affect your credibility…. thats a really good point!

  15. Elizabeth on September 9, 2011 at 8:13 am

    It took me to the very bottom of your post before I got what “eff ayy cues” meant.

    Sigh. More coffee. Great post. I like the part with the cake the best! <3

  16. Raya on September 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    The first blog I ever read was Meghann’s (mealsandmiles) back when it was! I remember thinking (in this order): “Hey, this girl lives in Orlando just like me!” and then “Why is this girl writing about her daily life and what she eats every day.” And then “Why do I keep going back to read this chick’s blog?” And from there I discovered other blogs/bloggers and thought “Hey, I have always loved writing, maybe I can do that.” And while my blog is still little and-even after 2 years-still finding it’s way, I still love it.

  17. Linzay Logan on September 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I’m a group fitness instructor, too, and I love it. I’ve thought about personal training, but I’ve always thought I would get too frustrated with the people that aren’t willing to actually work out and just want to go to the gym to hang out. Soo annoying. Good for you for “breaking up” with those kind of people!

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