Back….but in a new way!

Hello all!

The boy blogger is back!  As usual, life has taken over.  With a full time job, classes to teach and schedule (I am over Group Ex now at our Y, can I get a whoop whoop?!?!) and many other things…I have been slacking in the blog more.

But no more!!!


Healthy and Fun will still exist and be updated, just on a more sporadic basis.  Make sure you subscribe to get the latest updates.  Also, my bff and Fitness Twin, Ginny, and I have been planning a new venture that has launched today!


Instructors, Personal Trainers, Work out junkies….I present to you:

This is the place for new and unique workouts to spice up the average stuff!  As an instructor, I am constantly on the lookout for new and unique ideas.  This will be the place for strength, cardio, tabata, plyometrics, Zumba, Yoga, and much much more!  Make sure to check out the blog and subscribe as well!  We will be posting 3 new moves a week for your viewing pleasure, so stick with us.

Did I mention I am also now Zumba certified?!?!?!  Eeeeeek!  Who would have ever thought the Blogger Boy would be TEACHING Zumba?!  So exciting.

Ok, keep checking back…I promise more updates are coming…and also keep checking the Fitness Twins!  Here is our first move, a killer new workout for the inner/outer thigh:


Filed under Uncategorized

Lets Give Em Somethin’ To Blog About….

how about loooooove, loooooove, LOOOOOOOOVEEEEUH?!?!?!

Sorry, it reminded me of the song. 🙂

Lord, did everyone think I had vanished again?  No worries, your blogger boy is still here….just crazy busy!  Like the title says, however, I have lots to blog about….

First off, a recent shopping trip has led me to offer some helpful hints when getting groceries, most of which being…

Shop on the outside!

I know you have heard it probably many times, but it is so true.

Sticking to the outside of your local store will allow you to only select fresh ingredients, leaving out the middle man which is mostly full of not so healthy choices.

Random but helpful tidbit there.

Next up in this random post consisted of a cool aspect of my job I just had to post about.  Who else gets to play tag with middle schoolers and get paid?!

A Healthy Living Director, thats who!  I love being able to get these kids active, while still having FUN!  This game is a bib with strips on the back.  Last kid (or blogger) standing with a strip left on their back without it being grabbed is the winner.

Of course, I dominated. 🙂

Another random portion of this blog consists of a Earth Fare trip with Ginny, that proved to be AHHHHMAZING because of a new, and outstanding, find.

Two words for you people.

Chocolate.  Booty.

These were AMAZING!!!!

While the Veggie variety still holds #1 in my heart, Chocolate ranks a close second!  It was so good!  At $2 a bag, I think I may have went a bit overboard with my booty purchases for the day, I will let you be the judge….

Mmmmmm, booty love at it’s finest.

Completely unrelated to Booty, but delicious none the less…

Random yummy dinner…

Where I found your long lost blogger friend, Emily!!!!  😀

Where a delicious wrap was consumed…

Turkey wrap with double broc!  Yum!

And what happens when a group of friends get together with a shared love for sugary goodness?!

That is one big box of Munchkin lovin’

which makes a nice transition into burning those mentioned Munchkins off!

My friend Sharon kept telling me about a local 5 mile trail run.  I have only ever done road races, so I was instantly ready for a change!  Trail runs, here I come…we even had SHIRTS made for the occasion.

And did we ever run for those cupcakes!

Check out the muddy (and cold!!!) legs after!

I have misssssssed racing so much!  Felt good to have a race bib on!

and boy was the 5 miles worth the trophies that awaited us in the car…

Cupcaaaaaaake.  🙂

Thanks to Sharon for introducing me to the new and addicting world of trail running!

What do you think of trail running?  Are you a road, or trail racer?

And can I just say, what is the DEAL with all this Royal Wedding nonsense?  Why are we supposed to care again???  They are streaming it live in like 96 countries or something equally as insane.  Ridiculous.


Filed under Uncategorized

Food, Food….and for a change of pace…FOOD!

Well my friends, Chicago has been many things…one of which has been some AMAZING eats.  Lets take a look…shall we?!

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favorite.

Gotta love a place that has stock Truvia for the coffee!

The menu was HUGE!  I narrowed it down a bit, and finally went with…

West Coast Crepes?!?!  You had me at avocado.

They didn’t skimp on the green stuff, either!

Huge chunks -o- cado!  Yummmmm

Shortly after this meal we walked deeper into the city, where we found a free zoo!  How awesome is that?

MONKEYYYYYY!  Have I mentioned my slight obsession with monkeys?!  There was also a huge exhibit full of sleeping gorillas.  If I didn’t think these gentle giants wouldnt rip me to shreds, I would have hopped in there with them.  I love the monkeys!

But I digress.  Time for more food.

One place I was directed to go for CUPCAKES was a place called Sprinkles.  Considering there are days when I go so far as daydream about cupcakes…I knew this place probably wouldn’t disappoint.

There is nothing like the sweet smell of icing hitting you in the face.  I knew this place and I were going to get along juuuuuuust fine.  How could I choose?!

The carrot cake ended up winning!  The icing looked divine, and everyone knows that is what I go for first!

In typical me fashion, I ripped off the top to save for last…and munched on the actual “cake” part of this beauty.

Super moist, hint of spice…and huge chunks of carrots, and nuts.  Awesome.

Now, what about the icing?!

Best.  Cupcake.  Ever. Seriously, and I am *THE* cupcake expert.

Bravo, Sprinkles… sold me big time.

If you are ever in the Chicago area,  you MUST check this place out.

Moving on…….more food!  🙂

The trouble with my brother planning all these food stops, is that he based most of them on “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives” from Food Network.  This made for amazing meals, but not so amazing nutrition facts.  This is a vacation, THIS is a vacation. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact as I was presented with meals such as these…


Smoque was a prime example of the classic BBQ joint.  This chopped brisket was great, minus the bun!  I was also not used to a tomato-based bbq sauce…so it was a nice surprise.  I am a fry junkie…and these did not disappoint.

This was also a prime example of a “dive”.  Leave it to my brother to find these places!

Which brings me to a HEALTHY meal!  Trust me, my stomach was more than ready for something a bit lighter.  Let me tell you….I am an official fan of “The Corner Bakery”.  They seem to be everywhere in Chicago, and offer great light/natural/organic options.  Panera like, but better!  I was a big fan.

OATMEAL!!!!!!  My poor stomach was in panic mode, but this meal seemed to calm it back to normal after massive amounts of not-so-healthy options!

Banana/Granola oatmeal with a crisp raisin bread slice.  YUM!

My stomach was also re-introduced to Odwalla juice.  Mmmmm….

Meals like this were few and far in between……but I was ecstatic, and enjoyed every bite.

All in all Chicago has been a great place.  Tons of stuff to do and even MORE stuff to eat.

Back to reality tomorrow, and time for a MAJOR detox for this blogger boy.  I have alot of calories to burn off.  My poor classes are going to hate me. 🙂

Have a great night everyone!  Long day tomorrow with planes, trains, and automobiles!  Back to Tennessee!




Filed under Uncategorized

Chicago Part Deux

Well, I am still here in the beautiful city of Chicago..

In typical tourist fashion, it was time to conquer Big John!

Craaaaazy view!

I am officially the only one on this trip willing to take ridiculous pictures such as the one above.  What can I say, I love making a fool of myself!

Totally believable, right?!?!?!?!  😛

All this tower climbin’ geeky picture takin’ Chicago craziness had worked up a beast of an appetite, which HAD to be filled by the one….

the only…

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!!!!!!!

Giordanos seemed to be the most talked about, so thats what we chose.  Lets face it people.  Water and I are BFF.  However.  When it comes to pizza…a little carbonation is a necessity.

Now bring on the pie!

Cheesy.  Deep.  Chicago.  Goodness.

Pizza, to me, is all about the crust.  This one was AWESOME.  It was the equivalent of two thin crusts baked on top of each other in a literal pie shape.  This allowed for TONS of cheese/sauce.  The crust was still crisp though, which is perfection in my book.

No wonder this place is so popular!  This pizza was incredible!

I managed to slay 1.5 pieces.

Gooey pizza lovin’ right there, folks.

Chicago comes alive at night!  It was like another world!

Stay tuned for more Chicago fun including the best cupcake I have EVER had…fantastic crepes for breakfast…and a zoo, oh my!

Any other Chicago suggestions for me?!


Filed under Uncategorized

Hello, Chicago!

Well, in the randomness that is my life, I am currently sitting 24 floors up in this amazing Chicago hotel on a spur of the moment long weekend!

This blogger boy doesn’t get out much, so this impromptu trip to Chi-Town with my dad and brother is going to be too much fun!

The boys have currently left me for a Cubs game (I would rather watch paint dry!) so I have actually gotten to explore alot on my own today.  This city is right up my alley!

Lets rewind a bit to this morning, where a 4:30am wakeup call had us rushing to the airport.  Luckily, I had two friends along for the flight…

Starbucks, & Mens Fitness!  Score!

Now, it is a well known fact that I am pretty much terrified to fly, so here is the much needed “please do not let us fall 40,000 feet to our death” – face.

Luckily, I survived.

Can I just say how hilarious it was that my FIRST impression of Chicago once exiting the Subway was of a homeless man, pantless, drying his bottom half with the automatic hand dryer in the bathroom?!?!?  Wow.  That is certainly a mental image.

Other than the half nude hobo, this place is BEAUTIFUL!

Now, let us move onto the delicious portion of this blog, the FOOD!  Let it be known that while in Chicago, my food choices are NOT going to be what is typically seen around these parts.  Watching what you eat is a major part of my life, but so is moderation.  This weekend may consist of a few SPLURGES (or 40) that while not the healthiest, are an example of how ANYTHING in moderation is not bad!

Point in case, my breakfast/lunch was combined with an undocumented blueberry bagel…so wandering the streets of Chicago, I immediately took my dear friend Shannons advice (pretty much a demand) and stopped by Garrett Popcorn. I mean, how bad could a place that Oprah listed as one of her favorite things be?!

Obviously, NO ONE knows about this place.


Seeing as how I was *in* Chicago…the “Chicago Mix” was a must!  This is a combination of their cheese and caramel popcorn (seems strange…bare with me…)


Your probably thinking, it’s POPCORN, how amazing can it be?!  Trust me, this was unlike any other I have ever had!  I am SUCH a sucker for the sweet/salty combination so this was most certainly the perfect fuel to explore the city with!

As I munched on my popcorn, I spotted a very nice sight.

Trader Joe’s!!!!!  Needless to say I managed to stay for much longer than I should have.  It is a good thing I was alone, I think the boys would have killed me if they had to spend that much time in a grocery store.  Anyone else share the TJ obsession?

Well bloggies, I would love to stay…but I a off to enjoy Chicago a bit more. 🙂  First stop is the fitness room, and then dinner lately.  My brother has found the best pizza place apparently, so I need to do some extra cardio beforehand 🙂

This is where I need you guys.  WHAT do I need to do while I am here?  Great places to eat, shop, neat little stores???  I need your help!  What should I do while in Chicago?!?!

PS this is what happens when I am left alone.


Filed under Uncategorized

Random Recap!

Hello bloggies!  Time for a random weekend recap (plus some!)

What better way to get things rolling than half price sushi?!?!  This made an excellent preview for the weekend Friday night!

Dynamite Roll (shrimp, crab) x 2 plus a Veggie Roll

Personal note to self.  I ALWAYS get two dynamite rolls and never eat both of them.  I then take it to go, and throw it away the next day.  STOP DOING THAT!

Ok, moving on.

Lets talk about random fact #4,563 of mine….I ❤ salvage grocery stores.  These stores somehow get their little hands on items that are close to going out of date, and sell them at ridiculously low prices.  The point of this story is that on rare occasions, you find GEMS like this…

BARNEY BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the price… (get the jealous hat on)

$1.25?!?!?!  Yes, please.

With this star ingredient, it was time to prepare some overnight oats for an extra early 5:45am Spin class the next day…

Theres just something about the PB/Jelly combo that makes me want to go back to elementary school…

This could quite possibly be my favorite way to make oatmeal!

Equal parts oatmeal/skim milk…plus toppings.  Stick it in the fridge, and then enjoy the next morning!  Overnight oats = success.

When I grabbed the oatmeal out the door I also baggied up a scoop of protein for the day.  Ever since I went meat free last year, I have become super dependent on my protein powders/supplements.  Even though I have incorporated meat back into my diet, I still do not get as much protein as I should…which is why powders are always nice to have in a pinch!  Current flavor…

Cookies & Cream!  Mmmmm…     (protein shakes make awesome snacks.  They taste great AND fill me up, which is always a nice combination.)

With it being a close friends BDay, I knew an edible gift was a must.  Stopped by my fay-voh-rite place and picked up a dozen bday donuts….look how cute!

Though it was hard, I managed to save all these for the birthday girl….and the blogger boy went without the donuts.  Sad day.

They smelled as good as they looked.

This was also apparently the weekend of delicious breakfast treats!  Saturday I had two tough classes back to back…so I powered up at Panera!

Power breakfast sandwich with bacon instead of ham…small OJ, and a wonddddddderful coffee.  I had forgotten how amazing Panera coffee is.


Between Friday morning and Sunday I had taught 4 classes and taken 2!  It was a Group Exercise mini-marathon weekend!  🙂  Gotta love those.

Today also marked the first day of the Foot RX/Wellness Center 5k training day!  This is where Group Ex instructors from my other gym get together and do an 8 week training program building people up for a 5k!  It is SO awesome working with new runners, and this is a great chance to meet some awesome new running folks.  If anyone is in the area, and wants to attend the training program come on down!  It is free, as long as you register for the race!  We have a variety of groups, from folks who have never ran before in their life, all the way to people who are running 8:00 and under miles!  We meet at the Wellness Center in JC on Sundays at 2:00pm!

Considering I slept until 11am this morning (!!!) I combined breakfast/lunch with a stop at the Cracker Barrel!  It has been FAR to long since the Barrel and I have spent some quality time together…   😉  I was stoked to see a new menu item.

Six Grain – N Granola pancakes?!?!?!  I looked no further.

These babies were loaded with granola, raisins, and almonds!


Well friends, another weekend comes to an end.  I am moving into my new house this week…so it is bye-bye apartment.  I will be munching on some random foods because I am putting off a huge grocery store trip until I come back!  What a pain!

How was everyones weekend?



Filed under Uncategorized


well folks….sometimes it is just called for to have an old fashioned pizza throw down.  In this particular instance, it was Mellow Mushroom….

And our SUPER nice waitress who was all about the blog!

Lets get right down to it.  Pizza domination time.

Mellow Mushroom is pizza, plain and simple.  Sure they have salads, sandwiches…etc, but if I am eating at the Mellow, I am going to SPLURGE!

They are famous for their crazy pizza names/creations….so we decided to get *4*

No, not four pizzas.  Two individual pies that were half a specialty pizza each.

  • Kosmic Karma – Pesto Swirl, Tomatoes, Cheese
  • Hot Potato – Sliced Potatoes (!!!), Ranch, Cheese
  • BBQ Chicken – BBQ chicken, BBQ Sauce, Cheese, and Bacon
  • Classic White – garlic and oil based with fresh mozz and roma tomatoes

I’m gonna go ahead and let the pictures speak for themselves…

(you know it is a good sign when the pizza makes the pan beneath it disappear)

The best part of essentially getting 4 different pizzas was getting to enjoy mini slices of all of them!

There was SO much pizza domination, that we ended up with an entire (and crazy looking) pizza for leftover domination!  (anyone with me on cold leftover pizza being as good/better than hot and fresh?)

I don’t think there will be any issues finishing this cutie over the next couple of hours…..errrr…days.  🙂

Whats YOUR favorite pizza?



Filed under Uncategorized

No-Pudge Brownies….

Happy Weekend, bloggies!  I would also like to welcome everyone to the first day of spring!  Has this not been the coldest, harshest winter ever?  I for one am more than happy and excited for some constant warm weather.  Time for everyone to come out of their homes, and soak up the SUN!

For a fun weekend post, I decided it was going to be alllllll about the brownies.

These guys are all the taste and yumminess of the traditional brownies, but none of the fat!  Check it out!

Why do weekends always seem like the best time to bake/enjoy things like this?  Just always seems to happen that way. 😉

I love these brownies for so many reasons, one of the main ones being that it only requires ONE ingredient.  Better yet, that one ingredient is yogurt!  I always go Greek for that extra protein boost…

Speaking of protein, have you ever tried adding protein powder to your cookies/cakes/baked goods?  Throw in a couple of scoops to your mix pre-baking for some extra protein!  (You may want to try a neutral flavor like plain or vanilla, anything else might over power the mixture…besides, who wants “Triple Berry protein brownies?!?!)

One box of mix….

Plus the yogurt…  (I add a splash of skim milk, just because the Greek yogurt is so much thicker than traditional yogurt.  I also add a teaspoon each of Almond Extract and Vanilla Extract)

Since the mix makes “12 brownies” I make it easier on myself by baking these cuties in a muffin tin.  That way I know each brownie is a serving, and I don’t keep eating “one more bite” of an entire pan.  Not that that has EVER happened.  😉

(Never claimed to be the cleanest cook.  Disregard the mess all over the pan……I tended to miss.  Alot)

This is where it got fun.  These brownies are perfectly delicious as they are, but what puts them really over the top is TOPPINGS!  No pun intended, folks.

I made half the batch with choppped walnuts, and the other half with a teaspoon of natural PB in the middle.  Ohhhhhh yea.

It was time to bake these beauties!

The nice thing about brownie clean-up is having both a blogger boy AND a bff who is obsessed with batter.

After 30 minutes….

It doesnt get much better than this, people!

And you know, of course, that it is of the utmost importance that a brownie be enjoyed with an ICE cold glass of milk, right?

Happy Spring, Happy Weekend, and Happy Brownies!  Get out there, and enjoy this day!  What is YOUR favorite baked good?


Filed under Uncategorized

Lights, Camera, Action!

Hey folks.

First off…it is Friday.  I need everyone to stop what they are doing and take a moment to appreciate the impending weekend. 🙂

Moving on.  Yesterday was a BIG day for both myself and the YMCA.  This was my second appearance on our local show, Daytime Tri-cities where we would be talking about “Eight To The Eight’s” Season II!  This is a Biggest Loser Style competition that we do in the summer.  It’s finale is a 8k run, with a live final weigh-in that kicks off a HUGE community even for our town, called Fun-Fest.  Big, big fun!

We had some amazing people last season, so I am excited to see what season II has in store.  Coming from someone who used to be extremely overweight….318 lbs (!!!) I can assure everyone that it is not a fun lifestyle.  I wish I would have had something like this to kick my butt a long time ago!  I think everyone deserves a chance for a wake-up call, and this competition is just the thing!  The best part, it is FREE!

Click here for the video segment!

I am so excited about this program!!!!!!! It’s pretty cool being the “Bob”!  I just wish my guns were as big as his.  Alas, c’est la vie. 🙂

I want to give a special thanks to Daytime Tricities, and Amy-Lynn and Morgan for having us on, as well as our sponsors:  Greater Kingsport Family YMCA, Performance Medicine, We Run Events, Chefs Pizza, and Family Dental Center.


Filed under Uncategorized

Accidental Vegetarian?

Time for a good ole fashioned debate, bloggers.  I need some input just because I am curious, and this thought randomly popped into my mind.

Last year for Lent I gave up all forms of meat for 40 days. I don’t really know why I gave up meat….but the only other alternative to giving up meat was giving up sweets, and I think after 40 days with no sugar I would have went on a massive killing spree.

It was tough at first.  The first week or so really got to me.  Being a Group Exercise Instructor means alot of calories burnt, and with little to no protein going in, I was struggling big time.

At this point I began researching more and more about other protein sourced, and experimenting with different products.  I was feeling sluggish and drained.  I accounted it to all the workouts I was doing, when in reality, I think the lack of protein was starting to affect my health.

It was at this point when I began to find some great meat/protein alternatives to help me survive the second half of my no meat journey!

I started relying on beans, legumes, and nut butters for alot of my protein.  There were also TONS of vegetarian friendly protein powders out there.  Slowly but surely I was feeling more “normal” again, and the process didn’t seem so hard.

Having a store like Earth Fare, Whole Foods, or something similar that caters to a healthy lifestyle will always have plenty of vegetarian friendly items, so shopping is not difficult.  It was my personal experience that even the big chain stores such as WalMart also offered a surprising number of vegetarian friendly/organic items.

Carbs became my friends, as well as vegetables.  Pretty soon I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything going meatless.

It was finally time for the 40 days to be over.  I had survived no meat, and felt great!  I remember “splurging” the night I finished by going to the local Thai place and having shrimp stir fry.

Boy, was that a mistake.

I don’t know if my body was just not used to animal protein, or what….but I was SICK!  Maybe I jumped too quickly into the meat department, but my stomach most certainly said it wanted no part of it.

I slowly began to extend my non-meat journey just for the fear of getting sick again!  Shockingly, it was easier than I thought.

Pretty soon, the 40 days had turned into almost 8 months of no meat!

As it stands now, I eat meat.  In Tyler terms this means chicken or turkey.  I rarely EVER eat red meat, simply because I don’t crave it *and* the fat content in red meat skeeves me out!

So my question to YOU, where do you stand on the meat issue?

Are you vegetarian?



If you are a vegetarian/vegan…why?


Filed under Uncategorized