Author: Nanci

Ten Reasons Why You Need A Nutritionist

The week before Thanksgiving, hubby gave me an early Christmas present… A six-week nutrition and personal training program with the Certified Nutritionist at Gold’s Gym. It was something he knew I was very interested in and I was so excited. It was the perfect gift as despite my progress in the Gold’s Gym Challenge last year, my weight had gone up some. I don’t have as much of a problem with the fitness side of things as I do the food side. This girl loves to eat, and eat I will. Have I mentioned that I am an emotional eater??

It started with an orientation with Liz. I am lucky to call her friend as well. I told her when we met for the orientation that if she wasn’t who she was, I would probably have not been interested in the nutrition end of things. But she loves helping people and it shows in the time she takes in getting to know clients and writing nutrition plans for them.

At my orientation, I weighed in higher than I did at the end of the Gold’s Gym Challenge last year but thankfully, not my highest ever. I knew going into it that joining the 2018 Gold’s Gym Challenge was a guarantee. While I cannot compete since I am an employee, I still love the atmosphere, the comaradarie, and the friendship of being a part of it.

[Tweet “Ten reasons why you should have a nutritionist…. #nutrition #health #fitness #healthyeating #healthyliving”]


My first week of my nutrition plan was the week of Thanksgiving. Many people asked what I was doing! But for me, it kept me from digging a deeper hole for myself. I had a plan and I stuck to it.

After seven weeks of meeting with a nutritionist, here are ten reasons why you should do the same…

1) You will learn that processed foods are not necessary. Seriously, I’m not lying. I love bread and chip so many other processed food but after seven plus weeks on the plan, I am here to tell you that you don’t need them. I haven;t had white bread, or chips, or pasta, or bad carbs since I started and I don’t miss them at all.

2) My stomach thanks me daily. If you eat the right foods, whole foods, you WILL feel better. I’ve probably spent half my life feeling bloated and just blah. Little did I realize how much of what I was eating played a part in that. In addition, I take a probiotic each day.

3) Nutrients are best in whole food form. When you eat healthy, you reap the benefits of healthy nutrients and your body thanks you. The morning smoothie that I have is a big part of this. I look forward to it every morning because it is so delicious.

4) Following the nutrition plan makes life EASY. Liz provides me with a day by day meal plan AND a shopping list. I never realized how stressful it was trying to figure out what I would eat each day, each meal. Tell me what to buy and what to eat each meal and I am a happy girl.

5) Eating healthy is not boring. Liz puts time and effort into each meal plan. She also provides original recipes to suit your needs. I have loved every one of the recipes he has given me. She also writes her recipes so that there are leftovers, which is a lifesaver for me. As early as I get up for work during the week, I need a time-saving plan and she does just that.

6) You are what you eat. Really, it’s true. Sugar feed so many bad diseases and health issues. If you can prevent that from happening, why wouldn’t you?

7) You will sleep better. Falling asleep has rarely been a problem for me. What is a problem is when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. Eating whole foods and skipping processed foods has had quite an impact on my sleeping habits. And since I get up at 4am during the week, I am very thankful for this.

8) You will save money. So many people complain that eating healthy is expensive. But think about what you save on eating out. Since I started with Liz on my nutrition plan, I have eaten out maybe 4 times. I realized throughout this that I really do enjoy cooking and it makes life so much easier not having to figure out every single day, what am I going to eat.

9) Eating healthy inspires you to work out. Think about it…. If you go to McDonald’s and eat a burger, fries, and soda are you ready to hit the gym after? Eat healthy every day and your body will crave more.

10) More than anything, eating healthy is an investment in yourself. It’s not a diet, people. It’s eating real, whole foods. It’s taking the time to fuel your body instead of feed your body. When you eat the right foods, you do not have cravings for junk food. You did not have the need to hit the drive-thru or buy sweets at the store. Your body will thank you every single day.

In the first six weeks of my nutrition plan, I lost almost 10 pounds and just shy of 3% body fat. I cannot credit my nutrition plan enough for this. As someone who has struggled with their weight almost their entire life, from high school on, it is a lifesaver to learn how to eat to be satisfied and not crave all the bad junk that I just don’t need.

My second round is starting Monday January 22nd and I cannot wait. Liz has changed it up a bit, based on my participation in the 2018 Gold’s Gym Challenge which means three bootcamps a week. In addition, I have three races coming up that I will be running. While I am not trying to set any records, I do want to feel good in my body as I run each one.

It’s a wonderful thing to feel good in your skin. Hubby is obviously very supportive of me in this and continues to cheer me on. And just today, I had two members comment on my weight loss. That makes me feel so good.




If you are local, I would love for stop by Gold’s Gym Largo and see what it has to offer not only a membership, but also for Nutrition. It will be worth your time – and your well-being – to check it out.



That time we did the Tough Mudder…. (and a discount!)

Thanks to Tough Mudder, I recently had the opportunity to run the Central Florida event in exchange for social shares and love. All opinions are my own…


Kiss of Mud 2.0

Everest 2.0


Birth Canal


What are these, you ask? They are obstacles at Tough Mudder. And this past weekend, a group of 7 of us tackled it, at least a good portion of it. 

I’ve done a 5K mud run before with obstacles, but nothing like this. And when we signed up, we bypassed the Half option of 5 miles and went straight for the Full option, which was 11 miles. Hey, why not? If you’re going to step out of your comfort zone, you may as well REALLY step out of it.


[Tweet “If you’re going to step out of your comfort zone, you may as well REALLY step out of it. “]


Thanks to the folks at Tough Mudder, I was able to join three people of my choosing to do the Central Florida event last Saturday in Bartow. Out in the country, which I always seem to forget we have here in The Sunshine State, we drove miles and miles out to Clear Springs Ranch. Set up in the midst of a ranch with cows and all, we were ready to attempt 11 miles of obstacles.





My husband and our friends Heather and Erika joined me as well as a few of our brave gym friends Lan, Ralph, and Nikolai. Heather, Lan, and Nikolai have all done Tough Mudder before so they were the Legionnaires of the group.




Being a runner, I was not afraid of the 11 miles. The challenge for me was the obstacles. I had been studying them online and everytime I looked at one, I asked myself what the heck I was doing. Had I not been working out and doing bootcamp since January, I never would have attempted such a thing. But I’ve gained upper body strength that I have never had before and the nerve to attempt something different. 

We all started out together, running the first mile to the first obstacle, Kiss of Mud 2.0. Crawling through mud under barbed wire is pretty fun and I felt good about it.





[Tweet “Save 15% on any TM Half or Full event in 2017 with discount code ToughMudderBlogger15 – register at”]


The second obstacle was Devil’s Beard, which is a very large net that you crawl under until you get out the other side. Of course it’s dirty and the ground is hard, but it’s still fun. 


Third was Berlin Walls, a 9′ 6″ wall to climb over. This is one of the obstacle types that had me worried. First, I’m afraid of heights. Second, while I know I’ve gotten stronger this year, climbing is still not my thing. Thankfully, hubby was right by my side and told me I could do it. I climbed over first with his assistance and then he climbed over, helping me down the other side. Had he not been there, I don’t think I would have attempted it but I trust him a million times over and know that he help me and not let me get hurt. I love our teamwork on this obstacle!



Next up, King of the Mountain. This involved climbing up hay bales stacked high. Really high. Again with the climbing… Being short makes this difficult. I don’t have long legs to help me up these obstacles. But, with hubby helped me up and over. 





Our next obstacle was Quagmire and that meant more mud. Basically one big giant mud puddle. The kind your shoe gets stuck in and your foot wants to come right out of your shoe. The ground is uneven, you don’t know where you’re walking. Oh, and the water was on the chilly side. 





Shawshanked came up quickly after we rounded a sharp corner. Walking up to this one, I saw barbed wire to crawl under in mud and tubes to climb up inside of at an angle. I never stopped to think about what was at the end of those tubes. I crawled under the barbed wire, watching other people ahead of me. Hubby had me go ahead of him, and I went up the tube face up, pulling myself up the rope inside. All I could think about was how proud I was that I was pulling myself up this tube on a rope despite my feet slipping and losing ground. I was mentally thanking Gold’s Gym and Greg for being able to do that. Then I got to the top and realized, I had to jump into water to get out.  I was stuck – literally. The tube was just not big enough to let me turn around and get my legs out first. I DID NOT want to fall out backwards. This girl can’t swim and falling backwards is not my thing. One of the Tough Mudder folks was on top of these tubes, talking people through it and came over to me. She told me how to pull myself up and use my upper body strength to hold on while I let my feet drop out. Or I could just fall out backwards. Nope, nope, NOPE was my response to that. You can tell that this one made me nervous and once I finally got out of the water and walked it off, I started to question what the heck I had gotten myself into. We weren’t at mile 3 yet and I was already tired from what I had just done.









I skipped the next obstacle, Ladder To Hell. My shirt legs made this wall feel impossible and since I was soaked from that nice splash I made at Shawshanked, my feet slipped on the boards when I attempted it. I had no shame in walking around that one. 


Next up was Hero Carry, where we partnered up and Mike carried me on his back. Honey’s shoulder took a turn for the worse on this one, thanks to my holding on for dear life.


I took a pass on the next one, Skidmarked, an angled wall (towards you not away) to climb over. Mike also took a pass because of his shoulder. 


Everest 2.0 was around the next turn and I immediately said NO. A slick 15′ wall, quarter pipe, to run up and get over. I could just imagine falling face first the second my feet hit the surface. I stood there for a good 10 minutes watching others do it. Some ran right up it like it was nothing and some ran for the assistance rope. I watched people fall and get back up and do it again. I finally decided to just go for it. I ran, held my breath when my feet hit the wall, reached the rope, and pulled myself up. A couple of guys at the top who made it there before me, helped pull me up and over. I climbed down the other side, so darn proud of myself for doing what I was so quick to say no to. This was my proudest obstacle on Saturday. 
We walked through more mud and came upon Birth Canal, low to the obstacle you have to crawl under. Big plastic bags filled with liquid are pushing down on you as you crawl. This one was tough, you had to push your way through it. We did it and went on to the next.  





I skipped Balls To The Wall because the wall was really tall and you had to use a rope. I was pretty beat at this point as we were coming up on the halfway point. Arctic Enema was next. Mike and Erika did this one without even thinking about it. I struggled with the ice cold water taking my breath away when I hit that water so I shamelessly passed it up. 


There was more mud and water to walk through, some deep and some shallow. We had to carry logs at the Hold Your Wood obstacle. The Reach Around was another climbing one that I passed up. Swamp Stomp brought more water and mud at what was our deepest water to walk through yet. It was up to my neck. All I could think about was a snake or something brushing against me and you would have seen me walk on water to get out of there. But I did it. Another proud moment. 


Obstacle wise, I was done at this point. My feet were so sore from walking through mud, on uneven ground, running through sand, and more. I didn’t have it in me to climb anymore walls, walk through cold deep water, or even attempt monkey bars. I also walked around the very last obstacle, Electroshock Therapy. It was raining at this point and something about being shocked with my feet in water while it was raining did not sound fun. I had lost the ability to move fast at that point. 




Do I wish I could have done more obstacles? OF COURSE. Am I proud of the ones I did? ABSOLUTELY! It’s like running a race and knowing you could have given it a little more and run faster or finished stronger. But all things considered, I am very proud of what I did.




That night and the day after I was SORE. I had bruises under my arms from climbing, my feet were sore, my muscles ached including the ones I didn’t realize I had. Five days later, I am still feeling it. 


And because I did the Tough Mudder, I think YOU SHOULD TOO! You can save 15% on any Tough Mudder Half or Full event with discount code ToughMudderBlogger15 through the end of 2017.



Have you done a Tough Mudder before? What was your proudest moment?




Water, water, water!

Just before Hurricane Irma arrived much too close to our front door, I was given a Berkey Water Filter to try. Little did I know, I would be using it to it’s full potential just about a week later when we went into full hurricane preparation.




We drink a lot of water in our house. We buy bottled spring water. It’s no cheap but it’s what we do. As we started to prep for Hurricane Irma and we realized the potential to be without power and/or water was becoming very real, it was almost impossible to find bottled water at local stores. I put our Berkey Water Filter to use and filtered just about 5 gallons of water  and put it into a cooler so it would be one less thing we had to worry about.

I have used water filters in the past and quite honestly, they never filtered well enough. When I drink water, I don’t want it to taste like anything. I had heard nothing but good things about the Berkey and I was excited to try it. 





The Big Berkey holds 2.25 gallons of water. It comes standard with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements but will take 4 total.  It is ideal for small to medium families, and for use during travel, outdoor activities, or unexpected emergencies. It fits perfectly on my kitchen counter under the cabinets, standing 19.25″ tall. For normal everyday use, it serves 1-4 people. 

Setting it up, including priming the filter, took about 20 minutes. It was not complicated at all and the instructions that are included are very easy to follow. 

Most importantly – for me – out of all of this, the water tasted PERFECT. No flavor and no aftertaste. It was clean, filtered water. 

The Big Berkey was a lifesaver during Hurricane Irma. Post-hurricane, it has become a permanent fixture in our kitchen and we are no longer buying bottled water. Not only will we not have endless plastic water bottles to recycle, but we will also save money by not buying water.


You can learn more about Berkey Water Filters here….




Twitter:        @iBerkey



The One Where I Stopped Blogging…

Well, life certainly has been busy. Between work, working out, pesky adult responsibilities, a hurricane, three dogs, and life in general, blogging has taken a backseat.

I miss it, there are happenings that I want to share. But, by the time I’m done with my day (which starts at 4am), I am literally DONE.

I just can’t seem to let this little space of mine on the interwebs go away, though. It’s been a part of me for almost seven years now. I’ve shared so much and it’s like a good friend. So, I’m going to get back to it. It won’t be everyday, but it will be more often than the once a month I was doing.

A few highlights from the last couple of months….


My family came to visit us and we had a wonderful visit. I miss my brother Nick, sister-in-law Jenna, and Autumn so very much. Much fun was had over the few days they were here.





I am still doing bootcamp twice a week and working out a couple days a week on top of that. I love our time on the gym, taking care of us. I have goals and will continue to be a work in progress. One thing I do miss is running regularly, so I need to make that happen.





My eating took a hit with Hurricane Irma. There was stress eating in the anticipation of it and also after when we went without power for 6 days. It’s hard to get back to the healthy eating I was doing so well before, but I am trying my best.




I’ve been at my job for just about 7 months now and I am still loving it and the people I work with. Getting up at 4am is not always easy but loving my job helps that immensely. I get to be inspired and motivated daily at work and that is a wonderful thing.




Fall is here! I am excited for the weather to hopefully cool down soon. I am happy about fall TV shows. Season two of This Is Us is upon us and I have my Kleenex ready.




Our anniversary is next week. No mini-vacation this year BUT we are going to Halloween Horror Nights this Friday night. I’m ready to scream ridiculously at every little thing that scares me. And I cannot wait to go in The Shining haunted house. It is my most favorite horror movie ever so it has a lot to live up to.


Life is busy but having this guy by my side makes it all worth it….






I hope to see you all around here more!

What I’m Reading… July 2017

Since I have been sick the last week, I have been reading quite a bit. Not being able to work out and being on the couch if I’m not at work has given me time to read more than I have in quite a while. While I am anxious to get back in the gym and back to it, I have loved getting lost in a few books. I need to try and find balance in all things in life so that I can keep up with my love of reading. 

I read these three books in a matter of days and LOVED all of them! They were a great find on Amazon.


Bright Side by Kim Holden

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.



I loved this book. The characters, the story, the wanting there to be more every time I finished a chapter. I hated when it ended but I had the next book to look forward to….




Gus by Kim Holden

The journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …

This is the story of Gus.
Losing himself.
Finding himself.
And healing along the way.

“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”



I rarely enjoy a second book as much as the first, but this one was different. I had the first book in my mind while I read it and it gave Gus a much deeper feeling. Some stories, as they continue, seem forced but this one did not. I highly recommend both. 



180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.



What drew me to this book was the anxiety aspect of it. Social media today brings out such a different side in many people simply because we spend much of our time behind a computer and not one-on-one interaction. It was a wonderfully written book and I enjoyed it very much. 



Now it’s your turn… What are you reading right now?