Monthly Archives: March 2017

FabuLyss FitLife- Food vs. Nutrition

I have a very long relationship with food. Food and I go way back and when I look back at my relationship with food I look back at it like a first love.  It was just ugly and painful in the end when it all seemed to start so great  I have a new life affair with nutrition.  I taught myself food but now, I’m having to re-learn nutrition.

There is a difference.  One person looks at a grilled chicken breast.  It’s moist and juicy and perfectly seasoned, it’s good food! They think “this looks deliscious. ” Someone else looks at that same chicken breast and thinks, 4 ounces of 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and one gram of carbs.  My body will use this for fuel.
  Which do you find yourself thinking?

I taught myself to think that burgers are burgers and when I wanted food and craved a burger I could eat a burger.  Food was just food.  When I learned about nutrition I found a way to understand the importance that food plays in nutrition and how to use both.
Your brain craves food and your body craves fuel.  Some of us listen to our brain more than our body…let’s be honest we can convince ourselves of anything in our own brain.  It’s much easier than accepting the difficult task of listening to your body.  THAT takes time and patience and consistency to build a relationship with your bidy that is so strong that you know exactly what it takes to fuel it.  We are all so busy looking for the “quick fix” that we don’t even give ourselves time to check in with our body and see how it’s really doing.
Believe me, my hunt for what I thought was the quick fix lead me to bariatric surgery.  I had to understand the painful truth that no pill, no detox, no surgery will make up for the time and the effort and the consistency that goes into really learning my own body worked…but in a new body.  Now I help others learn this new body and how it fuels.
Food is amazing and wonderful and magical and I look at it fondly…but nutrition saved my life.  Nutrition gave me a new way to understand how my body fuels. It takes work and time and it may not always go your way but of you keep fueling and keep trying to find exactly how your body moves and fuels; you will never regret the moment that lead you to 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, one gram of carbs.
Welcome to the club!

FabuLyss Fitlife- Back to Reality

Why does that always sound so cruel when people say that to you when you get back from vacation?  It’s like salt in an open wound!!



In a nutshell…vacation was INCREDIBLE!


We started in Ft. Lauderdale and took a cruise to Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Kitts.  This was Mark’s first cruise.  It was our first family vacation with my aunt and uncle who we recently met for the first time.  The cruise itself was amazing (obviously, it’s a cruise).  The most amazing part was the time we spent together as a family.  We all tried new things, we saw things for the first time ever and we got to explore new places together.  In St. Kitts, Mark and I did a stand-up paddle boarding excursion on a private beach and what I thought was an impossible activity (let’s be honest- my balance and coordination is sub-par) became a feat that I can now say I DID!  I was actually able to STAND UP…not just that but PADDLE…not just that but PADDLE THROUGH THE WATER!  Mom surfed, we all made to the top of the rock climbing wall!  (I have never ever been rock climbing before).  We ate amazing food, drank wonderful wine, stayed up late, slept in, drank coffee and watched the sun rise.  I turned my phone off the moment we left for Florida and didn’t turn it on until we landed back in Chicago.

We took an Alligator Everglades tour in Florida

That’s right…yours truly made it all the way to the top!

Underwater helmet diving in St. Maarten

The whole clan in Puerto Rico. We looked for the BEST fish tacos ALL DAY…and when we finally found the place…it was CLOSED! D’oh

We zip lined in Haiti on the LONGEST zip line across water! WEDGIE!!


This vacation was MUCH needed.  I’ve been a bit of a funk lately.  I feel a bit stuck with where I am right now professionally and even personally.  I’m disappointed that I had to take a job back in the hotel industry and put business goals aside.  Being back in the hotel industry means more crazy work weeks, ungodly long hours and more time away from my book, coaching and doing what I know I’m meant to do. I’m a little disappointed that I don’t have a show coming up within the next year.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk.  This vacation gave me a really good opportunity to take a step back and prioritize.  I may not being doing what I WANT to be doing just yet but I’m a LOT closer than I was a few years ago.  I’m not quite leaving my mark in this world but I’m taking steps forward to make sure that one day I will.  I prioritized the things I HAVE to do and the things that can wait a little while to do.  This will keep me sane right?


Just because it’s not happening YET, doesn’t mean it’s not going to.  I am always preaching to people to stay consistent, work your ass of and keep moving forward… I need to bill myself for taking my own advice finally J  Many of you who follow me, know me and chat with me know that I take on too much, I have too many goals, I’m too ambitious and I stress myself out wanting to get it all done NOW.  You’d be correct… you’d also be correct in reminding me that everything I ever wanted to do… I made it happen.


On that note- since being back, I have been getting back into the swing of my routine, training and nutrition.


I’m on a training split of A workouts and B workouts.  This week has been A workouts


Monday – Chest/Shoulders

Tuesday – Back

Wednesday – Cardio only

Thursday – Legs


I’ve been making it my goal to wake up at 5am every morning and spend the morning doing SOMETHING active.  I’ve been using this time to center my thoughts, get prepared for the day ahead, get a good sweat on first thing in the morning and to laugh.  I want to start my day with a laugh.  I’ve been watching Golden Girls, reading funny stories, YouTube videos and listening to stand-up comedians.


Diet has gone back to “normal” – do I weigh and measure every single spec I eat?  No.  Do I keep track and monitor?  You betcha!  One of the good things about being in an “off season” if you will is that I pretty much eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full and ensure that the foods I eat are good quality.  Before the cruise, Laurie and I made it a goal to eat more of a plant-based diet.  Home-girl has been KILLING it with going more vegetarian.  I have been doing well adding more veggies and fruits but the protein piece because of the bariatric surgery and lifting is very important for me personally.  So like anything else… I make it FabuLyss friendly:



Hard boiled egg whites and some type of green (broccoli, Brussel sprouts)

I have been eating an apple or an orange with breakfast also



Nut-Butter and the other part of the apple from breakfast

Almonds or Cashews

8-10 crunchy green beans or celery



Some type of green: Brussel sprouts, green beans, kale, spinach, zucchini or spinach

Fish like salmon, cod or tuna

On days where I’m doing legs or back and need some extra carbs, I’ll add a portion of roasted sweet potato.  If I don’t add sweet potato than I’ll add a healthy fat to my lunch like sesame oil or olive oil.


Snack (pre-workout):

I usually have left overs from lunch in my cooler so I’ll eat the protein from my lunch and some of the greens from my lunch before my workout.  I’ll also have a few more almonds


Snack (post-workout):

Right after my workout I like to get protein in.  I will have tuna in my pack or turkey nibblers (recipe below) which are my most favorite protein on-the-go.



If I’m still hungry after my workout I’ll make some dinner that might include:

Mixed greens with a home-made oil based vinaigrette with white fish

Scrambled eggs with coconut oil and spices

Grilled veggies with chicken



1 package of ground turkey

2 eggs

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 TBSP almond flour OR ground flax meal

1 cup of chopped broccoli (you can also use kale but make sure it is chopped very fine)

4 cloves roasted garlic (take 4-5 bulbs of raw garlic, peel and put onto a foil wrapped baking pan, sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 15 minutes at 350)

3 TBSP minced onion

salt and pepper to taste

Mush it all together with your hands in a large bowl.  Use a TBSP to scoop out TBSP portions and push them into a small patty onto a greased cookie sheet (you can also put them into mini muffin tins but clean-up can be a biotch).

Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes until dark brown



I love being able to count on my tool as well as my best judgment to determine my portions.  I make sure to pay attention when I eat so that I can listen to my body.  After seven years, my tool is still doing its job.  For seven years I’ve treated my tool well, I’ve cared for it, maintained it and it is STILL working.


Thank you for sticking with me dear reader.  Thank you for following my journey.  Thank you for supporting me when things have been tough, when I have succeeded, failed, struggled and thrived.  I’m just a regular person, I keep reminding myself that and need to keep that in mind when things don’t happen overnight.  Because of you, I know that no matter what…things will be not just okay…but FabuLyss.


Have an AMAZING day!