a little extra oomph: supplements, BCAAs, and protein powder.

I’m falling apart.  Well, not entirely, but this weekend my body took a beating.  If you’ve been reading, you know my right ankle is slowly on the mend, but it’s taking it’s sweet time getting back to normal.  So, how thrilled was I when on Friday, I jammed one of my toes on my right foot and it instantly bruised.  It was a blast.  I had a great evening hobbling around.  This was only made worse by the lovely Boo running full speed into my knee to chase a bunny the next morning.  It was so bad that I fell over and her leash wrapped around said leg and pulled pretty darn hard.  Instant knee swell, pain everywhere.


A real life shot of me post fall.  It was as graceful as it sounds.


I took it easy at the gym Saturday and made sure to keep it low impact.  Sunday I deemed a rest day, but Monday I was back at it full force.  I’ve decided to start Lauren Gleisberg’s LG Fitcation Program because a) I love me some structured workouts b) I’ve done one of her free programs before and it had me feeling amazing at the end of the 12 weeks c) it was $12 and I’m a cheapskate.

But, I’m taking things a little differently with this plan.  I’ve decided to add some supplements into my routine to see if it makes any difference.  Supplements are anything added to your diet that is meant to “supplement” or add to your current nutrition.  They are by NO means necessary, but there is a lot of good research supporting some of them.  So let’s dive in:


unphotogenic hand coming at ya with a bottle full of BCAAs



I’ve taken a multi-vitamin daily since I was a kid, so it’s second nature.  Sure, they’re not necessarily required, but it’s a good fail safe in case you aren’t getting the necessary vitamins your body requires from your daily diet.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Protein Powder

I haven’t always been the biggest supporter of protein powder because I just can’t stand mixing it with water.  I’m not a shake person.  I’m a food person.  So, any protein powder that I can bake with is my jam.  Protein powders benefits are basically that they’re extra protein.  Why would you want extra protein?  Protein is used for the production of muscle tissue.  Simple as that.  If you want more muscles, you have to eat protein.  And a lot of women struggle to meet their protein goals, so Protein Powder makes a GREAT addition (or supplement ;)) to your existing diet.  Personally, I prefer PEScience Protein for baking but have tried other vegan non-whey based proteins as well.  As with everything, moderation is important.  Too much protein can actually be more detrimental than beneficial, but I have no shame in adding some protein powder into pancakes, oatmeal, and other baked goods to give me that muscle building advantage.


This is a newer addition to my regimen.  I’d shied away from them for quite awhile mostly because I was like…what the heck are these.  BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acid.  What do amino acids make up?  You guessed it, protein.  BCAAs taken during a workout have been found to help in aiding muscle retention and lowering cortisol levels (your body gets stressed when you workout, so this helps calm it down internally) while also helping speed up recovery and keeping that oh so great feeling of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) at bay.  If you are doing any kind of endurance exercise, this can really help you out.  Katie from Katiesfitscript.com has a great post about them here if you want a more in depth look.  I’ve only been taking them for a week now, so I’ll keep you posted on the benefits.  So far so good because I have the Inkaged Cherry Lemonade flavor and it tastes like summer and I love it (plus, can I get a holla for all natural ingredients)

Other supplements

There are PLENTY of other supplements on the market, but a lot of them I think are a bunch of bull or are just gross.  Preworkout is just caffeine yall.  Save your money and have a cup of coffee before you go.  I can’t stand the way it makes me feel.  It’s a mixture of my skin crawling and death.  I took it a total of one time and that is all I plan to ever take again.

Creatine is a little different. Yes, there have been studies that show that it’s great for you and it’ll build your muscles like woah, but I don’t care for it.  It’s wicked thick and just kind of gross. Unless you’re looking to become a serious body builder, you’ll be okay skipping this one.

Fat Burners.  Nope.  Not even once.  Want to mess with your metabolism?  Take as many fat burners as you’d like.  I’ll be over here shaking my head.  Look at your life, look at your choices.

As I mentioned before, none of these supplements are mandatory and it is COMPLETELY possible to see results without using anyone of these things.  These are just what I’ve got working in my rotation right now.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


sometimes when I’m not thinking about the right side of my body attacking me, I snapchat.






fitness idols and why it’s okay to be your own motivation.

What an epic week it’s been, ladies and gentlemen.  After hopping over to Dallas for a bit for work, I landed in Chicago for a little more work and then some play time with 13 of my best friends from college.  If you haven’t had a chance to go to Chicago, you are missing out.  I was lucky enough to be born and raised there, so it will always have a special place in my heart and I love showing it off to anyone who wants a good tour. 

My mini-vacation was very active involving at least 26,000 steps a day (you’re the real MVP, Jawbone Up), two soulcycle classes, yoga in Millennium Park and a 5 mile run.  So, my fitness definitely didn’t take a backseat.  I did have deep dish for every dinner possible, so, you know, balance.

I am very aware that I was the only one on the trip to make a concerted effort to get up at 7:30 am to get a workout in after some of our later nights, but that’s just something that I do.  It comes with the territory of knowing me.  I don’t lack in the motivation department that’s for sure, but I’m also hyper aware I’m in the vast minority over here. Most people I know turn to other sources for motivation.

My dad is very intrinsically motivated too, but when I got him a Jawbone Up for Christmas one year, he put the pedal to the metal and 10,000 steps minimum was not just a daily goal but a daily requirement.  One of my other friends is motivated by signing up for classes instead of hitting the gym on her own time. Others I know find motivation through social media and following those who post about their own journeys.


I, personally, love learning about what other people have done and are doing in terms of their fitness when I need that extra oomph.  Nothing motivates me quite like scrolling through Instagram and reading about other people crushing their workouts when I really don’t want to go.  But, I always take it with a grain of salt.  Remember that the people whose days your reading about are often only presenting the good parts.  They don’t always show a picture of them struggling to get motivation themselves, having a meal where they got uncomfortably full while celebrating a good friend’s birthday, or just having a bad life hair day.  A lot of the times, the more celebrity a person is, the less personal they come off.  And while that can be great for motivation, it’s not entirely accurate.

I’ll be the first to tell you, there are going to be days when you don’t want to workout.  I defy you to find me a person who has not felt this way.  But you know what, on those days you have two choices: dust off your bootstraps and get to steppin’ or take a mental health day and just do you.  Contrary to popular belief, not every workout has to be the best workout you’ve ever had and that’s okay and normal!  But that’s not necessarily what every page would have you believe.

I have actually started to unfollow some bigger accounts in favor of smaller ones because I’m kind of sick of looking at perfectly styled clothes and immaculately coifed hair in pictures with the caption “just killed my workout”.  Granted, I suppose you could look like that after an insanely hard session, but the odds of you looking like a sweaty mongrel are slightly higher and that’s just what I want to see.  I want to see people like me who are just trying to better themselves and not always trying to get the latest endorsement deal or make a boatload of money from taking pretty pictures.


Next time you need a little push, think about how far you yourself have come instead of turning to a perfectly curated page of fitness glory.  Even if you’re just starting to hit the gym, give yourself a damn pat on the back for all the times you’ve done something to better yourself.  Maybe you can jog a mile quicker than when you started.  Maybe you don’t feel as out of breath when you’re on the bike.  Maybe you can pick up heavier weights today than yesterday.  The progress will come and you will be proud of it, I promise.  But know that at the end of the day, you and you alone are the one who is bettering themselves and that’s pretty awesome.