Tuesday: Bike rides and coach check ins

20160308_134755000_iOSYesterday’s session with the coach went fairly well. Progress is being made + we practiced some posing, so that’s always fun. She’s switching up my diet because my body isn’t doing well with carbs…aka I could potentially be carb resistant at this point. Let’s see how the new diet goes! She has added dairy which makes me super nervous due to the effects of dairy on the GI tract, so I might avoid it still. The thing about food is that how your body handles it versus how someone else’s body handles it may be COMPLETELY different! It’s crazy. And that can be the frustrating part, but it’s all just a science that overtime we we will see how it panes out. I also managed to squeeze in an eight mile bike ride outside (BEAUTIFUL day) plus hit up the library! The library is such a wonderful place, I cannot believe it took me four years in this small little town to visit the public library.


This morning after my leg day + 25 minute cardio session, I was off to the preschool to read a book regarding nutrition! Love seeing the kids get all wild when talking about fruits and vegetables. One section of the story discussed how the boy was going to the grocery store with his father & I asked the children if any of them shopped with their moms dads or grandparents, and what they bought. and all of the children said mac and cheese…..


like I guess no one buys fruit or veggies or chips or milk?? I could not stop laughing!

And when I came home, I had a nice package waiting on the porch for me….



no…sadly it wasn’t my suit yet Sad smile but my BCAAS and new vanilla cupcake protein by Dymatize came! Cannot wait to give that a shot today. Wonder what recipes I can create with it Thinking smile

Off to do some reading. On my book list to accomplish this year:

  • The Hunger Games Series
  • Gone Girl
  • 50 Shades of Gray Series


Any other recommendations?? I haven’t had any me time in so long, I can’t wait to read for actual FUN again.


Weekend Wrap-up #2: Work

20160306_232209227_iOSHappy Monday Everyone! Over here in PA it looks as though the weather is finally looking bright—50’s and 60’s! Maybe that seasonal depression will wear off once and for all!

Here’s my weekend recap:


Saturday: The morning work shift wasn’t too bad until I showed up realizing my co-worker called off….or more so just chose to not show up. I never really understood how people could just not show up without a phone call!! But hey, we all have our days I suppose. I did a lot of running around, errands, shopping, and spending money that probably should have been saved (hashtag girl problems!). I was feeling super stressed out so coming home from work and taking a me day was MUCH needed. I ended up falling asleep at 8pm!

Sunday: The second day of work, a simple morning shift with my co-worker calling off yet again. My evening was filled with some much needed girl time with Christyna though. I love having a room mate who is just as passionate about nutrition as I am.

Today: Motivation Monday includes turning the frowns upside down and trying my very best to be productive! Spring break is (technically) here, as I don’t have much to do for my internship minus the occasional journaling, visiting the preschoolers regarding nutrition, and catching up on the latest nutrition trends. As I mentioned previously, my chest has been in serious pain lately, making me believe I pulled or strained a muscle. Hopefully yesterday’s light cardio only session helped—lifting is so important to me and I CANNOT be in any critical condition right now! I woke up not wanting to go to the gym, but had no reason to say no. So a 20 minute cardio session + bis + tris = enough for me to feel good about myself. I did a little reading regarding protein intake and athletes (thanks to Gaterade Sports Science Institute research) and now am ready to enjoy this beautiful day with a bike ride!


Meeting with the coach this evening, let’s hope she think I’m on the right track. 3 weeks out and still no abs. It’s fairly disheartening, especially when my weight has just severely plateaued.


National Nutrition Month: Week One!

Happy National Nutrition Month everyone! Smile The theme this year is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, so in my opinion that means we should try new foods, try new flavor combinations, spices and herbs. Spices and herbs can provide plenty of health benefits… (hello, has anyone heard of how beneficial cinnamon and tumeric are?!) Try it for yourself, try up some new combos and comment below some of the new ones you try, I know I will be participating and trying out some new spicy combinations.

Tuesday: My afternoon consisted of prepping these bran flaxseed muffins for members of the YMCA post-workout. They sound fairly disgusting butttt they were super moist and tasted JUST like carrot cake! All that was needed was a cream cheese frosting Winking smile  My group and I held a nutrition lesson for students from other countries. We handed out the bran muffins, played a nutrition physical activity game, and helped them with their homework. It was crazy actually learning about other cultures and foods that they eat! Very perspective-opening. I was trying to have a conversation with a few of the children and I asked what they were for Halloween and some of the students were like “oh we don’t celebrate that”….awkward! I felt SO embarrassed but then they told me about the holidays that they do celebrate.

Wednesday: I’ve become SO interested in research lately, and I think that’s one thing I’m proud of. I never thought research was interesting, but realizing how science is constantly changing and finding topics that actually pertain and are interesting to me (hello, leucine rich foods and muscle recovery???) really have driven me to do more research in my field. I spent most of my morning doing research on athlete energy needs along with any other handouts I could acquire. The muffins we prepped for the local YMCA were distributed today as members came and went. Something I feel that anyone working with customers/clients/the community need to know: if you do not talk to them, they will not talk to you.

Seriously. So many people walked by my table of goodies and if YOU, the host of a table, do not initiate the interaction, chances are you won’t get any sales/customers/clients. Just an FYI for anyone in that field. Luckily my spunky personality draws them in!


20160303_133957722_iOSThursday: Headed down to the preschool to observe, interact, and eat breakfast with the children Smile whole wheat banana muffins, milk, and peaches were the meal of the day. All of the kids were pretending to be monkeys as they consumed their banana muffins. Sometimes I miss being a carefree child with my shirt that said “I’m Not Listening” with Tweety Bird wearing headphones on it, or my bowl haircut and tucked in long sleeve shirts *face palm*. I could tell you right now I was not the cutest girl in class that’s for sure! The day just got busier as I went shopping for some clothes, some things for the apartment, and had to prepare for my counseling hours in the sports department. I printed out some recent research regarding protein consumption, carb intake, fat oxidation, and sleep patterns and how that affects performance/weight loss, so I’m excited to read today! More shopping was done followed by my nighttime cardio session, and then Shawn + I made no bake energy protein balls:


1 cup oats

1 scoop Muscle Combat Chocolate Protein Powder

1/3 cup of honey

1/4 cup flaxseed

1/2 cup of peanut butter

* you can add chocolate chips but we didn’t have any sadly!


THE most delicious ones I had ever had….I could not stop nibbling!! (don’t tell coach)

So far today I’ve had a few cups of coffee, got my morning cardio done ( 30 minutes of HIIT + 20 minutes of spinning) and now I’m attempting to get dressed so my friend Rachel + I can (surprise!) get coffee. I have a meeting at 11 + counseling this afternoon until 2pm. Luckily Shawn has to head to Dubois this afternoon for Air Force paperwork, so I have the whole afternoon to myself to get some Tabitha time in. Hoepfully that will consist of productivity!


Motivation Monday: How to become a productive morning person

20160229_122936000_iOSMondays: One of the most dreaded days of the week. How can we go from enjoying a weekend to hating our lives with the sound of one word: Monday.  a LOT of people ask me how I’m  so chipper in the morning, or how I can even get my butt to the gym in the mornings on a Monday. Sometimes I never really even realize that I act that way, so I’ve decided to compile a few of my own tips on how I personally manage to get up, get going, and get productive!


  1. Going to sleep early: everyone makes fun of me for being a 21 year old with a “bed time” but once 8:30pm hits on a sunday I’m usually throwing on my PJs and getting ready to ease into sleep. Although many studies find that using electronics can zap your ability to sleep, I used the last hour of night curled up in bed to scroll through pinterest or my kindle. It’s a nice, unwinding ritual I have. Getting to sleep early definitely helps you wake up earlier.
  2. Setting music as my alarm: Nothing better than waking up to an upbeat alarm versus that obnoxious wailing sound of beeping! I keep my phone on my nightstand and around 3:30-4am it’ll go off with some pumped up alarm. Hoodie Allen woke me up this morning but occasionally T Swift or Justin Beiber makes a guest appearance.
  3. Making a to-do list the night before: Knowing what you desperately haveeeee to get done for the day instead of waking up thinking: oh sh*t, what was I supposed to do today? Makes my morning so much easier. I usually use the note app on my phone to jot things down, but a pen and paper works well too.
  4. Having my coffee and pre-workout prepped, oats ready, and gym bag packed: Waking up and grabbing my pre workout from the fridge already portioned out thanks to the Jay Cutler shaker bottle I got from GNC (for free!) makes my morning easier. I usually do my AM workouts fasted, so waking up, grabbing my gym bag, chugging my pre workout and heading out the door is simple. When I come home, my oats are already measured out (I do this the nigh before) and my coffee is prepared waiting for me to click brew. Making mornings easier by prepping is my key to having a successful morning
  5. Exercise! I cannot tell you how many times I decided to workout after I get home from my 7am-4pm job and just have my day ruined! Putting off my usual 1.5-2 hour gym day to after work eats into my relaxation time at night. By doing it in the morning, I have the ability to come home from work, relax, unwind, and get some to-do tasks out of the way.

Those are all my personal ways to have a successful Monday, what are some of yours??


Weekend Wrap up #1: Children’s Hospital, Bikini Shopping, Fuller House

Starting a new “weekend wrap up” trend! Because of how busy people can get, sometimes blogging EVERY day just isn’t feasible, especially when you are a 21 year old grad student trying to work and save the world all while attempting t pay bills and possibly having a social life…


but anyways let’s back it up to Friday:

20160226_165804430_iOSFriday February 26th: DESSG Meeting in Pittsburgh at the Children’s Hospital. Here my fellow interns and I learned so much regarding childhood nutrition and nutrition-related diseases, such as PKU and Cystic Fibrosis. Lunch wasn’t catered (and when it is, it’s usually salad with some white bread rolls and chicken followed by chocolate chip cookies), but there was a beautiful café with plenty of food options. Because I was completely unsure of what would be served, I had to pack my lunch. Packing a meal when going to unfamiliar places is KEY to staying on track! If I hadn’t had packed my overnight oats along with my chicken, sweet potato, and spring mix salad, I would have easily caved on pizza and “healthy” sandwiches (and by healthy I mean 700 mg of sodium & half of your days worth of calories on white bread). This means taking some time the night before and ensuring you’re meal is ready to go so it’s a quick grab on the way out the door. One of the interns I work with even asked me how to meal prep and what exactly I do! Very heart warming to know people notice my hard work.

Overall the presentation was entirely informative and although we got lost and parking was so frustrating (it’s the city, what do you expect?), the experience was definitely worth it. When we got back to town, I trekked over to the gym and just wasn’t in the mood: You know those days where you feel completely awful about yourself? I was having one of those days. Mirrors are heartbreaking at times, but we can’t let it effect our mood.

Saturday February 27th: Waking up and deciding to sleep in and skip the gym so I could snooze until 5AM before I had to head to work. Luckily it was a short day and I was able to get out of there, head to the gym, and get home and start some work. Saturday was used as a catch up day: catch up on my bills, errands, cooking, cleaning, the typical boring adult tasks. I do feel fairly accomplished though, now if only I could get my car washed that would be a huge task completed!

I left to Shawn’s later that night and we watched the new Netflix series “Fuller House”. LOVE it! Although all Shawn wanted to do was talk, my eyes were glued to the screen hahah sorry Shawn! Seriously, if you have the option to watch Netflix, definitely give the first two episodes a shot!




I also ended up buying my bikini for my competition! AHHHH. Let’s hope it fits. The color will be revealed sooner than later Winking smile


Sunday February 28th: I sit here eating my egg white omelette w/ spinach as I get ready for another day at work! I got my first session of cardio in this AM and am about to head into work, chop up some fruits and veggies, and kill another session of cardio tonight. Lots to do:

homework, lesson plans, workout, *breathe*, pay more bills, *breathe*


Did I mention breathe?? Sometimes life gets super overwhelming, so I have to (literally) tell myself that everything is going to be okay.


Happy Sunday Smile


NEDA (and quite a busy) Awareness Week


Tonight’s my second showing of Running on Empty—an interactive eating disorder discussion with the IUP campus. It’s a fairly dreary day so I am curious as to what the outcome will be like. On the other hand I do have some time before it begins to prepare what I’ll be doing, saying, and what not. As much as I love talking infront of people and sharing my story, sometimes it can be hard to talk for an hour! I’m hoping everyone out there will sign NEDA’s body peace agreement for Eating Disorder Awareness Week!


Or sometimes I talk too much…HA


The past few days have gone by in a blink of an eye…literally. I don’t even have time to breathe, let alone wash my dishes (sorry Christyna!). I’ve been so busy prepping for this new rotation I am in—intervention. At first, it sounded as though I would have a lot of free time versus my 8-4pm M-F jobs in clinical, but no. If I’m not giving a lecture in a classroom on nutrition I am doing a food demo at the YMCA or constructing a bulletin board at the local therapy home. Lots of tiny tasks that take of random chunks of my day. Good thing they give us a YMCA membership for free…totally taking advantage of that sauna and gym membership though Winking smile 


I met with my coach on monday and she claims my body fat is now around 8%! My weigh hasn’t changed but my lifts are going up and I’m definitely getting stronger. She added a carb to my diet to see if that’ll help cycle my weight. Abs are the last thing to come in, especially for women, but it would be nice to even see a teeny bit more definition so I can feel as though I’m on the right track.


On a good note: coach said after my first show I can eat whatever the h*ll I want! Smile and that means Red Robin date with Shawn!!! Hitting up those unlimited steak fries!

Now that I don’t have to get up and leave my house at 6:30AM everyday, I decided to go to the gym at 5am instead of 3:30AM, and surprisingly I have come to realize how much I enjoy the gym earlier than 5am. Call me crazy, but being there alone or with 1-2 other people is wonderful. Especially when it’s still pitch black out and the rain is ricocheting off of the ceiling and you can HEAR it instead of all of the grunting and moaning.


Protein Powder Cookie Dough???

20160222_130016114_iOSSometimes I am DYING for a sweet treat. And yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging on oreos (cinnamon  bun oreos = heaven!), a slice of cake, or maybe some Chex Mix muddy buddies actually. BUT who doesn’t want to indulge in a treat that not only TASTE delicious, but fuels their body right as well?? Probably my mom actually since she always tell me that she would rather eat the full fat delicious treat than some knock off ‘substitute for applesauce’ type of treat…..but that’s beside the point! My roommate Christyna and I got creative with Dymatize’s  Iso-100 whey protein in birthday cake flavor. As an undergraduate in the food and nutrition program, I was always fascinated by food substitutions and food science and making healthier alternatives to our favorite meals. Currently my diet is limited….and making and eating healthier meals is hard, but luckily my roommate’s diet isn’t as limited hehe. Here is what Christyna and I ended up doing:






  1. 1/2 cup of greek yogurt (we used Walmart brand vanilla)
  2. 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  3. 2 scoops of cake batter flavored protein powder
  4. as many sprinkles as you would like!

Mix all of those up and put it in the refridgerator and BAM! you have yourself a nice, creamy treat for whenever your sweet tooth is calling your name. Literally took us 5 minutes (and probably 15 minutes to take all of these photos). This is also great after a workout. Spread on top of a cinnamon raisin slice of bread and you get your carb + protein fix instantly!


Anyone else try concocting a delicious protein powder recipe?




Weekend Wrap Up: Phipps Conservatory and Dry Rub Recipes!

20160221_111849000_iOSSometimes you need a little fun in life right? Well after this long weekend of presentations for my nutrition program, a great weekend was needed! On friday we had transition day from 7:30AM-4:30pm, and that was simply just learning about the masters programs, taking exams and giving presentations about our management experience. After being on campus alllll day I had to wake back up and do it again the next day, luckily only until noon. At about 12:30pm Shawn and I decided to spend the wonder 60 degree day in Pittsburgh exploring Phipps Conservatory! I’m really not a city person….and by that I mean I really hate crowded areas and the hustle and bustle of things, but this gardening location was BEAUTIFUL! The demonstration that was going on this month was a fairy tale theme train set. Each garden was a different fairy tale, it was beautiful. The tickets are only 14 dollars for a student (gotta take advantage of that student discount hehe) and the café and gift shop were both really nice. At first I was just rushing through every single greenhouse room at the conservatory, and Shawn was like Tabitha slow down why are you rushing this?


Again…there I was RUSHING a good time with Shawn. I am ALWAYS rushing things. That’s something I need to spend more time being aware about: rushing for no reason. I think the fact that there were so many people really bugged me, but hey that’s pittsburgh. After the garden trip, we walked down to Primanti Brothers. Shawn got several calorie laden meals, such as the Pittsburgher and the cheese fries with sour cream, chili, cheese, and jalapenos. I purchased a cajun rub chicken salad, which got me thinking: How can I make my own spicy rub?? I pondered that while enjoying my cajun style salad and watching the cheese and sour cream overflow the boat of fries infront of me. After we finished I grabbed a tanzanian coffee from Café Mocha and we headed back to our little college town. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone of netflix and sweats and actually throw on a pair of jeans & try something new! Next adventure? Rock climbing!!

I got home and started organizing all of my new binders, folders, and agendas for my new rotation, which involves counseling people, athletes, and teaching FDNT classes!! Smile 








You know how I asked myself the question on how to make a dry rub? Well that was today’s task!



20160221_210039941_iOSI gathered:

  • 1/3 cup of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Perfect Pinch
  • 1 teaspoon Southwestern Perfect Pinch
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • dash of sugar!


Threw that mixture all over my chicken and BAM! New flavor. The red pepper flakes really add heat to it, but I’m not a baby when it comes to spice. I’ll be looking more into how to change up the rub and how to add flavor. Any recommendations?








Workout Wednesday

20160217_110004000_iOSDo you ever….

have those days where you know for a fact you completed everything but you are absolutely stressing out over NOTHING? That’s me on  a typical day, and that was definitely me yesterday. After being called off of work I laid in my bed all day at my laptop working on assignments, projects, research, my portfolio, my presentation, etc. I finished everything that “had” to be done but for some reason I could not get rid of that super anxious/stress vibe! I think it’s because it’s that girly time of the month and I’m at a lack of chocolate Sad smile  My roommate Christyna’s mom bought me swiss chocolate and all I want to do is dive into that ziplock bag of them!!! And this morning all I wanted to do was snoooooze! I wasn’t even tired, but I had to lay in my bed and talk to myself; stating how I needed to get up and kill my workout so I didn’t have to do it later. And killed it is exactly what I did:

Back and Tris/30 minutes of cardio. Coach wants me to do back bis AND tris, but combining all of those in a short 1.5 hour period was not happening this AM.


Workout for back and tris this AM:

  • medium grip lat pull down superset w/ cable rows
  • wide grip lat pull downs superset w/ tricep pulls (rope attachment)
  • the iso chest/back machine superset with tricep pulldowns (bar attachment)
  • single arm iso back superset with dips
  • skullcrushers superset with barbell tricep curls
  • rope attachment face pulls superset with seated rows
  • 30 minutes run/walk cardiooooo!

In regards to diet, I’ve been fairly good for how much of a carb queen I am Princess Counting down the weeks until I can eat my iHop cinnastack pancakes!

After freaking out and mentally stressing all day, I headed over to the IUP campus to present on eating disorders. Can’t wait until next week when I can do it again. Photographers from The Penn (the school paper) showed up, so that was a nice surprise. Afterwards I headed over to Shawn’s house because I seriously needed a venting session. Sometimes talking is the best medicine. Although I’ve spent most of my life using isolation as my source of “stress relief”, I find that surrounding myself with a person or even a few people can really be beneficial.

also it probably helped that Shawn bought cinnamon bun oreos yesterday and I totally stole half of one, no shame there though!! (Sorry coach!!)


On that note of spending time with people, after I come back from work today,  Lacey (figure competitor) and I have a nice coffee date planned. Girl time = always appreciated!! Especially from those who know exactly what you are going through.

Off to work!!


Work Cancellations and Leg Day Activities!


Ice, rain, sleet, and snow = the worst travel conditions ever!! I drove to the gym in this nonsense and slid everywhere, but I did manage to get a good (and tiring) leg day session in. I wanted to treat myself to a dunkin donuts coffeeee but they weren’t open yet…also I didn’t have enough money in my wallet or my debit card so I managed to save myself a few bucks.


After rushing around my morning, spilling my eggs in my purse, curling my hair and stuffing my face at breakfast…turns out my preceptor said I shouldn’t attempt to travel into work today and just to work from homeAnnoyed I mean yes I’m so happy about that BUT I woke up and even curled my hair today! Plus they have delicious coffee there that I was really looking forward too. I guess It’s back in my pajamas I go Smile


Prepping for tonight’s event: getting my agenda ready, shopping around for mirrors, prepping what I plan to say…luckily I have a whole day now to think about all of this! Also officially registering for my two NPC bikini events! The gym I go to wants to help fundraise/pay for my hotel/registration fee….AWESOME. I have never been so grateful to have such a great, supportive community as I do now. Having a support system is SO important when it comes to living a healthy life. Positive influences = positive choices.



And the positivity I had going through my fueled my leg day workout:

  1. X Squats superset w/ weighted bridged
  2. Sumo squats superset w/ reverse lunges
  3. lunges using the bench superset w/ weighted forward lunges
  4. adductor superset w/ standing calf raises
  5. abductor superset w/ leg curl machine
  6. my usual 7 minute ab workout
  7. plus 20 minutes of incline booty killin cardioooo!

I don’t always superset this much, but when you’re short on time in the AM (as I thought I was since I was supposed to work….) I had to superset more than usual.

Happy Tuesday Smile