Dietitian Talk

My Experience with the RD exam

So, after years of schooling…and an internship that consists of over 1000 hours of supervised practice in long term care, acute care, management, and intervention rotations, it all comes down to passing or failing the 125-145 question exam.  Now of course I’m not going to go and tell you whats on the exam, because everyone’s is different. Before I took my exam, I went online to look up “how to breathe during the exam” and “how not to puke while taking the RD exam” because in my opinion, it’s a really HUGE deal. Yes, you totally can take it again. and again… but the $$  you spend taking it plus the time you spend studying…let’s just say it’s better to pass it come the first time around.

So I’m just going to give a brief perspective of my experience taking it and how I prepared for it myself!

My class graduated from the internship on Wednesday May 25th and I took my exam Tuesday July 19th. That gave me about eight weeks to prepare, but realistically I didn’t start preparing until say 3-4 weeks out. I enjoyed my Memorial Day weekend (Shawn left for basic that weekend so I was glued to HIM, not so much my notes), and I did take a spontaneous trip to Florida with Christyna for a week, in which I didn’t study at all for the exam. Originally I scheduled my exam for August 9th, but when June 15th hit I was like okay Tabitha, let’s start studying and move your date closer. By making my date sooner it really got me to studying and actually not procrastinating.



How I studied:

  • I am SUCH a visual learner; listening/audio never helped me. I was lucky enough to go to one of Jean Inman’s 2 day course in  Pittsburgh and be given her book of information regarding what to study and know for the exam (essentially a bible for any person who is taking the RD). If you can go to, her course OR simply purchase the jean inman book (pricey I know, you will be happy you did so.
  • I went through Jean’s book and everything she told us to note or highlight I put on flashchards. I had over 500 flashcards! Writing the notes on the flashcards helped me remember it better than simply reading the book over and over.



  • After all my flashcards were made I had about 1.5 weeks until my exam…so I really had to kick it in full gear. I spent 5 days doing the 1000 practice questions and reviewing the answers from the Jean Inman book she had given us. I circled the ones I got wrong and went back to see why I had gotten them wrong.
  • The last 4 days before my exam I spent reading each of the four domains out of that book of hers. Each day I read 1 domain each and made sure I understood the concepts. Reading outloud to myself was very helpful.
  • The morning of I had to drive 1 hour to my closest testing center and my heart was just beating the whole time. I arrived 45 minutes early (they recommend 30 minutes early) and I was able to sign in and wait outside the door. The room I would be using consisted of several people, yet I was the only one sitting for the CDR exam. Everyone else were waiting to take their 7 hour surgery board exams (thank god my exam was only 2.5 hours!!)
  • I had to lock up all my stuff, turn my phone off, have my finger prints and palms scanned and then she let me begin my exam at 8am. She provided me with headphones and ear plugs, which ever I preferred use. The headphones worked so well.
  • During the entire exam I was just clicking the next button and wanting to cry because I felt like each answer was wrong. 80% of me thought I failed, and the 20% was just hopeful I passed. As I finished the exam within the hour, I clicked finish and had to take a short survey at the end regarding my exam and man…although It was “short”, it felt like FOREVER since I couldn’t get my results until the end of the exam.
  • I got my results saying pass and I just sat there in shock, and rose my hand to be dismissed. She came in and asked “all done?” and I just looked at her and said “….I passed……” still in disbelief!!
  • She printed out my results and I called my mom right away crying as I walked to my car. I sat in my car for about ten minutes because my hands were still shaking from the fact that my ten year goal of becoming an RD was accomplished!!


What’s on the list for the next goal I need to accomplish?? Hopefully this helps anyone considering the exam!

Healthy Mind + Body

10 things my parents taught me by age 21

20160430_132216630_iOSGoing to college wasn’t a choice for me: it was mandatory for me to succeed in my goals.

Going to a college six hours away from home? Now THAT was a choice.

Leaving my family was a choice. Keeping in touch or choosing to pick up the phone or even answer their messages was a choice. Staying close was a choice.

Growing up, I lucked out. I grew up in a family that sheltered me, guided me, cared for me, fed me, yelled and punished me when necessary but celebrated me when it was necessary as well. Disagreements arose and frustration occurred often between my parents and I, but so did jokes, laughter, and family outings.

I remember in 2012 my parents dropped me off to college with my roommate and boyfriend at the time and all I could say was “Ok bye, see ya, leave…NOW!” And was off doing my own thing. Sure, my family and I were close, but it wasn’t to where I planned to call them every day or check in weekly. Homesickness seemed non-existent to me. Seeing them only twice a year at Christmas and my birthday in June didn’t seem as though it would pose a problem.

Throw in a heartbreak that I never thought would happen, 40 + hour workweeks while attending an honors college, and the depressive thoughts that could prevent anyone from leaving his/her bed and you change your mindset real quick.

Looking back at that, I’ve been out on my own for nearly four years and my relationship with my parents has changed for the better. No, I don’t call them everyday and update them on my every move, but maybe once a week or so I’ll let them know I’m still alive. I’ll fill them in the latest date I’ve been on, talk to my dad about the latest workout I’ve been trying or maybe some new ways to alter my diet, and maybe even post on their face book and actually acknowledging their existence Winking smile 


So Sue and Luke, this post is a shout out to you guys. Here are the top ten things you both have taught me that I’ve realized at age 21.


10. Don’t underestimate yourself:

The hundreds and hundreds of times I’ve applied and been accepted into programs, leadership groups, awards, and scholarships still blows my mind. My self esteem and confidence has always been on the low side, but you taught me to believe in myself.

9. Pick up your things and put them back where they belong

Dad, remember that time you threw my baby doll’s ballet slipper in the trash because I didn’t pick it up when I was done with it?  I cried (and I’m still not over it!) Now I’m 21 and I’m not over the fact that my friends, room mates, partners, and co-workers cannot simply use something and put it back where it belongs instead of leaving it lye around the area. Thanks for making me development this trait!!

8. Don’t fear change

Moving nearly every year gave me the opportunity to learn from new environments and make friends with new faces. I’ve learned that pursuing new career paths and taking up new and unfamiliar opportunities can get me further in life than I believed it ever could.

7. You are beautiful

Beauty is more than the physical traits of a person. It’s their mannerisms and quirks; their personality traits. My parents made sure I knew that I was beautiful whether I believed it or not.

6. Watch what you say and who you say it to

Every time I vented or gossiped about a certain girl/boy growing up, my mother remembered every detail of it. Years later when I would bring him/her up, she could remember the previous stories I told about that person. So watch what you say about someone and who  you say it to—once it is out there, there’s no getting it back.

5. Never discourage someone’s likes, dislikes. If anything, encourage it

My mother never turned her head when I told her I wanted to dye my hair. From black hair, to red hair, to black tips, maroon tips, blue streaks, she was there when I wanted these things done. She encouraged my all black wardrobe growing up and would even find clothes to add to the collection. My dad came with me to get my lip pierced although he thought it was the farthest thing from a good idea. All of my likes and interests never aligned with my parents, but they never once told me how “wrong” it was to feel a certain way about things. Now I live everyday listening to people’s perspective and interests and finding and enjoying why they feel certain ways. I’ve learned to be accepting and encouraging because of my parents.

4. Work first, play later

This is NOT the case for everyone, but I hope my future children develop this mindset. Jumping off the bus in elementary school, I would come home and immediately empty out my purple Winnie the Pooh backpack and begin my homework before I even THOUGHT about knocking on our next door neighbor Sara’s house to see if she wanted to play outside on the swing set. fifteen years later and I still have that mindset—do all my homework, email all my clients, prep all my meals BEFORE I even think about going on pinterest and getting lost in a world of recipes for an hour (or four…hehe)

3. Always wear your seatbelt

Every time someone comes in my car, whether they are significantly younger or older, or whether I get in THEIR car, I always make sure the seatbelts are on…even if we’re just going from one parking spot to the next. Growing up with a police officer father will really engrain things in your mind. other similar ideals include: do not drink and drive, do not get in a car with someone who has been drinking, always wear your helmet (even when you’re a 21 year old biking to class…) and never talk to strangers (unless you’re in a grocery store helping them choose the best type of cheese or BBQ sauce)

2. Your true love may be someone who is your complete opposite

Everyday I wonder how in the world my parents ended up together. A ginger and a brunette…an overall health and fitness enthused man and a “I’ll eat what i like” perspective woman…a short tempered and “one hour early is late” mindset filled man with a relaxed tempered “5 minutes early is good enough” woman…where are the similarities? I’m only 21, but I’ve spend countless times X’ing out people who had no similarities to me, or who fell into my mold of the ‘mohawk –tattooed-fitness enthused alpha male that chances are I passed up several people that could have treated me way better than I have ever been treated previously. with that being said I also learned to let love find you, and not push for something that isn’t there anymore.

1.  Try your best in all that you do

Perfectionism can really mess with your mindset, but after hearing my father constantly tell me that as long as I try my best, that’s all that matters, I’m slowly becoming more accepting of that thought. Sure, I’m still hard on myself when I don’t get the highest grade, or get the award or whatever it is that I am aiming for, but as long as I learn from my mistakes and try my hardest, that’s all I can really ask of myself.

Dietitian Talk

Things NOT To Say to an RD/RD2Be

Since I was 12 years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my career path: I wanted to be a registered dietitian. After going to one myself, the passion was instantly instilled in me. Throughout the course of nine years, I’ve come across SO many new areas of interest with the nutrition field. At first, I thought I made up my mind: a private practice. Yes thats’s exactly what I wanted to do and no one will stop me!!!


Well, times can change. Opinions can change. Goals, motives, and desires….those can all change as well.

I’ve learned how important the clinical side can be. How important knowing your lab value ranges is, knowing how certain vitamin and macronutrient intakes can affect the disease of a patient.

I’ve learned how incredibly AWESOME research is!! I remember sitting in a class as an undergraduate snoozing through my research class, memorizing the material just to pass the final exam. But seriously, dabble in a topic that you really like. For me, I’ve become invested in looking up topics regarding athletic performance and diets, or supplement use versus non supplement use on the athletic performance, or simply…how beneficial is fasted cardio?


I’ve learned that having clients can be super exciting, but at the same time super difficult, especially if they have their “my way or the highway” attitude.

I’ve also learned that managing and being in charge is extremely fulfilling to me; I like to be in control, so possibly managing a business or food service is in my future? Who knows.


Another thing I learned throughout my many experiences in the food and nutrition field…..what NOT to say to RDs and RD2bes.

We’re human too…we don’t eat perfectly or know everything by heart, but here are a few things that really get under our skin:

1. Can you make me a meal plan??

We do more than just the stereotypical meal plan. Sometimes this isn’t even a part of the dietitians job. We asses, diagnose, treat, and evaluate patients depending upon the career we choose to enter with our credentials and degrees. Meal plans are more than just “okay let me tell you what you should eat and write it up in ten minutes”. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Instead, we can help evaluate your current diet and help you make better choices depending on your needs.

2. What’s the healthiest fruit I could eat?

No such thing as the “healthiest” fruit, and don’t even get me started on this “superfood” rant. All fruits have benefits to them, some more than others. Incorporating fruit in your diet is important, the recommended amount being about 2 cups for women/men under 50.

3. I just started this drink detox….

We have a liver to do the detoxing for us. Drinking, whether its fruit juices, broths, smoothies, or what have you, still contains calories. You might lose a little weight if that is your goal, but it’s potentially water weight, plus chances are once you go back to consuming whole foods (cleansing/juicing is not a sustainable, healthy diet plus chances are you are doing this as a 3-7 day phase and are not learning proper eating  techniques), your weight will be gained right back. Talking to a dietitian about healthier lifestyle changes would be much more beneficial.


4. Oh don’t look at what I’m eating!


It might have been funny the first time, but it’s not funny after every person says it. It’s frustrating going out to dinner with friends when they think we’re going to judge every bite they take. We aren’t –we’re just as human as you are!

5. I only buy natural products

natural products do not mean “healthy” or “calorie free” or “sugar free” or even, ‘better’ for that matter. Natural products can still contain sugar, because sugar IS natural. Be sure you are reading the nutrition label when buying products, not just the health claims on the front of the package.

6.  I only eat gluten-yeast-dairy-free

gluten, yeast, dairy, and all of the other trending “free” diets aren’t necessary for the average american unless you have to follow these diets due to medical reasons. Cutting food groups out of your diet can be detrimental to your health if you aren’t making up for it in other areas. For instance, cutting dairy completely may decrease your intake of calcium, vitamin d, and protein. It’s important to go through your health care team if you decide to omit certain food groups from your diet.

7.  I avoid carbs, they’re bad

Women below 50 needs about 6 one-ounce portions of grains while men below 30 need 8 one-ounce portions and men 30-50 need about 7 one-ounce portions. Carbs are not the enemy, it’s excess calories and refined carbohydrates that we need to be weary of. Make sure half of your grain intake is whole grains. Great choices would be whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats.

8. I’m starting my diet tomorrow!

Diet is word that means a short lived food intake. Dieting is only for a period of time, and something we definitely do not recommend. How about starting your “lifestyle” change NOW. Why wait for tomorrow? There is no time like the presence. Sure, may you have plans to go out tonight or go to a party or whatnot, but you can still make healthy choices no matter what.

9. I can eat whatever food I want as long as I burn it off in the end, right??

Errr, essentially, when you burn more than what you eat, you do lose weight. But we as dietitians aim for quality over quantity. So that means, yes you can have 300 calories worth of chocolate chip cookies (about 6 cookies), or you can have 4 oz of chicken breast, 2 cups leafy greens, and one baked potato which will completely fill you up and satisfy you all for the similar amount of calories PLUS loaded with nutrients! Choosing healthier food choices will help you feel better mentally and physically. On a side note, eating your days worth of calories in cookies, for example, versus a balanced diet of carbs, protein, and fats, will affect your body on a chemical level differently.

10. Eating healthy is expensive

Sure, buying everything organic, gluten free, and fresh everyday can be pricey…and that’s because many Americans feel that is what “healthy” means. But healthy does not equal pricey. Buying frozen vegetables and fruit, and not purchasing pre-cut, pre washed produce can cut down on costs. Plus, medical bills from an unhealthy diet are WAY more expensive than buying and planning healthy meals…am I right?! Winking smile 

11. Dr. Oz said that…

All I have to say to this comment is the following:


Weekend Wrap-up: Bikini Suits, Spicing up the house, and Sundays

Thursday: I was able to get a few extra hours in at my job to make some $$$. After an amazing lifting session, I headed to work and cut up fruit (the usual). Afterwards I went back into the gym for my second round of cardio and just wasn’t feeling it.

Does anyone else ever do 2-a-days and just hate the second session?

I think it’s because there are way too many people there for my liking at 3-5pm that I just can’t get in the mood to workout!

20160312_210448917_iOSFriday: Super busy Friday! I usually never work fridays at the grocery store but I volunteered to help out a day shift, which entirely threw my day off! I got to the gym at my usual 3:45AM time, then had a client at 7:30, and then had to be at work at 10. A lot of running around, but I did manage to have a successful friday. MY BIKINI CAME IN! Smile And even better….it fit! Now only if my abs could pop out any day now I would be happy Smile Good thing my second show isn’t until next month, I still have time to grind and kill it on stage. I need to relax and understand that this whole bikini competition thing is a learning process—I won’t master this all in one day (or one show). Granted, I’m doing everything on my own with my coach, it’s tough not having a huge support system but luckily I found some women at the gym who have given TONS of advice to get me through prep and walk me through the process.


Saturday: work work work! Usually my weekends only consist of work, but lately I’ve felt overworked—not just with a job, but in LIFE. I feel like my anxiety is getting a bit out of control; feeling at a loss of time and that I don’t have enough time is something I constantly say I will work on, but still struggle everyday on it. I’ve been seriously feeling depressed lately (and I dislike using that word because I know it is a true illness that I don’t want to misuse) but I really have been feeling pretty low. Here are some of the things ive been trying to do that really have been helping me:

  • adding bright colors to my apartment
  • reorganizing my room/apartment
  • listening to peppy music each morning
  • starting my day at the gym
  • buying flowers and adding that to my house


Personally, I just think I need more color in the environment I live in. Spicing up the house with color REALLY affects my mood, for the better. Try it out! I even was productive and went to walmart and returned some things, picked up photos for my room AND bought a bright colored bedspread!


Sunday: An easy day at the gym this AM: cardio + some chest and bis. My chest is feeling a lot better than it has been; straining/overtraining is the worst! Especially chest—you use that muscle in nearly everything you do! Tonight will just consist of a nice relaxing bikeride for some fun cardio + some homework on the porch. Let’s hope the weather stays relatively nice. It’s only 6:30AM and I hear the birds chirping already.


Make today a good day!


Workout Wednesday:

20160309_144020376_iOSLast night I had the ability to meet with a client regarding weight management, and it was a great session! Meeting people with different goals, ages, genders, and backgrounds really can throw curve balls at you in the dietetics field.


Today, however,  did not go as entirely planned as I had hoped, but I can’t beat myself up over it. I woke up, skipped the gym (shocker!) to sleep in and make my roommate protein pancakes for her birthday! How ironic that it is also National Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist Day! I whipped up some easy-ingredient pancakes:

  • 1 scoop Dymatize protein powder in birthday cake
  • 1 banana
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp natural PB
  • sprinkles!






I had to quickly rush to work but she sent me a lovely message after she ate them describing how delicious they were. SO happy to have an incredible, food loving, and intelligent room mate. I have no idea what I would do without you Christyna! After I rushed out the door to visit my preschoolers, I headed to the gym with a shoulder/chest/20 minute biking session and came home, showered, and now have plenty of time to get my day started. Shawn and I had plans today but sadly those fell through. It’s a lovely, 65 degree day out with the sun shining, so I’m really hoping I can get some outdoor activities accomplished. I love the days where you have all the motivation in the world to get things done; there’s no better feeling than the feeling of accomplishment.  Now time to get some motivation in meeeee!!!


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.


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!


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!!