Healthy Mind + Body

New School Year, New You: 2016-2017 Goals

Good morning everyone! In my last post I mentioned how important journaling is, and how it can really help you reach your spiritual sense of happiness, so I’ve decided to get back on my blogging game as this is a sense of journaling for me. I had my cup (or two) of coffee paired with my bowl of oatmeal + 1 scoop of cinnamon protein powder, and now I’m just typing away before I set off for the typical eight hour work day. Life’s been moving at a fairly fast pace lately. I feel like it was just last week that I was crying in Shawn’s arms when he left for basic military training, but that was over 3 MONTHS ago already! Now it’s time to really buckle down lately with so many upcoming events:

The start of the new semester

The start of a new job working under two professors

The start of a new major (exercise science)

The start of a whole new type of relationship (long distance)

Prioritizing people, places, events, and ideas has always been a struggle with me. I tend to put academics over everything, which sounds like the best thing in the world…I mean hey it’s gotten me this far, but mentally it’s a struggle bus.

I put together a simple list of goals that I aim to achieve and nail for the 2016-2017 upcoming school year.



Some people may look at my list and think “ok laugh..that’s easy to do. and eating when you’re hungry? Come on that’s easy too” But when you’re mind works like mind, sometimes those two things happen maybe once or twice a month. Making a list of things you want to accomplish based off of YOUR needs is key. No matter how little or silly they may be. Sometimes it’s just the feeling that you can cross it off at the end of the day—that accomplished feeling, that makes everything that much better.



Healthy Mind + Body

Healthy: Are you?

Healthy—what exactly does that short, simple word mean? Many people associate the word ‘healthy’ or ‘good health’ with looking fit, not being obese, being able to run a mile, eating an apple, and/or being free of sickness. But what exactly does being ‘healthy’ truly entail? I can remember sitting in my undergrad class learning about the topic of health. At this time my caloric intake was about 1000 on a good day accompanied by intense strength training workouts, so my mind was usually falling asleep or not entirely grasping any concepts by this 11am class.

“How would you classify someone as being healthy?” asked my professor.  I started to wake up and think about it. I knew I wasn’t healthy, but I really wasn’t sure what a “healthy person” entirely consisted of.


“To be healthy” she continued, “five areas need to be fulfilled: you need to be satisfied socially, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually”

Socially: being able to connect with others and build positive relationships that make us feel good about ourselves

Intellectually: having the ability to open our minds to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences; having the drive to try new things and take on new tasks

Physically: being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t keep us fatigued/worn out by daily life stressors

Emotionally: Understanding that life can bring about stressful situations and understanding how to cope with such events. This also includes the ability to share joy and love with others but also grief and pain

Spiritually: The ability to establish peace and wellness within ourselves and others–having values and acting upon them.


I looked at her and kind of sunk in my seat.

– I never felt I had time to make friends or partake in social activities (and my social anxiety is about 7/10, so that didn’t help haha) so my social health suffered

– Being overworked in school, at work, and in the gym, my desire to try new things and take on more tasks suffered

– I overworked myself in the gym, so I wasn’t physically healthy

– I understood that life had it’s ups and downs, but handling them correctly (and not just isolating myself/skipping class for a month) was very weak

– there was no such thing as peace and wellness in my mental dictionary


I realized that most of those five components weren’t being satisfied! No wonder I never could classify myself as happy, even with all the success I’ve had.

I decided to reflect on my undergraduate lifestyle and am putting a new outlook on life: HEALTH.


Here are some ways that I plan to be healthy this year, and ways you can be too:

  • Exercise! Whether you’re interested in hardcore strength training, running a 10k, a cool dance class, or just a light walk on the treadmill, all of these options are great! (physical)
  • Exercising…..with a friend. If anyone knows me, they know I dislike working out with a person. I like to go in, do my things, and finish up feeling accomplished. After sitting  down with Katie over some coffee the other day, we both realized how isolated we can be when the school year starts up. So we made a pact to have our Monday Morning Cardio Sessions together. By including a friend, you have set plans and cancelling is NOT okay! If either one cancels, make an agreement that he/she has to buy lunch for both of you Winking smile (physical, social)
  • Talking with Shawn: Although I am a HUGE fan of communication in relationships, I tend to keep mine inside in hopes to prevent an argument or fight…aka not good! After talking with Shawn about my goals to be healthy this year, he really coaxed me into always telling him how I feel, what’s on my mind, what I fear, and if I’m uncomfortable/don’t agree with things. Sometimes I just try to keep them inside because I don’t want to come across as this rude, obnoxious girlfriend but in his words: “you can tell me these things without being rude” and that’s when it kind of hit me–of course I can! This may be easier said than done, but in the long run it’ll be the most beneficial task I take on (emotionally, intellectually)
  • Keeping a journal: I always have a lot to say, but sometimes I just don’t have anyone to say it too, or I’m too nervous to speak. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out, get your ideas on paper, and sort of vent. Buy a cute notebook, cute pen, and set aside just 15 minutes a day! (intellectually, emotionally, spiritually)
  • Joining a club: Freetime for me will be fairly limited with the amount of work I’ll have piled up, but whether it’s taking on an exercise science club or maybe the Health&Human Services Student Advistory Council, doing so will allow me to stimulate my mind, talk with others about ideas I am passionate about, network, and enjoy the company of others (intellectual, socially)
  • Eating healthy—this one is a no brainer for me! Eating healthy always makes me feel better; both physically and mentally. Fueling my body right always makes my performance in school, work, and the gym THAT much better (physically)
  • Reading for growth: Again…little free time but I’ve become very interested in self help/self awareness books regarding leadership lately. Reading to better yourself is a great tool, and a great way to satisfy the (spiritual) component. Currently working on reading The Alchemist


This is a great visual representation of the five components of optimal health.

Ask yourself: Are you healthy?





Healthy Eats + Treats

Back to School Essentials: Snack Edition

Living in a college town, it’s quite obvious when school is either IN session or OUT for the summer/winter breaks. As the summer begins to wind down, slowly and slowly I see more and more college age students walking downtown at night, grocery shopping, or simply walking through the campus grounds. With relationships, social life, parties, academics, and extra curricular taking over a students life, usually nutrition and what is going into their mouth is the last thing on the priority list to care about, am I right?! Three top reasons as to why I believe what you eat is SO critical and important:

  • Weight Control: Being mindful of your food choices is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Eating in excess will cause an increase in weight; and if the weight gain continues, potential health concerns may arise (next bullet!)
  • Disease Prevention: Not only may obesity cause potential health problems, but consuming too little or too much of nutrients may create health concerns as well. Examples may include too much saturated fats or too little calcium.
  • Efficient Energy: Fueling your body with the right foods will, in the end, provide your body with adequate energy to stay focused and keep trekking through those 3 hour long seminars Eye rolling smile


As an undergrad in college, nutrition and eating healthy was a no brainer to me (being a nutrition major and all), so I never really could understand how people could just pack on the pounds and eat whatever their heart desired without giving a single care in the world. As time went on I realized that not everyone saw food as numbers, percentages or specific values like I did…but they just saw food as well, delicious! Although I do believe in the whole “everything in moderation”, I think it is important to be eating whole, healthy foods 75-80% of the time.

Coming back to a new school year gives most people the “new year new you” vibe—so why not start that whole new you in the kitchen? Here’s some great snack ideas that are college friendly/easy on the go for classes/crazy schedules Smile

  • Greek yogurt cup + piece of fruit (my fav is the Oikos Triple Zero collection)
  • Cheese stick + serving of whole wheat crackers
  • Overnight oats—legit the smartest idea in the world for busy mornings!
  • 1/2 a PBJ sammy on whole wheat bread
  • granola bar + piece of fruit
  • packet of tuna + whole wheat crackers
  • serving of whole grain cereal + milk in a small tupperware
  • 1/2  a turkey & cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread


What are some of your favorite snacks/meals to bring on the go?

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!


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??


Super Bowl Sunday Snacks: Healthy Tips

20160126_103952000_iOSIt was one of those mornings where my alarm went off at 3AM and I don’t remember hitting snooze (luckily I’m that girl who sets five alarms are random increments such as 3:00, 3:04, 3:12, etc. to ensure I will eventually get up lol). I ended up waking up to the 3:12 alarm which made me desire to lay there and question why I was going to the gym this early before work. I laid there for about seven minutes and was in tht “now or never” mindset. I knew I was awake, I wasn’t miserable or exhausted. So I threw on a pot of coffee and managed to get my butt over there. I went out to my friend Matthew’s house last night for a few hours just to say hi and that I didn’t completely fall off the planet due to lack of communication. Sometimes when I get super stressed/overwhelmed/involved with projects, I tend to “fall off the face of the earth”. I’ve been becoming more comfortable being social and being a bit more spontaneous lately, which is a huge milestone in my life. Although everyone was drinking last night, I had absolutely no urge to and at first they were the typical college boys who were coaxing me to just “take a sip”. Disgusted with the lack of maturity in men, I was like mmm no although I love how I am when I’m drunk and I do have fun, I think I can manage to survive tonight without the absorption of alcohol. After I told them why I wasn’t drinking they were all about asking me questions on what I eat, what I lift, and all of that. So in the end, things did go smoothly.

Boys: When will your maturity kick in? Where are the men that prefer one beer at dinner reservations versus shot gunning a beer at a frat? Sometimes I feel like MY maturity decreases around college aged kids. 

Ok ok REAL topic of the day: eating at parties. Tailgates, parties, celebrations, holidays….all of these tend to revolve around one main thing: FOOD! In my opinion, society seems to revolve most social gatherings around food. And while that’s great and can be families and friends togethers/have a positive effect on people (eating together has been linked to lower depression, drug use, and suicidal tendencies in adolescents), WHAT we are putting on our plates is key. Here’s a few tips/tricks I think can help curb your caloric intake at tonight’s game!

  1. Eat before hand—I know I know, the whole point of parties is the FOOD. But eating lunch/dinner before you go, even something light like 1/2 a sandwich and a piece of fruit, can help reduce your intake. If you show up at a party STARVING, chances are you will eat absolutely everything and anything.
  2. The veggie platter is your best friend here. Start here and fill 1/2 of your plate up at this station. Take a reasonable amount of dip if necessary (2 tbsp) Feel free to come back to this station often Smile
  3. Steer CLEAR of the bread/dips. Many parties carve out a bread roll, fill it with a high calorie cheese dip and use the bread as dippers. Yeah, pass on that. There will be plenty of healthier carb choices for you
  4. Skinless, boneless, wings are always a great choice as well. High in protein to keep you satisfied. Just watch the amount any time of dip you might use (ranch, blue cheese, etc)
  5. Nuts—yes, they are healthy. But a palm size portion is all your need! Measure out a palm size portion of almonds, walnuts, pecans (those are the best for memory function!) and put them on your plate. Mix them with a handful of pretzels and you have a nice sized trail mix.
  6. Limiting your soda/alcohol intake can save your several extra calories that won’t be going to use. Sticking to water is key. Personally I would bring some crystal light packets or a Mio just to make it more fun and tasty.
  7. Chex mix is fairly popular at games, but it’s all refined carbs. It’s not a bad choice butttt there are plenty of other things that are better. If you’re dying for some then toss a handful on your plate and add your handful of nuts to it!
  8. Need something crunchy like potato chips? Aim for the popcorn,baked chips, or salsa and tortilla chips!! And stick to a handful.
  9. Candy: skip. If you’re looking for a treat, I would rather have a cookie or brownie versus digging my hands in peanut m&ms or hershey kisses. If you’re craving a dessert, split something. Or if they have mini cookies or mini brownies stick to one. It’s totally okay to treat yourself, but don’t go overboard.
  10. Bring your own healthy dish—that way you KNOW there is something you can consume.
  11. Put down the fork and socialize!! Get your mind off of the food and turn this into a SOCIAL event Smile



Things I would fill my plate with:

  • veggies and a little ranch dip
  • boneless wings
  • 2 crackers and 2 slices of cheese
  • Salsa and a handful of Tortilla chips
  • Seconds of veggies if I’m still hungry Smile

Snacks and Salad Bar


Busy day in the salad bar today! I can’t believe I have finally transferred from the deli over to produce. No longer do I cry before I come to work, it’s a great feeling! As a salad bar position, it’s my job to cut fresh fruit, package them, stock the salad bar, check dates/inventory, keep the salad bar full and prepare fruit/vegetable trays. Some days are crazier than others, but today was rather easy. Sometimes I think how great it would be to be a manager of a food department——I’m obsessed with food so why not manage?


But then I remember how much of a pushover I am and could never tell people what to do!

Now that I’m finally home and have been looking at healthy snacks all day, I decided to make my own. 3:30pm is such an awkward time to eat a meal, but I was fairly hungry. I whipped together 2 eggs (one egg, one egg white) a slice of toast, some spinach, and jalepeno peppers. Filled me up enough to where I’m not starving, but definitely can make a meal later. After I crush this exam I am about to take I’ll be ready for another meal.

I’ve really been in the baking mood today, and since the weather is so dreary an rainy, I might just have to stop at the store and pick up a few things.


What’s the best rainy day treat in your house?








Kill that kardio!

20140805_134528000_iOSGood morning WordPress! Everyone kill their workouts this morning? Found this online and decided to give it a try today. I ended up running 2 miles, lifting weights, and followed this circuit, plus added a HIIT treadmill workout afterwards. I was SO pumped up after my workout, I could feel the positive energy pouring off my body. I came home, whipped up a berry banana and vanilla protein milkshake and guzzled that down in a heartbeat! Make sure you get your whey protein in roughly an after after your workout so it can start repairing your muscles!






Last night Bryan and I indulged in our inner child selves and watched The Wildthornberry Movie…does anyone else remember that movie?! Granted I fell asleep halfway through it but hey it was great to relive my childhood. We went raspberry picking since his backyard is filled to the max with with raspberry bushes. My favorite uses for raspberries are throwing them in my yogurt, cottage cheese, or tossing them in a smoothie with some almond milk and protein powder. My two room mates for next year, Sadie and Alayna, messaged me and asked me to help them become “healthy”. How amazing does it feel having people contact you to help them reach their health goals? I felt so incredible that people contact me and ask for help, and that’s my goal for the future. Whether I become a personal trainer, a dietitian, or just a motivational speaker, it would be amazing to reach out and help society.

The rest of the day will involve typing of new articles for HerCampus’s website, plus buying some textbooks for the upcoming semester Sad smile happy tuesday to all of you!





Always stay positive!

ImageSometimes days don’t go your way, but you can’t complain about it. Although work took a beautiful chunk out of my day, I couldn’t let it affect me. I went on a nice run after work today! Felt good to get out of my work uniform and into some comfy gym clothes. A little boy on a bike raced me most of my run, so it was nice to have some competition. I have become so spoiled with this beautiful weather I am going to be so upset when winter comes back.

After my run I managed to fit in some cleaning of the apartment and then finished the day with some carrots and hummus as a side to, of course, my go to quick meal! Not sure when that meal will get old, but until then I will eat it as much as possible. My friends and I are making dinner tomorrow and we need some incredibly delicious summer time recipes. Anyone have a good one they would love to share? Image












ImageSome people have told me that they struggle with consuming enough water on a daily basis, and I used to be the same way. What’s my trick? I fill two water bottles, each 36 ounces full. I make sure to bring them everywhere! All of my friends call me the water bottle lady. By knowing how much water is in those two bottles, I’m able to gauge how much I drink each day. If I only consume one I think, “wow I only consumed half of the amount I need a day, keep going Tabitha” it’s an easy reminder for yourself. try it out!