Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

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My schedule this fall is pretty steady because I know which days are busy and which days I have down time. The days I have down time vary in what they’re filled with, but are pretty spread out. Tuesdays are pretty light: I eat, I workout, I do homework and sometimes when my Wednesday client can’t talk on Wednesday, we talk on Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, I had a pretty light day and while it’s nice to not have to be “go-go” all the time, the down fall of being a “go-go” person is that you can’t decide what to do with yourself when you do have down time.

I thought I would go out and read with a cup of coffee, but I didn’t really want to spend the money on coffee knowing we have a solid collection in the pantry. I figured I just wanted to get outside, it didn’t necessarily need to be physically out near other people. So I went for a run outside and looped the area.

Later in the day I still wanted a drink, but I didn’t want to go out for it. After some searching on Pinterest and knowing what I do about lattes, I made one for myself at home on the stove.

latte blog post photo

So if you have about 10 minutes and don’t want to leave the house this fall, or worse, get snowed in this winter – this may be a fun pick-me-up. It’ll also save you some money and calories as we head into pumpkin, maple, gingerbread season!

Here’s some variations we’ve tried and how to make them.

Blueberry Caramel Latte

This was the first one I made to see if I could even make these stove top. I looked at a few recipes and played with the ratios, so here’s what worked.

What you’ll need 

  • Blueberry coffee
  • Caramel topping
  • Milk or milk alternative
  • Small pot


  1. Brew your coffee a little stronger than normal. I filled my coffee pot to the 4 cup line and used 1/4 cup of grounds.
  2. While your coffee is brewing measure out 2/3 cup of milk or milk alternative and warm up on stove top using low to medium heat. I used unsweetened cashew milk for my milk because that’s what I had on hand.
  3. While the milk is warming up whisk in 2 teaspoons of caramel sauce.
  4. When milk is up to temperature add half of the coffee and whisk together.
  5. Pour in your favorite mug, top with whip cream if you want and drink.

Nutrition for Blueberry Caramel Latte: 1.5f | 13c | 1p or 70 calories

*nutrition varies based on milk/alternative and flavor add-ins



Hazelnut and Honey: Substitute blueberry coffee for hazelnut and caramel topping for 1tsp of honey.


Pumpkin Spice: Substitute flavored grounds for unflavored, cinnamon or pumpkin and use pumpkin pie spice blend to taste, 2T of canned pureed pumpkin and either 1tsp honey or caramel sauce.

I’m still playing with combinations, but check out Pinterest for other ideas!

❤ Cristina


Ignore the haters they say. They’ll go away eventually. 

Then you have those who actively will email you while you’re pleasantly sleeping and dreaming about leg day 

It’s not an exaggeration that I get some pretty mean and nasty messages. So here’s one I saw during my morning pre-leg walk. 


❤ Cristina 


The other day I posted on my Facebook page a link to a story about girls who were trying to wrap their arms around their backsides and touch their bellybuttons, it’s called the Bellybutton Challenge. They were believing that this determined they were healthy because it meant they were thin. Well, girls- in reality you’re just flexible, not necessarily healthy. While I have been on a weightloss journey and my goal was to be thinner than my starting point of a size 24, I believe that you can be healthy at a number of sizes. Health is different for everyone.

Moving on…

I was sitting in my car on the drive home yesterday afternoon and I heard an ad on the radio for cools sculpting. It’s a procedure to help with fat reduction, less invasive than lipsuction. To kick off the ad, the radio DeeJay that is a spokesperson for the facility that conducts the procedures, talked about how these girls trying to touch their bellybuttons in China. Well that’s strange, why would that matter to her or this facility. I actually couldn’t tell if this was an ad or just a topic on the radio show. Yeah, nope it was an ad.

She continued to say that you could also touch your bellybutton is you had this procedure… Fantastic, we’re taking the insecurities of teenage girls and putting them in the faces adult women which they then usually adopt as their own insecurities and are led to believe that they aren’t healthy, they aren’t thin enough or beautiful enough without some kind of procedure, whether it’s as invasive as plastic surgery or minimally invasive like this cools sculpting procedure for fat reduction.

I have worked through and continue to work through a rough relationship with food. I have had binging issues for as long as I can remember. I’ve been able to identify trigger foods and remove them. I have also identified scenarios that will trigger me as well. I have found a workout routine that works for me and more importantly I have learned that being healthy isn’t a quick fix. It’s more than physical, it’s mental too.

I was really disappointed that a large Boston radio station allowed their DeeJay so be the voice of this specific ad because it does take the insecurities of young girls and emphasizes that you every right to feel inadequate. Well, no, you shouldn’t feel bad about your body. You shouldn’t try to be something you’re not.

In retaliation of this “challenge” many women and teens are taking pictures of themselves flipping the camera the bird while reaching around their backs. There also the #BoobsOverBellyButtons.These challenges aren’t things that should be making headlines, but there are causing a little bit of a stir. Even I felt inclined to throw my two cents in because I hate seeing the pressure put on young girls today. I feel the pressure too, I’m sure many women feel it. That’s why it’s important to talk about health and educate the new generation about food, exercise, overall health, etc. I hope that it doesn’t get worse.

What crazy challenges have you seen online? What are your thoughts about fat-shaming and skinny-shaming campaigns?

❤ Cristina

The beginning of the week started rough. I mean, I know it’s only Tuesday, but Sunday night was a disaster. I have a few things on plate that are stressing me out. There by the normal stressors so I’m having difficulty handling them. I’m also having a hard time letting things that I can’t control go. These two go hand-in-hand. Sunday nights stressors led to a huge binging session with a 10″ cheese and extra pineapple pizza and my best friend Jess eating it with me. 

She arrived just as the delivery man was and she looked at me and goes well I’m hungry too. She figured I needed to get it out of my system because even if I hated myself the next morning, it’s something I needed to do. I needed to eat those slices and cry and complain. So we did that. I had 5 slices and she had 3. I cried and she listened. 

I woke up on Monday still full from the night before and decided a cup of coffee was really all I needed to get me through the morning. I felt bloated and angry, mostly at myself for not having more control over the urge, but also because I couldn’t figure out how to get the stress out in another way. I keep a protein bar in my bag, but I didn’t eat it until 2 pm. I was bloated and still full. I thought there was potential I could explode if I ate something. I drank a ton of water and that helped a lot. 

Today was a much can better day. I lowered my carbs a little bit since I’m still a bloated, but I hit my fat and protein goals spot on. My water is on track to meet my goal of 140 ounces. I’m less angry at myself and now I can move on from it. I’m planning my meals for the rest of the work week and I feel confident that there won’t be issues. I’ll figure out the weekend as we get closer. 

Even though Sunday was bad, looking back at where I’ve come, I’ve had worse days. I still have made so much progress. There’s a lot to be proud of regardless of slip ups because we all make them. 

Today I posted my transformation Tueaday photo comparing me at 26 to me at 18. I’m one size smaller now and 23 pounds heavier.  

I am still proud of who I have become even when I lose my way. 

I hope everyone else is having a good week so far!

❤️ Cristina 

 As week 10 of BBG comes to a close, I have a few things to celebrate!

 1. The thinning of my mid section! 
2. My journey’s progress is steady and I’m feeling really good about the recent changes.  
3. These baby biceps are going to start growing in a few weeks.  

4. I’m finding inspiration all around me, even in little things.

5. I’ve been giving myself time to explore the city around me.    
6. I’ve given myself some wiggle room for tasty local eats, but today I only got coffe 🙂    
7. But Infound some locally made cheese spread to bring home.  

8. I wandered around the farmers market and bought a croissant, which I have big plans for breakfast in the morning.  

9. I noticed my neighbor has the best flowers today.  

10. Date night with myself involved many carbs including a turkey burger and Halo Top ice cream for dessert.  


It’s almost sad that this week is over, but I’m excited to start a new one.

❤️ Cristina 

There are so many parts to this journey. In the beginning you’re making the decision to change. You’re figuring out what foods work for you and what you should eliminate. You decide how you want to workout and how often. You’re constantly evaluating as you lose weight to prevent a plateau. Sometimes you do plateau and you get frustrated, you figure out what to change next and then you do it.

I am so glad that I decided to try the bikini body guide, but I’m going to be honest. I can’t wait until I’m done with the workouts. I miss heavy deadlifts. I miss heavy squats. I do love the circuit style workouts, but after a Kayla leg day, you can’t add in extra leg workouts. 

I’m starting Week 10 this week after re-doing Week 9… Long story short, I wasn’t happy with how my first go at Week 9 was. This past week was much stronger and I feel like I was much more on track. I’m excited for Week 10, but I will be jumping for joy in the 3 weeks when I can set new goals for heavier weight and refocus my health. 

To start this week off right, I’ve prepped the essentials: turkey burgers, chicken breasts, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, rice and sweet potatoes. I’ve also written out my meals for tomorrow through Wednesday. I’m still in cutting macros, but I’m working my way up to maintaining macros. This means I get to consume more carbs, but it also means that I need to slowly introduce them so that my body doesn’t get completely shocked. 

This part of the journey is just as nerve racking as the beginning, but I love goal setting and seeking to achieve something better. I’m still learning about myself and what I’m capable of, but I’ve learned that I can do so much more than I previously thought. 

Cheers to a new week and to surprising ourselves.

❤️ Cristina