Happy Friday round up 

Jeans are a ‘year round’ wardrobe staple. Dark, light, skinny, flare, boyfriend – so many styles. Thankfully, I can wear jeans to work which gives me more of a reason to own 5 too many pairs.

So, what’s the point here?

It’s to share a new (to me) pair of jeans that I picked up for the summer. They may appear to be nothin special – but these babies are SUPER soft and have a good stretch. They’re comfortable and flattering. They loosen up as you wear them but don’t bag out. I got mine a size down and they’re perfect. Not skin tight, and have a little give after I wear them for an hour or so. Once you wash em, they’ll tighten up again. Overall, great pair of pants that hit right at the ankle – perfect for sandals/flip flops/wedges. Also, wash isn’t too light (I find too light styles can make thighs look bigger – na thanks!).

Name: J brand jeans in Imagine

Buy em here: @Neimans


Next up, in a totally unrelated category – this new hair brush I bought off Amazon. It claims to help dry hair faster – because there are lil pieces of absorbent towel-like fabric between the bristles. I was skeptical, but I bought it. It lives up to its promise. It definitely helps get excess water out of my hair. I wouldn’t say it drastically changes my drying time – but it helps. Anything that minimizes the time I spent sweatin to the oldies in front of the hair dryer is good to me. See pic below of this funky brush.

Name: Goody QuickStyle 

Buy it here: Goody QuikStyle half round brush Color: Blue / Silver




Last thing – I’ve been in the market for a new protien bar for awhile. I realize many of these so called bars are closer to a candy bar than anything healthy. BUT, for me – if I can find one with the right ingredients and less sugar, I’m game. Because…if i have something like this in my purse, I’ll reach for it when I’m hungry rather than an office cookie or candy. By grabbing one of these vs. total junk, I save myself from going into a sugar spiral. Which is a classic Beth move. That’s when I start with one cookie or piece of candy and then think F%CK IT (I’ve already eaten crap) and just go bananas eating more. So, needless to say, these convenient bars often keep me on track during a busy work day. I’d heard a lot about ‘QUEST’ bars. I was skeptical. But through the magic of Amazon, I was able to order a variety box and get within 2 days so I could finally test out the hype. Well…let me tell you…they’re tasty. I got the chocolate variety pack – I didn’t hate any of the flavors but I LOVE the OREO and the COOKIE DOUGH the best.

What I like other than the taste: low sugar, gluten free (although I’m not a gluten free eater)

Now here is where I sound like a hypocrit – I don’t trust nor know all the ingredients in these bars. They have ‘natural flavors’ which is a red flag for lab created aka not from nature ingredients. I like these bars as a quick snack to keep me on track but I don’t allow myself more than 1 per day. And if you have the time or if you’re good at planning ahead, opt for some raw nuts or fresh fruit over any so called protien bar.

Name: Quest bar 

Buy em here: Quest Nutrition Protein Bar – Chocolate Lovers Variety Box of 12 (Packaging may vary)




Happy Friday!

creamy Protein shake recipe! 

There are some protein shake recipes that make an excellent replacement for that ice cream you’re craving.* Really. I’m serious.


Below is a new recipe I whipped together this AM.

        • Cup and a 1/2 of unsweetened coconut milk
        • Handful and a 1/2 of fresh berries – blueberries & strawberries (or you can do frozen berries as a substitute for the ice cubes)
        • A big tablespoon of {Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter, 16 Ounce} this stuff is so good. I typically do the unsweetened kind but I had to try the vanilla and woa, it’s good
        • A few ice cubes

Blend…pour….and enjoy!

This is such a tasty & filling protein shake. Doesn’t have that artificial sweetener after-taste.

Next time you’re in the mood for a sweet, cold treat – maybe try this?! It kept me full for a couple hours


There she is – in my Maureen & Brian’s wedding mason jar :0)



*Discloser: I’m still going to have ice cream today…it’s Memorial Day Weekend after all!

Day 1: Isagenix 9 day cleansing and fat-burning system – CC&NP gives it a whirl!

Today I started the Isagenix 9-Day Deep Cleansing and Fat-Burning System (link below to Isagenix page with more detail).


What is it: This 9 day system consists of 4 “cleanse days” (2 at the beginning, 2 at the end) and 5 “shake days.” This probably sounds worse than it is – although the first 2 cleanse day seem like the hardest because there is no (real) solid food on these days. It’s primarily liquid. Consisting of Isagenix ‘Cleanse for Life’ mix with water every couple of hrs, 2 small snacks which are essentially small wafers that you take 2 at a time up to 4x a day, 2 “natural accelerator” tablets daily, and lots more water and herbal tea if you want it. The 6 “shake days” consist of 2 shakes as meal replacements (I’m doing 1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner to start) with a ‘regular’ lunch that is no more than 400-600 calories and incorporates a lean protein, whole grain, and vegetables. There are also snacks you are able to have between meals – Isagenix has some of their own you can order or you can pull from an approved list (for example: unsalted raw almonds or grapes).

Isagenix products have to be ordered through their website or through one of their “associates.” Once you sign up/order you become an associate (they make you pay a 1x $29 ‘associate fee’) so if anyone is interested – give me a holler and I can get you started.

Cost: including tax it cost me roughly $188 (not including shipping). This includes all the cleanse-day mix, cleanse day “snack” wafers, shake mix for 9 days, an info packet, shake bottle (BPA free!), some sample bars + snacks, and measuring tape. *one bummer is they forced me to sign up for auto-ship for next month/moving forward…which I might go back and cancel – unless I want more shake packets once this is over.

Since I ordered I’ve gotten an email from one of the Isagenix representative preparing me for the system. They give you some tips on food/snacks to buy for yourself – and some general guidance on preparing. I’m diggin’ it.

Why am I doing this?:  I want to get myself into a better place physically and I want to prove to myself that I can stick to a plan. Since my wedding (over 1.5 years ago!) I’ve been inconsistent with both healthy eating and exercise. I consider myself a fit person – but I want to be fitter. I talk about it…I want it…but I haven’t put myself on a plan or stuck to anything. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. My goal is to lose a few lbs (avg. weight lost for Isagenix 9 day system is 6 lbs) and tighten up for summer.

I consider my ‘trouble zones’ my hips and bum…I’d love to feel a bit leaner and toned (not sure hips can be toned, ha) in both areas. I will be continuing to work out – which includes a mix of boxer conditioning, spin, and yoga 5x per wk during this ‘system.’

In this post I am going to share my current (Day 1) measurements, weight, and % body fat. Note – the weight and % body fat will be from my at-home scale which I think sucks – but I think it’ll be fine for these purposes. I’ll also share my Day 1 thoughts on the first cleanse day / how I’m feeling. 

Check back in for periodic updates. I’ll share before & after pictures and measurements once I’ve completed the last day of the system. Fingers crossed there are noticeable changes!

The numbers – Day 1:

–          Height: 5’7″

–          Weight: 133.2 lbs

–          % Body Fat: 18.8%

–          Waist: 29″

–          Bust: 33″

–          Rib cage: 29″

–          Abdomen/hips: 34″

–          Butt: 37.5″

–          Upper thighs: 22″

–          Upper knees: 14.5″

–          Calfs: 14.5″

–          Upper Arms: 11.5″

–          Body Mass Index: 20.8 / considered healthy/normal

*Side note – I gotta admit this isn’t a perfect science – doing my own measurements wasn’t easy…this was my first time. Hopefully they’re somewhat accurate!

Day 1 thoughts:

I got started much later than intended (which I WOULD NOT recommend) because I didn’t receive my Isagenix delivery before Monday AM.  I had to live off water and coffee (yes, some may consider coffee a cheat – but I refuse to give up my coffee…and I got a small vs. my typical medium or large. And just a splash of soy milk) until I got to work and my friend Shannon – who is also doing the 9 day system with me – ya! – was able to let me ‘borrow’ some of the Cleanse for Life mix, snack wafers, and natural accelerator tablets until I get home tonight…where I anticipate my delivery being  on the door step.

How I feel so far: I have a hungry pit in my stomach. Not a shocker there! It’s actually such a consistent pang of hunger that I don’t even have an appetite right now. Does that even make sense? I am chugging the liquids and keeping my eyes on the clock until I can pop my wafers. They are so small…chalky – but they kinda and I mean kinda do the trick to curb hunger and keep you trucking.

Aside for a hungry stomach – I don’t feel bad otherwise. I feel quite energized. I have to admit that yesterday I went a little bonkers – which I’m not saying is a good idea AT ALL…I ate cookies, chips…and a good dinner of sliders (from Whole Foods!). I suppose if I didn’t eat so much yesterday I might be more ravenous today.

I also did a 45 minute intense spin class this AM @ The Handlebar in South Boston. Awesome class. However, the system recommends moderate exercise on cleanse days.

For the record, I did a 1 day juice cleanse last Friday in ‘prep’ for this…I did it so that I could show myself I could handle at least 1 day of not eating solids…and I was fine. I was also coming off of 7 days in Aruba where I drank pina coladas/Miami Vices and ate French fries to my heart’s content. I also ended up having to cut a slit up the side of my bridemaids dress because it was too tight – which I wore on the tail end of the trip! It had fit FINE before I left for Aruba! Not to mention my bikini bottom felt more like a thong by the end of the trip too. So yea, another reason I wanted to do this was because I didn’t feel so hot in Aruba…but I had a great time and that’s what counts!

This was me in ARUBA – one of legit 12 dozen photos I made my hubby take…this was a good angle all around. But next time I take a bikini pic I don’t want to try so hard for a good shot!


My plan for later tonight is to finish out the cleanse day – head to bed early. I plan to do a boxing/conditioning class in the AM (I hope I have the energy for it) and continue trucking through day 2 of the cleanse. I keep telling myself…I CAN DO IT. I keep envisioning myself at the end and the satisfaction I’ll feel…hopefully that will keep me going.

If you have any questions – feel free to ask! I didn’t want to make this post too long – but happy to answer any questions or give you more info on anything I may have left off.

Click here for more info on the 9 day system: http://www.isagenix.com/en-US/products/categories/systems-and-paks/nine-day

Sue’s Red Quinoa Breakfast Dish

Nick and I are out in Minneapolis to meet our first niece (Sophie Sue) and see her get baptized. This morning, Nick’s Mom, Sue whipped up a delicious dish for us to snack on before church. I wanted to share the recipe because it was the first time I had quinoa as a sweet, breakfast option! could be a great alternative to oatmeal.

Below is the recipe and description of how yummy it tastes.

Ingredients/quick recipe:
~RED QUINOA (needs to be red, it is sweeter than traditional white quinoa)
~water to prepare the quinoa
~once quinoa is cooked Sue adds a dash of OLIVE OIL to keep it from sticking
~once quinoa has cooled…
~toast some SLICED ALMOND on the stove
~in a separate dish, zest an ORANGE PEEL
~Mix the quinoa, toasted almonds, and orange zest in a bowl
~grab an individual serving dish…
~drizzle HONEY on the bottom of the dish
~scoop a cup or so of the quinoa mix into the dish
~on top, add a dollop of RICOTTA and an additional drizzle of honey

I found this filling and super tasty. The crunch of the almonds and snap of the quinoa is a good mix. The orange zest adds a bit of lightness. Ricotta was some nice, added protein.YUM!

Happy Weekend, all!


Had to share this protein shake recipe!

2012 is the year of wedding planning and prep for me…I nearly lost my mind on a couple of occasions and have obsessed over everything from centerpieces, to my hair length, to my diet…it has been pretty exhausting but I can say I’ve learned a lot in the 8 or so months – especially about my diet and what makes me feel good vs. sick or too full or crampy. I’ve always been active but in the last year have picked up my work out routine and interest in healthier eating. Please don’t get me wrong, I frequently eat sweet treats and find myself out to dinner with my fiance for no good reason! – but, I have found a few key things that help me stay on track when I’m trying to be good. One thing in particular is my typical weekday breakfast – of the most delicious and filling protein shake.

Typically, I work out at 5:30am and this is a good post work out shake – however, I often have it even if I haven’t worked out because it keeps me full and it’s so easy to have on the run.

I searched hard to find a protein powder that avoids 3 things: dairy, soy, and gluten. Why you ask? Dairy– because I was having stomach troubles for months and got the lactose intolerance test…although my results were ‘inconclusive’ – it was highly recommended I avoid dairy…plus, I still get creeped out eating too much dairy with all the hormones they pump into dairy products. And I know dairy upsets my stomach and it also makes me feel bloated. Again, don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean I avoid it completely – you will find me eating ice cream here and there, and indulging when I feel it’s worth it. Soy because it has been well documented that soy is not a great ingredient for women – and soy is in everything, it’s scary. I won’t go into this topic too much – hey, I’m not a nutritionist nor a doctor – but from what I’ve read on soy, it is worth avoiding. And lastly, why gluten? Well, although I don’t have a gluten intolerance I do think that there is too much gluten in our diets – so again, avoiding it in my morning breakfast felt right for me. So after much trial and error – and tasting of flavors – I landed on this brand:

Vega Sport

It is called Performance Protein

It is plant-based – soy, gluten, and dairy FREE!

It comes in 3 flavors but I love the Chocolate

120 cals / 1g fat / 6g carbs / <1g sugar / 26g protein per serving – those are some pretty good #s! low fat, carbs, and sugar! and a pretty solid serving of protein

Here is the link if you want more info: http://vegasport.com/en/recover/performance-proteinImage

Where to buy: Whole Foods or Drugstore.com

The 28.9 oz. container will run you about $55 – but it’s huge – and it’ll last a couple of months if not longer…I have this almost everyday for breakfast, so if you do the math it is probably more economical and HEALTHIER than buying my own breakfast!

Now the recipe – I use the Magic Bullet – which I love because it’s compact and easy to clean, you can also use the actual blender cup to drink from if you’re in a rush/don’t have any travel cups – in one of the larger Magic Bullet cups I put:

  • 1 scoop VegaSport protein powder
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk (unsweetened kind/no sugar in either!)
  • 1/2 cup of water (to add volume!)
  • 1 cup of frozen berries (I go with blueberries and strawberries – from Trader Joes or Whole Foods) – I like frozen because they’re cheaper, and make your shake cold, like a real shake!
  • Sometimes 1/2 a banana depending on how many berries I put in
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Teaspoon or so of flaxseed (doesn’t taste like anything – but adds some omega-3s)
  • And one of my all time favorites – PB2 – powdered peanut butter – I won’t even get started on this, because it’s great for a lot of reasons – this isn’t a required ingredient – but it sure makes my shake tastier and richer: http://www.bellplantation.com/products/4-pack-pb2-powdered-peanut-butter.html

Blend for 30 seconds or so – pour into a travel cup and GO! so yummy!

Overall, this is a low sugar shake, which is surprising! The sugar really only comes from the fruit! PB2 only has 1g of sugar in 2 tablespoons. This is a delicious shake – you don’t feel like you’re drinking something flavorless…it is super tasty and chocolatey.

Love this! Do you use a protein shake – if so, which kind?