Increase your Motivation with Bright Workout Wear

We all know that it is not necessary to put your full make-up or try extra hard to put your hair in the perfect ponytail in order to have a killer workout. However, picking out clothing for the gym that you are excited to put on can affect your mood and even push you harder in the gym. Putting on bright colors right before my workout re-energizes me and helps me get pumped. I love that in the gym my workout clothes can be as “loud” as I want them to be. I can wear colors and styles that I cannot wear at work or out on the town.

There are days when I am running low on clean clothes and I am forced to wear a super bland outfit I’m not crazy about. When I have those days I am less motivated, less confident and less likely to do that extra rep or run that extra mile. Weightlifting and wearing bright/fun workout clothes make me so happy and up for a challenge. If you are one to normally wear a lot of blacks and greys, I urge you to start adding bright colored pieces to your workout wardrobe. I started using this app called “Stylebook” to plan out my outfits using my actual clothing. I used Stylebook to create the outfit below. I will probably write about Stylebook in a future blog post because I love it so much!


Have you seen a change in your motivation to work out since adding bright colored clothes to your gym ritual? Do you love wearing bright workout clothes? Let me know your thoughts on this topic below!

In good health,
Lauren xo

Opti-Bar Product Review

Behold: The world’s best-selling protein is now portable!

The bars come in 5 on-the-go flavors: Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies ‘N Cream, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Cinnamon Pecan Roll. Each bar has less than 4 grams of sugar and contains 8-10 grams of fiber. Every flavor packs 20g of high quality whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate. I prefer this softer bar over the similar Quest Bar because the Opti-Bar is less chewy and less in your face sweet.
Below is a definitive foodie-approved ranking of Optimum Nutrition Opti-Bar:
1) White Chocolate Raspberry
2) Cinnamon Pecan Roll
3) Chocolate Brownie
4) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5) Cookies ‘N Cream

1) White Chocolate Raspberry: First impression opening the bar was great. It was super fragrant with a scent of fresh raspberries and was stuffed to the brim with mini white chocolate chips throughout the bar. This flavor is crave worthy, moist and hands-down my favorite out of the line. I’ve got to get myself a box of this flavor!

2) Cinnamon Pecan Roll: This bar reminds me of fresh baked cinnamon rolls. It features a vanilla bean frosting coating and sweet cinnamon base. The bar is soft without being too chewy.

3) Chocolate Brownie: This bar doesn’t have an inside shot because it was the first one I devoured. It has a deep chocolate base with chunky chocolate chips throughout the bar. It could help curb hunger and chocolate cravings all in one.

4) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: This bar had lots of large chocolate chunks. Like all these bars they are not chalky and have the consistency of a less chewy quest bar. I want to try this crumbled over halo top so badly!

5) Cookies ‘N Cream: I was surprised to see a light chocolate base with real cookie chunks accompanied by chunks of Oreo-cookie-like cream filling. The chunks were plentiful and definitely not half-assed.

Overall, I would recommend these bars to anyone looking for an easy way to curb their cravings on-the-go. These also are a super easy way to get your protein content up without the shaker or an oven! I love that they have less than 4g of sugar in each bar so you can be sure you’re not consuming too much processed sugar. You can purchase yours today here.

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Do Something You Hate Everyday

Which exercise do you absolutely dread?

My challenge to you this upcoming week is to really think about the answer to that question. Which exercises really challenge you? Is it running? Is it decline push-ups? Start seeing that weakness as an opportunity to challenge yourself rather than shy away from it.

For me those difficult exercises are pull ups, push-ups, dips and even burpees. Commit to performing a certain amount of your problem exercises every time you work out and they will eventually become a hell of a lot easier and I guarantee you’ll feel stronger.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with improving my push-up stamina. The way I’ve been doing this can seem a little crazy. When I feel like pushing myself a little extra I will perform a week of 100 push-ups a day. Usually I complete them in sets of 10-15. It is easier to meet my push-up quota on days where I work out because I simply add in the sets here in there to my normal supersets.

Overall my push up challenge wasn’t extremely difficult to complete, it definitely made me stronger, gave me a great pump and the satisfaction of overcoming my weakness. Since then I have completed it three separate times. It is important to note that you should have weeks off from this program to recover and grow the target muscles. During the push -up challenge be aware that you are working your chest and deltoids into overtime so make sure you are listening to your body when chest and delt day come around.

You can also perform any other problem exercise in place of pushups but depending on which exercise you select increase or decrease daily reps accordingly (Ex. Pull ups I would shoot for 3 sets of 6 reps daily, trying to get as many unbroken as possible…etc.) Please join me in this weekly challenge starting next Monday and let me know how it goes!!


(When I had to get those push-ups in but was mid-hike)

Don’t get too Big

“Don’t get too big”

Something I hear all too often preached to me and also to my peers. I always question, why would you put someone down for striving to be the best version of themselves? It is not easy balancing a social life, healthy eating and training. Is it hard? Hell yes, but it’s worth it. This work takes discipline and hard work and should be admired not put down.

This comment also stems from ignorance, the “too big” they are referring to most likely can only be achieved with the use of some kind of steroids. Lifting weights does not make women “big” and “bulky”. Lifting weights empowers women. It has made me a stronger person inside and out. Most importantly it has driven me to share the amazing feeling I get from heavy lifting with other women and encourage them to fight gymtimidation and break the status quo.

It is not your job to make everyone happy. It is not your job to achieve a certain body type for someone else. Do what you love and set goals for yourself and only yourself. I’m rooting for you.

Pumpkin Protein Pancake Stack


Me: Sees one leaf on the ground
Me again: immediately bakes pumpkin spice everythang.

This pumpkin spice stack is mouthwatering. The pancakes themselves are super moist, delicious and exactly what you need this season. I love dark agave on pancakes. It is always my go to. I usually add a little bit of maple extract to make it taste more like pure maple syrup. I love agave because it is refined sugar free and has a lower glycemic index.
Feel free to sub the Trader Joe’s pancake mix for any mix you have laying around. You can even replace it with oat flour. The same goes for the protein powder but make sure it is decent for baking. Feel free to experiment with toppings some of my favorites are: pumpkin puree mixed with Truvia, pumpkin pie spice and plain yogurt, pumpkin morsels, white chocolate chips and Frozen Truwhip. Get creative!

Pumpkin Protein Pancake Stack Ingredients:
-100g canned pumpkin
-1 serving Trader Joe’s toasted coconut pancake mix
-1 egg white
-1 tbsp. almond milk unsweetened
-1 tbsp.. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-15g True Nutrition vanilla whey protein
-10g coconut flour
-1 packet Truvia
-Pumpkin pie spice

-Mix ingredients in a large bowl
-Spray large skillet and cook 2-3 minutes on each side
-Makes about 10 small pancakes
-Top with nonfat ready whip and agave

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 5 pancakes 3.5 g 30.5 g 11 g 197
Macros for 10 pancakes 7 g 61 g  22 g 395

*Makes 10 small pancakes*

Selecting the Best Coconut Water

Coconut water naturally supports hydration. It is my favorite drink to rejuvenate me after a long weekend or after a hard workout. Due to the high potassium levels coconut water can reduce blood pressure because it lessens the effects of sodium.


Again coconut water is a great drink choice because:

  • Significantly lower in calories than most sports drinks
  • Naturally fat- and cholesterol free
  • More potassium than 4 bananas
  • Super Hydrating

How do I choose the right coconut water?
With so many coconut waters appearing on the market this can be overwhelming. Obviously the best choice is to buy all organic coconut water that is raw and organic such as the one from Juice Press. Although, I’m balling on a budget so I am going to have to settle for something more affordable. Below you will find how to differentiate between the good and bad.

Plain Coconut Water:
Plain coconut water? So this must always be just straight up coconut water? That isn’t always the case. The ZICO brand coconut water is just coconut water while the Vita Coco version has a tiny bit of sugar. The difference in sugar grams between the two is only 2g which is very minimal. So I am assuming that 2g is the only amount of added sugar in the Vita Coco. Another plain coconut water without added sugar is O.N.E .


Flavored Coconut Waters:
Watch out for coconut waters with sugar listed in the ingredients. Ideally look for one’s with natural flavors and sweetened with stevia not concentrate or sugar if you are looking for a low carb option. ZICO Watermelon Raspberry Flavored Coconut Water is a good option because it is sweetened only with stevia. Taste wise my favorite is Vita Coco’s Peach and Mango coconut water. The ingredients are only fruit purees and coconut water so although this is higher in carbs than the stevia flavored one at least the carbs are not coming from refined sugars.


ZICO Coconut Water Line Review:

ZICO coconut water like most contains as much potassium as a banana and contains 5 electrolytes. ZICO coconut water is also a non-GMO product.

ZICO Chocolate Flavored Coconut Water:


This is a truly unique coconut water. Unlike any I have ever tried. This coconut water is so creamy it is pretty hard to believe it contains no dairy. It is a tasty blend of 80% coconut water, chocolate flavor and coconut cream. Lets not forget it also contains 5 electrolytes! I think this one is my favorite although some of the other flavors are lighter and more refreshing.

ZICO Watermelon Raspberry Flavored Coconut Water:


I like that the fruit flavors here are not from concentrate. They are of natural origin and there is no sugar added in this product. The sweetness of it comes from natural Stevia extract without refined sugar. This flavor is sweet but definitely a refreshing change from water. This would make an ideal poolside drink.

ZICO Pineapple Flavored Coconut Water:


I liked the pineapple flavored coconut water but it was not as sweet as other varieties I’ve tried. I tend to like the sweeter pineapple coconut waters because I feel like they taste more reminiscent of a piña colada.

ZICO Natural Coconut Water:


I am not normally a fan of plain coconut water but this one is pretty good. I still prefer to mix it into all fruit smoothies however. Although you can rest assured that it contains only one ingredient, coconut water!

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VBURST Product Review

VBURST are portable vitamin shots. They are easily processed by the body and contain only natural ingredients, no fillers and are sweetened with monk fruit. I like that these are so portable and can be taken with you anywhere you go. They are in a leak proof container too so they won’t end up spilling in your bag. It is also nice to not have to worry about taking a pill.


Strawberry Lemonade (Fitness Blend):
This flavor is the fitness blend that contains vitamins as well as an amino acid blend with Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs), L-Glutamine, and L-Proline. This was my favorite one flavor wise as well as for content. L-Glutamine has a similar effect on the body as probiotics but it can also be used to curb sugar and carb cravings and preserve muscle tissue. L-Proline keeps muscles and joints flexible and skin wrinkle-free. It is very important to take BCAAs when you weight train so that you can recover faster and with less delayed onset muscle soreness so you can train just as hard the next day.


Orange Lime (Antioxidant Blend):
This one and the Tropical Mango VBURST are both antioxidant blends. I will elaborate on some of the supplements found in this beverage. Magnesium Citrate can help reduce anxiety and increase your energy. Green Tea Extract has antioxidants as well as can help you lose fat by jump starting your metabolism. Grape seed extract can help lower cholesterol and poor circulation. Panax Ginseng Extract can be used to prevent muscle damage and reduce anxiety. This also has a lot of the vitamins you’ll find in a multivitamin.


Tropical Mango (Antioxidant Blend):
This flavor has the exact same active ingredients as the Orange Lime variety. This one was just a tad too intensely flavored and sweet for my liking. Although I would probably drink it anyways.


Overall, I recommend these vitamin shots to anyone who has trouble swallowing pills or anyone looking to get the most out of their fitness journey in a safe manner.

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