The Importance of Dating Yourself

Dating is a pretty big part of the world that we live in. Obviously. Everywhere you look there is a new celebrity couple or a couple sitting on the same side of a booth at a restaurant or maybe one of your close friends has a new bae. There’s not really any way to avoid it, even though most of us constantly joke about trying to avoid it at all costs.

I have (very) recently become a member of the dating world. I’ve been on some fun dates and some reallllllyyyy bad ones (hilarious stories available upon request). I don’t know why I decided to actively start trying to date people, I guess the time just seemed right. But, I have enjoyed getting to know new people and I feel more empowered through the whole process. I really think I’ve learned more about myself and what I am looking for in a future partner.

The process of dating is exhausting. Texting/chatting leads to phone calls that lead to an invite that leads to a drawn out process of getting ready that leads to an excruciatingly nerve-wracking car ride to meet someone over dinner for the first time. I’m exhausted just typing it all out. Putting detail into every brush of mascara and what shoes you are going to settle on. This whole shoe thing is even more of a hurdle if you are tall because God-forbid you show up and are taller than said person. So much effort is put into something that may turn out to be a lovely relationship or ends before you even get through the appetizer.

Can you imagine what our life would look like if we put that much effort into dating ourselves?

I started my job about 8-months ago and have spent a good portion of that on the road traveling.  After a few months, I really started to struggle. I felt like all of my friends were moving on with their lives while I was trapped alone in a hotel. So, after feeling sorry for myself for about three days. I decided I was going to date me. I mean if I’m going to date other people, I might as well date myself too, right? 

For the past few months, I have taken myself on a date every couple of weeks. I don’t broadcast it obviously, just like I don’t broadcast the dates that I go on with other people. I get ready, just like I would for a “real” date. It feels really good to take control of my time and intentionally invest it into myself. I’ve gone to dinner, museums, parks, and the movies. Alone. Dressed up. And what have I done? I’ve had a freaking blast.

What else has happened since I decided to date myself?

  • I’ve eaten a lot of good food and seen a lot of good movies. Best part of doing this alone? You never have to compromise on a meal or a movie. You’re the only one picking so you can do whatever you want.
  • I’ve learned to not take my time for granted with other people. I can be comfortable alone, but I also know how fun it is to be surrounded by people and to enjoy the conversation and fellowship. If you’re always surrounded by others, it’s hard to miss them.
  • I’ve met tons of new people. Most of the time at a restaurant, there are other people there that are alone and looking to make connections and friends. I’ve met so many strangers that were just looking to have a random conversation.
  • I’ve had a better mental head space. When I wasn’t taking the time to date myself, I felt alone all the time while I was traveling. But, once I started to think of it as an event, instead of just hanging out alone, it changed the way I felt mentally.
  • I’ve learned to be comfortable in silence. And it has taken some time to get used to – because ya girl loves to talk. There’s not exactly anyone to talk to when you are sitting at a dinner table alone. So, I got to know myself better and learn that silence isn’t awkward or sad. Through the whole process I have grown to respect the quiet and even look forward to it.
  • I’ve learned to love myself more. Making the decision that I deserved to go on dates and be treated good really helped me to love myself. Especially because I was the one doing the dating.

If you’re reading this and cringing at the thought of having to go out and do something on your own, I really want to challenge you to do it. Even if you just go and have a drink somewhere alone or go get ice cream by yourself for 30 minutes. Making the intentional decision to date yourself is one of the best that you can make. It’s helped me to grow as a person. It was a decision I made late one Wednesday night as I went to my first movie alone. The movie was great and I didn’t have to worry about a bad kiss afterwards. Win/win huh?

If there is one thing I will shout from the rooftops until I lose my voice is the importance of loving yourself and truly believing that you deserve that love. So put on your favorite outfit and take yourself out. You deserve it.



Make Your Social Media Support You

Social Media can make or break you… literally. Most of you, and by most I mean all of you, probably found your way to my blog by connecting with me via social media. Social media is also an avenue for you keep up with your family & friends, favorite celebrities, gossip columns, restaurants, and other bloggers. We all know how annoying it can get when bloggers are constantly saying “swipe up.” I don’t know why, but I always end up swiping and diving into a two-hour tailspin of online shopping. I just don’t want to miss out on something good.

I type all of this to highlight the importance of social media and how beneficial it can be for someone that is trying to live & maintain a healthy lifestyle. Social media has been a place for me to connect with old and new people to talk about our lives. How they are similar and different. How we can continue bettering ourselves while encouraging others to be better. I have made so many connections with people, other bloggers, and even social media influencers that are so popular they have no clue I exist. I love them all equally.

I recommend that each of you try to find some accounts on whatever outlet you choose that you can connect with and that encourage you. I have tagged some of my favorite accounts back on my Instagram page, so go check them out! The material they post aligns with my own values and motivations that I have for my own life. They focus on all different things; healthy lifestyles, clothing, yummy food, travel & living your best life. One thing that they all have in common in uplifting others with the influence that they have via social media.

While there are a million and one different accounts that are amazing and encouraging, there are quite a few that are the complete opposite. Do any of you have those types of accounts that you follow? The things that they post just bring you down or make you feel worse about yourself? Sometimes they aren’t even an influencer on social media, they are just someone from class or a crazy ex-friend from high school. A negative influence on social media can be many things. Maybe they constantly post actions and words that don’t line up with your beliefs. Maybe they constantly put down other bodies that are not the “ideal size.” Or maybe you simply don’t enjoy the content that they post.

I am giving you permission now to hit that unfollow button quicker than you can read this sentence.

There are so many negatives in life that we cannot control. Challenges that we have no choice but to face. What’s one area that we have complete control over? The accounts that we follow on social media. Just let those people go. They may never notice that you unfollowed them, but it will cause a shift within yourself. Our minds are extremely susceptible to crap and it can be hard for us to weed through what is good and bad. So we just soak it all in. If you only have the good in your feed – there is nothing to process except for goodness.

There is so much good out there so why even bother with the bad? Like I said, this is one of the only places where you really have control over the two. The term “healthy lifestyle” does not just apply to one area of the body. Your lifestyle choices are holistic and involve all of the mental and physical parts of our life. Make your next move towards a healthier lifestyle and let those negative people go (from your social media at least). You get to hand-select who is going to be a part of your support system, so who are you going to choose?



10 Ways to Create the Perfect Home Gym on a Budget

I enjoy variety. In every aspect of life… I like many different flavors of ice cream. I never discriminate with my tacos. But, you all know that by now… What’s another area of life that I like a wide range of possibilities and variety? With my workouts!

One of my favorite ways to work out is at home. I don’t do it often, but when I have the opportunity I can always squeeze in a great workout. Many people are afraid of working out at home and feel like they won’t be able to get in a good workout if they aren’t in the gym with a lot of equipment. Working out at home can be great for the seasoned fit person or can be great if you are just getting used to fitness and may have some nervousness about working out in front of others!

**Disclaimer: I did an arm workout one time with a glass container of pickles in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other and it worked surprisingly well. I’m a firm believer that peanut butter will never disappoint us.**

Getting in a good workout at home can be a challenge if you don’t have the right equipment to make it happen. I am going to make a list of the items that I like to use and link them below so that you can start building your own personal home gym. The items listed below are all focused on a budgeted-lifestyle. I’m doing the research for you to find the best products, all you have to do is spend the money. That’s the easy part…. right?

You don’t have to buy all of the items below to begin building your “perfect” home gym but they are all staple pieces to have at your house. Buy a bin or have a designated space where you can keep them all (you don’t have to have an entire room dedicated to it)! Don’t be afraid to move a couch to give yourself more room. Make your living space adaptable to a healthy lifestyle and get rid of those excuses!

  1. Yoga Mat
    • This doesn’t only have to be reserved for doing yoga for those of you who immediately wrote this one off. It can help to give you a non-slip space for HiiT workouts and ab circuits!
  2. Yoga Mat Cleaner
    • Pretty self explanatory here… Have you smelled a sweaty, musty yoga mat? You’ll thank me for this one. I promise.
  3. Resistance Bands
    • This is probably one of my favorite things! I bought myself a set of resistance bands that were un-looped and got a set of loops for Christmas and they have really changed the way that I do some of my favorite exercises. I keep a set in my gym bag to use while I am there too! I really recommend getting a set of these! Personally I prefer the looped version that I included in Option 1.
  4. Kettlebells
    • This is another really dynamic tool for getting in a good workout because they’re so versatile. For kettle bells, you are better off buying a set so you have some variety in your weights and can execute multiple different exercises. You can knock out abs, legs, booty, and arms just with this one thing!
  5. Sliders
    • I don’t have a set of these yet, but I want some so bad! These are great in homes that have carpet to give you the ability to slide easier to work on core exercises and glutes/legs. Here is a link to a video in case you aren’t sure what these are capable of doing! (Shoutout to Kelvin for the inso.. holy strong abs)
  6. Dumb bells
    • I don’t think you can actually have a home gym without a set of weights. Don’t feel like you have to buy an entire rack of weights to be able to work out at home. I only have one ten-pound set of weights and I have been able to make most exercises work. If they’re too heavy I just go back to my jar of peanut butter. Buy a set that you are comfortable with and then you can get more as you get more used to the weight. Weights are an at-home gym product that can get pretty pricey so I recommend starting with one set and working your way up!
  7. Step Up
    • This is not a necessity if you live in a home with steps! But, if not, having the ability to do some exercises incorporating a step can really help to increase the burn and get your heart rate up. If it’s cold, I use the fireplace stoop and when it’s warm I just use the outside porch steps! Here are some options if you don’t have that ability:
  8. Foam Roller
    • A foam roller can really help to make a difference when it comes to muscle health and reduction of soreness. It doesn’t feel like it’s working whenever you do it (ouch) but after you are finished there really is a relief down in the core of your muscles. You can find these just about anywhere these days including TJ Maxx. Incorporate a roller into deep stretching sessions or a yoga day.
  9. Fanny pack
    • At-home workouts are also a great excuse to get outside! If the weather is even slightly bearable I will try to do my cardio outdoors. Another perk of a yoga mat is having the ability to lay it in the driveway or grass and workout in nature. Worst part about working out outdoors… what are you supposed to do with all of your stuff? I bought one of these and I am obsessed with it because it’s the perfect size for all of my essentials but is still athletic and not bulky
  10. Speakers
    • One of my favorite parts about working out at home versus the gym is that I can blast my music instead of worrying with headphones. There’s just something fun about having the music blaring all around you… I’m sure my neighbors really love it too. I got a Google Home Mini for Christmas and it has a great sound and I don’t have to stop working out to ask her to change the song or make it louder.

Well there you have it.. 10 items that will forever change the way that you work out at home. You don’t need all of these things to have a great workout & and you definitely don’t have to buy them all at one time. Start slowly working your way up to having what you need. My first recommendation is buying a yoga mat, the resistance bands and a set of weights. With just those three items you can get in a full body workout without ever stepping out of your house. Fitness is all about making your lifestyle work for you and finding a sustainable way to do it. Happy shopping!


P.S. I don’t own anything or work with any of the links that I shared. I just kept my eye out for some discounts and shared some of the great products that have worked for me!

Back on Track

No one said that living a healthy lifestyle was easy. And if they did – they have lied to you. I am definitely willing to admit that it is probably harder for me than a lot of people. Once you live really unhealthily for some odd twenty-three years you start to get comfortable in the unhealthy. There is also a huge difference between living a healthy lifestyle and actively trying to lose weight.

At the beginning of the year when I set my yearly goals, I decided that I wanted to go from my current weight maintenance back into weight loss. So for the last few weeks I have been paying closer attention to what I’m eating and being more intentional about my workouts. But, something just wasn’t working. I wasn’t seeing the results that I have obviously seen in the past. And bam in about three weeks I got myself really frustrated.

Instead of letting myself be mad, I really thought back to the goals I have reached in the past. I realized one huge thing that I have been missing – structure. I have always been a person that does well with guidelines, balance, and a schedule.

I haven’t been using anything to track my food, I have just been listening to my body. And while that works really great for a lot of people (and myself when I am in maintenance mode), it does not work great for me if I am trying to lose.  I, conveniently, am able to forget if I slip up and eat five pieces of candy.

I am excited to say that I have decided to start back on Weight Watchers and track my points throughout the day instead of calories or using another app. I am comfortable with the program and have seen great results with it before, so it only made sense for me to begin the program again.

I am willing to add a shameless WW plug because the plan really has been so great for me. There are tons of foods that don’t have to be tracked like fruits & veggies, chicken, corn, beans, and more. It’s easy and I love the flexibility that it provides. I really don’t have to change much from the way that I eat now, but it helps to keep me on a leash (that I need). And as an added plus, it’s less than $20 a month. I know it seems crazy to some to pay for a weight loss aid/program. But, it really is an investment in your health. And if that investment is only gonna cost me a 20, I can probably handle it. I only utilize the WW app to track my food for the day. I don’t attend any meetings or use any additional supplements. It’s simple!

The Importance of Tracking

People reach out to me pretty frequently for tips & tricks and this is probably the easiest and one of the most important. You HAVE to know what you are putting in your body. And it is hard to remember all of the things that you have eaten in a day when you get to the end. It is even harder to remember when you get to Friday and you are trying to remember why you didn’t see any results that week.

You can choose whatever route you want. A hand-written journal, an app (like WW or MyFitnessPal, or just a note on your phone. Keeping a food diary is one of the oldest tricks in the book – because it works! You just want to ensure whatever avenue you are using is one that fits the lifestyle that you are trying to live. I would say that the typical is an app on your phone and there are literally millions of free ones available. If you are wanting to use an app with more features there are many available at a low price. Many of them even offer a workout component if you are wanting to track your fitness alongside your daily nutrition intake. Finding an app that is all-inclusive is important and much more user friendly! No one has the time (or space because you know phones gotta make life difficult in any way that they can) to open five different apps to track their day.

And while it seems silly, some way to track your progress/food/water is just another way to hold yourself accountable. I have literally not eaten something (that I knew I didn’t need to) because I didn’t want to have to put it down in my app. Track it all and you can really get a better glimpse where your health is! Be honest with yourself in your tracking and record all of it. Even if you eat 84 points/1750 cals worth of sour cream and onion cheddar ruffles (not that I am speaking from experience…….)

It’s fun to be able to track your progress. And it’s even more fun to track the great results that you are making. Here’s to being back on track and a plan that works for me!


IDK my BFF, Taco Bell; The “Healthy” Guide to Eating Fast Food

I get personally offended when someone doesn’t like fast food. I am also extremely jealous because I wish for one second that I could pretend like I don’t LOVE cheesy fiesta potatoes from Taco Bell… I mean have ya’ll had those things? Stick a fork in me, because I am done.

I am just going to preface this whole discussion that the “healthy” in the title is in quotes because I do indeed realize that fast food is not exactly “healthy.” I recognize that eating all-natural, real food is a better option. But, that’s in a perfect world. And I just do not live in one of those perfect worlds. I eat from home about 90% of the time… the other 10% I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Fast food is called fast food for a reason. It’s easy and quick and sometimes that’s all that you have time/money for. I am not a nutritionist by any stretch of the word, but I am a real person that has made some good choices in the last two years. And just as I promised when starting this blog, I am going to share what I’ve learned. Luckily, I have learned a few things about fast food.

The following list has a few different of my go-to’s when I am in a pinch and catch myself only being able to run to a fast food joint. I also sometimes like to just feel like I am a part of the group and don’t always have to be the one requesting that we go somewhere healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t all about excluding yourself in the name of vegetables. It’s about balance – and my life balance includes tacos.


  • Starbucks
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (shameless plug)
    • Sous Vide Egg Bites: Egg White & Red Pepper
      • 170 cals
    • Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
      • 210 cals
    • Spinach, Feta & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap
      • 290 cals

Starbucks has a lot of great options, especially for breakfast. You can knock out a low cal coffee and warm breakfast item all in one stop.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (second shameless plug)
    • Veggie Egg White Wake Up Wrap
      • 160 cals
    • Ham, Egg & Cheese on English Muffin
      • 380 cals

Dunkin has an entire menu called DDSmart which are items aimed at being “healthier” options on the menu. Sticking with these items when ordering will help you to stray from unruly calories. Be careful when ordering oatmeal out at places thinking that it will be healthy (because it looks like toxic sludge), it is often riddled with sugar. For example, oatmeal at DD has 35 grams of sugar in one cup!

  • McDonald’s 
    • Egg White Delight
      • 260 cals
      • This is my absolute favorite breakfast sandwich! Always my quick go to breakfast.

Stay away from biscuits from any place… it’s a big no no. This is a great option for a fast cheap breakfast because you can find McDonald’s anywhere and they have Diet Dr. Pepper on tap.


Human instinct tells us to go for a salad no matter where we go when we want something healthy. Salads are not always your only option, and they are often a worse idea than just eating a burger. For example, a Zaxby’s Fried Cobb Zalad has 820 calories while a Big Mac rings in with 540 cals. You tell me which one you would pick… *the correct answer is Big Mac*

  • Subway 
    • Easiest place to eat healthy because you can customize!
    • Choose wheat bread and a simple meat. Chicken breast or turkey breast are going to be your best options.
    • Steer clear of any complex sandwiches – tuna, chicken bacon ranch, meatball sub. If you’re gonna eat these options, you might as well treat yourself to chicken nugs
    • Try to avoid cheese if possible and full flavor sauces
    • My sandwich: Wheat bread, turkey, pickles, olives, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber and mustard. Pack on the vegetables and you won’t even miss the cheese and ranch. (never thought I’d see myself type that)
  • Bojangles 
    • So random, but one of my favorites!
    • Roasted Chicken Bites
      • 125 cals
    • Green Beans
      • 40 cals
    • Cajun Pintos
      • 120 cals
    • The protein from the chicken and pinto beans really help to keep you full.
  • Wendy’s 
    • Chili
      • Small: 170 cals
      • Large: 250 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 360 cals
      • Skip the honey mustard and just get regular mustard to save some calories!
    • Pair the chicken sandwich and get chili as your side to make it a combo!
  • Chic Fil A
    • This is really the mecca if you’re trying to stick with healthier choices
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 310 cals
    • Grilled Nuggets
      • 8 piece: 140 cals
      • 12 piece: 210 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
      • 350 cals
    • Grilled Market Salad
      • 330 cals
    • Fruit Cup
      • 45 cals
    • Chicken Noodle Soup
      • 240 cals
  • McDonald’s 
    • Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
      • 350 cals
    • Well, that’s about all I’ve to offer you from there…
  • Taco Bell 
    • Just because we all know I’m a fan, but it’s a no for “healthy.”
    • Is this gonna stop me?
      • No.
    • Reminder: life balance, people.

You Have Options

People constantly reach out to me because they are afraid to give up their freedom while trying to get healthy. I share posts like this because there is so much freedom gained from a healthy lifestyle. Freedom to do the things that you weren’t able to do before – and there is still the freedom to eat fast food. Don’t let fear be the thing that stands in your way.

Please screenshot some of these menu items and when you’re out and in a pinch, you can refer back to some ideas and options that you have! Keeping these items on hand can keep you from getting overwhelmed with a menu and making rash decisions in the drive thru.

As always, I’m here with any questions or to talk you off a ledge before you dive into a 20-count McNugget.




Anyone ready for 2019 yet? How to Re-focus on 2018 before the year is up!

We have just about made it a month into the New Year. We have also made it about one month in to where people start giving up on their goals and chalking it up as a loss for the whole year. People… we have seriously got to stop doing this. You give up on something 23 days in when you have 342 more days to make it happen. One month in when you still have eleven more. But, I get it. Having a goal and going after it is hard. If it it was easy don’t you think we would all be visions of health and glamour by now with a million dollars sitting in the bank?

While we are talking about the physical calendar maybe it’s time that we stop focusing on it so much. As a society, we get so hung up on the day and month and I think that mindset is one huge thing that stands in our way of reaching our goals. For example, we all know that a diet can only start on Monday. If you slip up on a Monday or don’t go grocery shopping on Tuesday, we innately believe that you have to wait until the following week. Health on Tuesday is just pointless… right? Whenever you actually think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Same goes for goals in the new year. “I ate like crap again all January, so I’m just gonna make 2019 my year.” Lying to yourself over and over continues to build a negative mindset within yourself. You’re just teaching yourself that you don’t have to follow-through with what you want.

Just a disclaimer… January has not been fabulous. I’m not even gonna pretend like it has just been a beautiful month and you are all way behind in the game because January has been less than kind to you. I had my wisdom teeth removed at the start of the year, got two dry sockets (can you say ouch?), and then a weird bought of the flu/crud. The water heater also decided one day that it wanted to start pouring water out into the kitchen. It just felt like one thing after another.

So, I get it. It’s a little funny and a little sad how much I get it. I get feeling like 2018 is already beating you up. I mean realistically, there’s nothing that we can do to stop it from kicking us up for the rest of the year. But, we can decide how we are going to react to it. Once you decide to overcome the calendar, and those thoughts that it’s too late to reach your goals, how do you refocus and finish out 2018 strong?


It’s so easy to get caught up at the beginning of the year. Everyone is hype and so motivated and you all start scratching down nine million goals in a frenzy. Chill. It’s okay to have a list of 25 goals or literally just one.

One of the best parts of focusing on goals well into the new year is that you have a little bit more time to really focus on what YOU want. When everyone starts making their resolution lists I feel like there are blurred lines and everyone ends up trying to do the same thing. Pick goals that you actually want to happen. It makes it a lot easier to go after something that you actually want. Sit down this week for 15-30 minutes alone and really think about goals and want you want to see out of the rest of the year. Focus on you and focus on where you want to be.


After your 30 minute personal goal-setting sesh, write them down. I’ve said it before, but I’m sure some of you just needed a second reminder to get those things down on paper (sarcasm). Having a visual guide to see your goals is just an added accountability factor. You don’t have to advertise them to everyone, but when you see it in ink it really does make you feel more accountable to following through with it. If a big display isn’t your thing, put them in a note on your phone. Take an extra 5 minutes to write down all of your goals and thoughts you had during your thinking session, that way it keeps you intentional while you are thinking and can keep your mind from wandering.

Forget the Calendar 

It really is time that we stop getting so hung up on the calendar. And time in general. If you decide one Friday afternoon that you’re ready to make a change, make the change. You don’t have to wait until Sunday to go to the grocery store. You can workout on Wednesday for the first time of the week, it doesn’t have to start on Monday. The cardio machines still turn on, on Tuesday afternoons. Stop focusing on the time that you didn’t do what you wanted, and focus on the time that you have left to make it happen.


Jump in. Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Come to terms with your goals, get comfortable with the decision that you’ve made, and just start.

The process isn’t always glamorous, but the results always are.

Fall Off 

It’s bound to happen at some point. Or at least I think it happens to everyone at some point? If you have never had a moment of doubt or fallen off the goal wagon, please teach me your ways because ya girl is not a pro.

It’s okay to fall off, whether that is intentional or not. Heck, I plan when I’m gonna be bad. I know weeks in advance that on the weekend on March 16th I’m gonna eat like a psycho and I can’t wait. Or sometimes, your fall off can be a really bad day where you get home and eat a whole bag of Doritos. It’s life. It happens. But, what you don’t get to do it fall off the wagon and start hating yourself or thinking that your progress isn’t valid or important. A mistake doesn’t define your journey and it’s not going to completely alter the progress that you’ve made. Just don’t let it turn into a long string of slip-ups.

Start Again

This is the most beautiful part of the journey to me. You have the ability to start over time and time again. There’s no need for defeat or discouragement, just a new found motivation and excitement for the journey ahead. Sometimes starting again isn’t fun. (Let’s be real, most of the time it’s not fun.) But, I have found that if I do what I know is right, regardless of if I want to or not, I have a new found appreciation for myself. It’s almost a sense of pride that develops knowing that you can do difficult things and you can do them well. Loving yourself enough to do it is so empowering. Even if you’d rather be eating a pint of ice cream.

I hope that 2018 has been really good to you, but if it hasn’t that’s okay too. Remember that life really is all about the way that you react to the things that are happening around you. Take your power to react and put it all into your fight to making your goals happen.


What’s in My Cup?


I cruised through 24 years of my life without needing coffee. And yes, the word need was intentional. This last year coffee and I have entered into a very committed relationship. I started drinking it while traveling for work when many mornings began around 4:30am. And the hotel always had free coffee. Let’s be serious, I will always take advantage of whatever the hotel has for free. But, through testing out all of the different hotel coffee options, I realized it makes a big difference in my energy for the day.

I want to first caution you to drink it in moderation. Coffee is not something that our bodies need to survive, although some of us may feel like it. None of these suggestions are meant to be taken advantage of five times a day. I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day as a jumpstart to have a smoother morning. Coffee can also cost waaaaay more than it’s worth and can pack on unnecessary calories. Hopefully these suggestions will help you develop some healthier coffee choices or at least give you some more variety!

I’m going to break this coffee-blog down as follows:

  1. Health-benefit filled coffee
  2. Various Creamer Types
  3. Cold Coffees
  4. Ordering On-The-Go

1. Health-benefit Filled Coffee

  • Bulletproof Coffee
    • This is a high-fatty coffee that is often used by people who abide by a keto-diet or low-carb. Do some research on this type of coffee before you just start churning up butter and oil with coffee
    • Recipe: Blend coffee, 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter or ghee, 2 Tbsp coconut oil. Use a high power blender because they don’t blend easily. You can also add some stevia or sugar-free sweeteners for taste. Many also add collagen to the mixture. If you don’t like the idea of butter you can sub with a dairy-free creamer.
    • Benefits? Credited for providing people with extra energy over normal coffee and fat loss. This is all a part of a ketogenic diet (which I don’t follow, but I know works for many). I like to provide you all with more than just my opinion. To check out keto… visit here.
  • Collagen Peptides
    • This is a simple, quick add-in that has many health benefits.
    • Collagen peptides are a powder form of collagen derived directly from animal collagen. You can also find similar collagen from plants. I use products from a company called Vital Proteins.
    • What do Collagen Peptides do? They are an amazing source of protein, so it can help keep you fuller in the morning with breakfast & coffee. It is great for digestion and gut health. If you have tummy issues, many have seen collagen peptides making it feel better and have better digestion. It increases energy and greatly helps to ease soreness. I have noticed a difference myself between gym soreness with and without the collagen peptides.
    • If you are looking to start adding collagen to your coffee, check out Collagen Peptide Creamer by Vital Proteins. It’s a way to get creamer and collagen all in one.
  • Protein Coffee
    • This is one of my favorites!
    • It is great way to have breakfast-on-the-go, a snack, an extra dose of protein and an easy way to make a trip to Starbucks a healthy one.
    • Order or make an espresso shot (or two if you’re really struggling) and mix with a pre-made protein shake. My favorites are either Premier Protein or Iconic Protein. They are both relatively cheap and can be found at most grocery stores/Walmart/Target. I recommend the Premier Protein in caramel flavor. You can also mix it with a cup of coffee, the protein shake won’t be as strong and you’ll have more liquid to drink. Just depends on what works for you!

2. Various Creamer Types

If you’re anything like me (and most of the world) creamer in your coffee is a must-have. Adding creamer can also mean adding in un-wanted dairy and a plethora of calories. I’ve found a few ways to combat a few of these disasters.

  • Sugar-free Creamer
    • Every grocery store has the typical creamer brands that make flavors in sugar-free style. There is a small difference between the taste of them and the original “all-sugar” flavors.
    • The reduction in sugar also helps to cut the calories almost in half.
  • Fat-free Creamer
    • Same as above, you can find these just about anywhere. The fat-free can help reduce some calories
  • Dairy-Free Creamer
    • NutPods is one of the most popular brands. You can order online or find it at Publix.
    • There are other brands of dairy-free creamers and almond milk creamers that can be found at the local grocery store.  Califia Farms tastes great and so does Natural Coffee Mate. Click on their names to check out the brands!
    • Don’t immediately be turned off to these because they are dairy free! They taste almost exactly the same and they can help reduce the calories that is in your typical cup of coffee.
  • Coconut Creamer
    • This is my new go-to!
    • The coconut milk creamer helps to “milk-y” (can’t think of a better adjective for that) down the coffee and then I add a tbsp of regular creamer on top of it to add flavor.
    • I use Trader Joe’s brand of this and it costs under $2.00.

3. Cold Coffees

I am a total coffee newbie, so this is where I began my coffee experience. I spent a couple of weeks just purchasing various brand of Cold Brew and Iced Coffee from the store. If you want to start doing this – a couple a tips… They are much more expensive than just buying and making your own coffee. If you are just wanting to dip your toes in the coffee pool this can be a good, non-overwhelming option. If you go this route, be sure that whatever blend you get has “no added sugars.” Pre-made coffee doesn’t have to have any sugar to be made, but many companies will try to sneak it in there on you.

4. Ordering One The Go

Here are some great options if you are in a pinch and need to order on-the go from Starbucks. I’m sure other places will have things similar to this!

  • Order Up:
    • Mix one or two shots of espresso with protein drink (order in vent cup with ice) – best part is this doubles as coffee and breakfast
    • Iced coffee mixed with protein shake
    • Cafe Americano
    • Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato or Skinny Latte
    • Grande Skinny Vanilla Lattee with nonfat Milk
    • Iced Coffee with sugar free syrup of choice and nonfat or almond milk
    • Skinny Soy Cinnamon Dulce Latte
      • Tall Latte with soy milk and 2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dulce syrup
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask about fat-free and sugar-free options and ways that you can cut corners. They are used to those questions and usually can get them answered pretty quickly!

If you don’t love coffee – don’t try to force yourself to fall in love with it. Try your hand at a hot tea if you are wanting a morning drink that comes with a little extra energy. Tea has just as much caffeine as coffee and can be sweetened with just a single pack of Splenda!

Hopefully these suggestions have given you a few new tips and ways to have a healthier relationship with coffee. Because let’s be real, this is never a break-up than any of us need to go through.