GWU Weight Management and Human Performance Lab


GWU Exercise Lab I mentioned that last week I visited the GWU Weight Management and Human Performance Lab to check out the lab and get some tests done so I can really figure out what the key is that will help get me where I want to be.

Todd Miller who runs the lab and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and was kind enough to offer me some testing so I can share my experiences with anyone interested in experiencing the lab.

Todd ran me through a series of tests and then we sat down, reviewed the results and discussed ways to get me where I want to be.

GWU Exercise Lab - DEXAFirst, he measured my height and weighed me and then had me stand on a the Body Composition – BIA machine that measured my weight, body fat etc using electromagnetic pressure contact, not unlike the scales and other machines readily available. Then we used the Dexa machine…

Body Composition – Dexa (or DXA) -The gold standard for body composition assessment. The DXA scan uses a low-dose x-ray (approximately 1/10th the radiation of a traditional chest x-ray) and provides information about bone mineral density, fat, and fat-free mass in to specific regions of the body with an accuracy of ±2%.

GWU Exercise Lab - RMRAfter that test was complete, which took maybe five or so minutes, it was time to test my Resting Metabolic Rate – The resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of energy (calories) a body burns while at rest, which accounts for approximately 70% of the body’s daily energy expenditure. This is the amount of energy needed to perform vital body functions such as respiration and circulation.

results - GWU Weight Management LabAfter the testing was done, Todd and I talked through the results.  I gained some weight in the last year and half. It was as much as I had thought – so while that’s not great news per se, it wasn’t shocking and it confirmed my own sense of where I am. The good news… all the fitness I do – does make a difference whether I am at an optimal weight or body fat %.  I am fit — and the weight i gained, once I lose it – I should be in the ‘good’ categories all around.

  • Bone density is good.
  • My RMR is high. That means I burn a lot of calories just being.
  • I have a good amount of lean muscle mass.

I’m not going to discuss my actual numbers here – they are irrelevant to anyone but me. What I will share is that we talked about how much protein I need based on my lean muscle mass and what would be my optimal amount of calories to get me back to where I will feel most comfortable. The thing is my goal isn’t about being super lean. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin without being crazy about every little thing I eat or drink. I did that years ago – and it consumed my life. My goal is to be healthy and fit – not an Olympian or champion competitor. I am living this way so I am able to move, have fun, try new things and age without the fear of being immobile. That is what I discussed with Todd – he made some suggestions on what would be a reasonable caloric and protein intake per day to get me there.  As for exercise, I clearly don’t need help in that area. I am fit!

The one thing that caught me off guard is how much protein Todd suggested I eat per day: 146g  He based it on how much lean body mass I have. I am not sure how one goes about eating that much protein in a day but i have been trying without upping my overall suggested caloric intake. It’s been quite a challenge – the closest I have gotten is 96g.

I have also begun to track my fitness and food intake using Todd sent me an invite and he can monitor what I am eating from time to time to give me advice. Check it out –so far I am liking it.

One of things that has always confused me is why is it so hard? Todd explained that most of it is simple math – which is not hard but it is hard to put into place. Knowing that there is science and data behind what we discussed helped me leave the lab with a sense of an actual plan to get me back to where I will feel comfortable. Before that, i have just guessed at where I am and how much I need to eat. With Dr Miller’s suggestions, I feel confident about being able to do it.

Protein Intake – How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day?

I will keep you posted on my overall progress – the good and bad of it as we head into Spring and Summer.


Know When To Ask For Help


Clean-eating_thumbI’m not going to sugar coat my struggle – I am really slipping with my overall nutrition and can’t seem to muster the motivation or inspiration to re-focus and get back on track. So, I figured i need some real help. I made an appointment with the director of the weight management and human performance lab at George Washington University for later this week. He is going to do some lab tests after a 4 hour fast and then we can take a look at how to get me to where I want to be. It can’t possibly be this hard to get on track.

My thinking is that fitness is not the issue for me.  I need help figuring out a nutritional approach and he can help me get there. I realized this weekend — I need help, plain and simple. When you need help – ask!

I will be sharing the experience with you so we can all learn from it…

scope it outDon’t forget that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! I am running the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life on Team Hoagie’s Heroes to celebrate my hubby’s 6+ years colon cancer free. Will you join us on Sunday March 22 or donate to the cause? Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life 

Read This

Watch This

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brilliant way to highlight our country’s serious infrastructure problem: America’s crumbling infrastructure: It’s not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.

Be Inspired

Look fear in the face


  • Saturday: Cycle Scene 1 hour
  • Monday: 1 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Boxing 1hour

Cycle Scene: An Indoor Cycling Experience


Cycle Scene _Ashburn Last weekend, I went to the grand opening of Cycle Scene in Ashburn. Cycle Scene is an indoor cycling studio with spice. I say that because it’s not just sitting on a bike and riding.

It’s an experience — there are specialized lights, including a disco ball, a great sound system, and motivational inspirations all over the walls. Depending on the instructor, the experience can be night and day each time you attend too. There are some that strive to boost you up, make you feel empowered and ready to conquer the world. There are others that are more traditional biking enthusiasts who take more laid back approach to your class experience.

Cycle Scene - Ashburn VA I have to admit, i am normally not a huge fan of the stationary exercise experience. Treadmills, stair climbers, bicycles all equal boring to me. I find that they lack the excitement to keep me wanting to keep doing it but this seems to be a bit different.  Having been to three classes so far, the instructor is the key. With good music and the right instructor to push and motivate me, it actually captures me. It also forces me to get a bit more inside of my head since I don’t need to worry so much about perfect coordination like in Boxing and CrossFit.  It’s very mental and it allows me to practice meditation to push through the challenging peaks.

Cycle Scene - AshburnCycle Scene is very boutique like – with towels and water offered freely and showers with all the amenities included. They have added touches as well -at the end of the ride, they offer eucalyptus infused wet towels to cool off, which was a much needed and appreciated touch because I was a sweating and overheated for sure. They also wipe down the bikes for you after your ride so you don’t need to worry about that.

I also like that you can do punch cards, which I did. It’s a way to add this into my overall fitness routine without having to have a bunch of different expensive memberships to different places. A huge part of being fit is to to continually vary what I ask my body to do and this way I can stave off burnout and boredom.


Solidcore: Pilates on Steroids


I know I’ve been a bit behind in posting new updates for everyone. Real in person life has gotten busy – which is not necessarily a bad thing!

The next few posts will give you an idea of what I have been up to…

SolidCore in Ballston Saturday and Sunday, I did two a day workouts. Not because of any larger reason. I was given opportunities to step outside my comfort zone and try some new workouts.


After my early boxing session, I tried [Solidcore] in Ballston.

What is it you ask?  Someone online described it as “Pilates on Steroids”. Ive never done Pilates, but I can tell you it was the kind of workout where I literally hated it while doing it but when it was over – i felt great and wanted to do it again to challenge myself to get the hang of it. You use a megaformer machine for the 50 minute class. It’s all slow, controlled movements focusing on core muscles. The classes are kept small so the instructor can give everyone the attention needed.  Depending on the movement, you would do a 4-6 count to ensure you are really working the muscle. Have you ever tried to go down in an lunge slowly to a 4-6 count on one of these machines? Talk about using core strength!

Megaformer at SolidcoreI’m in pretty good shape, and this was probably one of the hardest workouts I have done. I wanted to stop ten minutes into it. If you aren’t already in shape – this may not be the workout for you. They suggest that if you cant hold a solid plank for 1 minute or more, it will be too challenging.  I do not disagree with their suggestion. Almost from the start, I was sweating buckets even with no cardio and my muscles were twitching and I was shaking. As much as I didn’t like it – I loved it and that feeling. It meant that I was really challenging my body. Call me a glutton for punishment!

After SolidcoreMy friend, Mastaneh, who set up the class for us and who I was mad at the entire time (Just kidding!), felt the same way afterwards — we left with a love/hate feeling. A few days later, I am still feeling the burn. Not the “oh my gosh, i can’t sit down” type but the “that really works” type of soreness.

I would definitely go again if there were one closer to where I live. For now, It may have reignited my motivation to do yoga again and try a Pilates class.

Watch This

[Solidcore] Create the Strongest Version of Yourself

I’m on the team: Nuun Ambassador 2015


Nuun-Flavor-LineupI’m very excited that I was accepted as Nuun Ambassador for next year! I started using Nuun a few years ago when I someone gave me some to add to my water to help rehydrate after a race I had done. If you aren’t familiar with Nuun- they are these drink tabs that you add to water that enhance it with electrolytes to help keep you hydrated. They don’t have all the additives or high sugar content like Gatorade or other sports/energy drinks.  That’s what I liked about them to begin with – they don’t have all of that crap added to it. I also like that the tabs don’t overpower my water with a sugary, sweet taste.

Here’s some more info from the Nuun product page.

What does being an ambassador mean?

To be on Team Nuun, you need to be passionate about staying hydrated, no matter the activity or sport.  I applied and was just notified that I’m on the 2015 team! I’m excited and happy to help spread the word about Nuun.  So stay tuned throughout the year, as I share info, pictures and resources about hydration and Nuun!

Nuun Ambassador 2015



Blast Motion: Blast Athletic Performance Smart Video Capture


Blast Motion - Athletic PerformanceOne of the unplanned perks of my blog is that nice business owners send me products or samples from time to time to try out. I get lots of offers for products and I definitely pick and choose which ones I accept. If it doesn’t align with what I believe or am about – then I don’t accept it even when most times, the vendors do not place any sort of expectations on accepting the product. For example, diet pills are not something I would ever review, recommend or promote. It’s not a part of living a healthy and fit life according to me… so it would be a no go.

The latest product I have been sent is from Blast Motion. It’s a Smart Video Capture tool that allows you to analyze, compare and share your movements.

From their website: Blast Athletic Performance

The easy to use app not only records as you move, but allows you to share your highlights instantly with friends.

  • Precision Motion Sensor easily and securely attaches to the waistband of your clothing
  • Connects to your iPhone, iPad or iPod via Low Energy Bluetooth.
  • Smart Video Capture tracks metrics while you move.  Video is saved into your personal history as shareable clips synced with movement data.
  • Detect key events and identify trends by viewing movement history.
  • Capture performance metrics and detect key events like acceleration, rotation and jump height.
  • Tracks and stores moves when the sensor is out of range
  • Instantly share your stats via Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail without leaving the Blast App.

I downloaded the app for my iPad/iPhone and am connecting the sensor to my tablet today. I can see this being a great tool to help with my oly lifts and some other HIIT movements. I will post a follow up with my thoughts in the next week or so, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Blast Motion for sending me the Athletic Performance Precision Motion Sensor.  Even though I received it for Free, there was no expectation on their part to influence my review. My opinions here are my own. 

Related Link: Initial Press Release: C Spire and Blast Motion Partner to Offer State-of-the-Art Motion Technology Products to Improve Athletic Performance 

Win An Autographed One Direction: Looks Make Up Collection


One Direction at NationalsA few weeks ago, I took HB to her first concert - One Direction at Nationals Stadium. It was just as you would imagine it would be — lots of young girls, screaming, crying, singing along in their 1D schwag. There were a ton of Moms bopping along and Dads sitting in their seats wondering how they got roped into taking their daughters.

I’m not going to lie — I really enjoyed the event. It brought back a lot of memories of being a Duran Duran loving tween. And my 12 year old daughter LOVED it.

I took a lot of photos during the show – click on the concert pic below to see my One Direction photo gallery on Facebook.

One Direction at Nationals 2014 Washington DC

One Direction “The Looks Collection”

One Direction seems to be taking over the world just like Duran Duran did in the 80’s.  Case in point, just released:

2rSpCEMS1yQZYHpYNSvw_MM CollectionThe affordable limited edition One Direction “The Looks Collection” cosmetics collection was created to be fun and bold and a tad mischievous – like Harry Styles, right?

Backed by Markwins International, it’s now available at Macy’s! I was asked to spread the word about a special giveaway to win one of these really cool Looks Collection sets autographed by the band. That’s right – signed by Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis!! How happy would you or your daughter be if you won!? Details and entry method info are at the bottom of this post.

Brandbacker: One Direction Macy's Collection “The Looks Collection” comprises three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction’s globe-conquering albums, “Up All Night, “Take Me Home” and the latest chart topper, ‘Midnight Memories.” Each tin comes complete with everything you need to show off your personality. Are you a rock n’ roll girl, a fun party girl or the girl next door? We have just the right collection for you and illustrations to help show you just how to get your perfect look. All your beauty essentials are housed in a LIMITED EDITION collectible keepsake tin with removable sleeve, complete with ONE DIRECTION doodle stencils to decorate your keepsake tin and make it uniquely your own! “

Win a Looks Collection set autographed by the band!

Giveaway Details:

If the giveaway widget doesn’t load, click here

Thanks to BrandBacker for sponsoring this post & offering me an opportunity to spread the word. 

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day 2014


Running Magazine OfferDid you know that today – June 4th is National Running Day?

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Women’s Running magazine asked for help to get the word out about a special subscription offer to their magazine for today only —

Women’s Running is the world’s largest women-specific running magazine.

Women’s Running covers all aspects of the running lifestyle, from active beauty needs to training plans. The Women’s Running mission is simple: to create a high-quality magazine for smart, successful women who use running to balance and enrich their lives. Women’s Running features quality editorial that motivates women to train intelligently, participate in active travel, adopt healthy nutrition habits and keep moving.

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day offer 

National Running Day Offer: Subscribe or renew today only for $1 an issue

I have not been shy about sharing the fact that running is one of my least favorite activities. I know that means it’s something I need to work on. I’m all about working weaknesses, so I started running a few weeks ago again– and have signed up for a 5K in July at Reston Town Center.  I’m lucky that I live so close to the W&OD trail – so the scenery makes the running worth it for sure.

If you need more motivation to start running,  here’s some info about the benefits of running: 

Benefits of Running


Disclosure: I am sharing this information in exchange for goods provided by Women’s Running. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the brand or company. 

What Do You Feed Your Dog?


TaliaI am in the process of considering rescuing a dog — I don’t really want a puppy, dealing with the dreaded puppy stage. I know they are cute and all but I would rather skip that part and find a two-three year old doggy in need of a good home.

Did you know that according to the American Pet Products Association, 164 million Americans owned dogs in 2012? That’s a lot of dogs!!

Here are some other interesting facts about dog ownership in the US that I didn’t know:

  • 83.3 million – Number of owned dogs
  • 47% – of households own at least one dog
  • 70% – of owners have one dog
  • 20% – of owners have two dogs
  • 10% – of owners have three or more dogs
  • 1.47 – the average number of owned dogs per household
  • 20% – of owned dogs were adopted from animal shelters

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

All of this info got me thinking about what people feed their beloved best friends. I can only imagine what’s in the regular dog food you get at the store -and I know a ton of friends who have dogs with allergies. It has to be something related to what we are feeding them…

We should be feeding our dogs a healthy, natural diet, just like we should eat! So, when Wellness Pet Food reached out to me asking if I would highlight their dog food, I agreed because I think we all should be eating healthier, including our pets. Their Wellness Pet Foodrecipes do not include added artificial colors, flavors or ingredients. Sounds a lot like how I recommend eating!

While Wellness might not be as widely-known as some of the more mainstream brands of dog food, their devotion to quality and natural, high-quality ingredients makes their food safe, wholesome and beneficial to pets’ health and well being.

Are you curious about how Wellness Dog Food compares to what you are currently buying for your dog?  Visit their “Check Your Bag” website, where you can compare their natural dog food to some competitors who claim to be natural.

Curious to give it a try? Connect with their free online program, Naturally Well Pet Community, to get savings offers, fun contests and helpful tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy.

And follow them on Facebook and Twitter (use hashtags #naturaldogfood, #checkyourbag or #wellness or #lovemydog) to find out even more info about their devotion to keeping pets happy and healthy.

Benefits of Wellness® Complete Health® Pet Food

  • Live Active Probiotics – Added after the cooking process to promote a healthy intestinal tract and overall digestive health at guaranteed levels

  • Omega 3 & 6 Mix – Offering guaranteed levels of essential fatty acids for cellular function and healthy skin

  • Essential Vitamins & Minerals – Designed for cellular health, immunity and disease resistance

  • Fruit & Veggie Antioxidants – A proactive step in improving your pet’s nutrition

  • Rigorous Safety Testing – A Quality Assurance program that maintains strict standards for food safety

  • Excellent Nutritional Standards – Every batch of dry food is tested throughout the entire manufacturing process, from its basic ingredients to the finished products

Here is a store locator to help you find out which stores near you carry Wellness Pet Food and/or where you can buy it online.

We love our pets as if they were our children, so it’s hard to understand why anyone would cheap out and buy processed-who-knows-what for them to eat. Let me know what your dog thinks of Wellness Pet Food after they try it…




Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Wellness Complete Health Pet Food for this post. Any opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience. 


Greg Everett’s American Weightlifting


I loved the workout programmed today. It was all about endurance!  I love when a workout really challenges me mentally. It had broad jumps, hang squat cleans and slam balls and the combo left me breathless – so I really have to focus on steadying my breath and continue on. Again, it’s one of the things I love about CrossFit. I get challenged every single day I walk in. How many of us are just going through the motions day in and day out and if they stopped and really thought about it — they would realize they thrive on being challenged and learning new things. We are so caught up in the day to day. I force myself out of my comfort zone daily and you should too!

american weightlifting - the filmThis past weekend, I watched a really interesting documentary called American Weightlifting.

American Weightlifting introduces us to the people, the passion, the dedication and the reality of the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the US.

The sport is extremely popular internationally, with many countries supporting their professional lifters during their training. In the US, it has not received nearly enough attention compared to the more popular US sports of Football and Basketball. Most talented Olympic lifters and coaches must train on their own and pay their own way to success, giving the international lifting community a distinct advantage during competitions.

The benefits of adding in Strength work and Olympic lifting – including the clean and jerk and snatch – have proven time and time again to benefit athletes of all sports.  The sport loses out on many possible stand-out lifters, because many times younger athletes who are developing, opt for the more popular sports because they are able to obtain scholarships and receive more recognition.

Throughout the documentary, you are introduced to some of the pioneers of the sport and within the first few minutes of meeting them, their passion shines through. They love their sport. Weightlifting is not about making money to them – it’s about really doing something they love. They have seen it change people’s lives, including their own. Each athlete and/or coach we meet along the way is changing someone’s life.

Created by Coach Greg Everett, owner of Catalyst Athletics, publisher of the Performance Menu Journal and coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team in California and a very well respected Olympic Lifting coach. He made this documentary on his own – a one man show.- and after watching it, you can feel how much he loves the sport.

As a CrossFitter who has been introduced to Oly lifting and as someone who wants to learn more about the sport – I loved it. The people highlighted are the coaches I have heard of and have always looked to for inspiration and instruction. But more than that – I love hearing from people who love what they do and have found something that they are so passionate about – they put all their effort and drive into making it into something that changes lives. Many people out there won’t understand it – but it’s goes much deeper than just lifting heavy shit. It’s about understanding how your body moves, it’s about discipline, it’s about mental grit, it’s about sheer will.  To choose a sport that very few people understand or even care about — and pursue it despite all of that, means you really have found your thing. And I am always fascinated by people who are doing what they are meant to do, what they are born to do, who have found their purpose. So few of us really do.

Before CrossFit, I did not know anything about weightlifting. But having been at it for 5+ years now, weightlifting is probably one of the greatest, most challenging things I have done. When you hit a lift right – it’s exhilarating and it feels like the stars align. And it makes it that much harder to accept when your lifts aren’t happening.

CrossFit has brought a tremendous amount attention to this sport — but keep in mind that attending a weekend Oly Lifting Trainer’s course does not a good coach make.

I know, I am rambling but it really is a life changing experience when you start lifting – for a woman, it’s a badass feeling that stays with you and carries into so many other facets of your life.

That’s my review of this documentary – for more information about this documentary, here are some links from people in the sport of weightlifting:

The folks at Catalyst Athletics provided me with pre-screening access, but the actual documentary is available NOVEMBER 16TH! If you have the slightest interest in weightlifting, I highly recommend checking it out.

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