for the love of all things good…

For the love of all things good, MAKE THIS RECIPE.  Miles and I just finished dinner and we can’t stop talking about how good it was and how much food we just ate.  I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD, but I can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and NOT order chips and more than one (okay more than two) margarita(s), so I usually just steer clear. This meal felt SO splurgy. Seriously, it’s hard to believe that it is completely and totally plan approved. Please look at the picture below, I got to eat 1/4 of that…1/4 of the entire pan!  It was a ton of food, and totally in line with my “perfect portions” program.


I know I say this every time I post a recipe, but it’s true and needs to be a disclaimer.  If I can make something, ANYONE can.  I’m kind of an idiot in the kitchen, so I only do things that take the minimal amount of work. I don’t like to chop and I don’t like to clean, so again, it’s gotta be easy. This recipe is SO EASY. I got it from  Feel like I always need to credit someone because obviously I’m not sitting at home creating my own recipes, I can barely cook pasta.

Beef and Brown Rice Taco Bake


  1. 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  2. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. Jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  5. 20 oz lean ground beef
  6. Red, yellow or green pepper,chopped
  7. 1-2 tsp fresh lime juice
  8. 2 T Chili Powder
  9. 1 tsp Oregano
  10. ½ tsp Thyme
  11. 2 tsp cumin (optional)
  12. 1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped
  13. Hot Sauce (to taste – optional)
  14. 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  15. 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (low sodium)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with EVOO, set aside.
  2. Boil brown rice in water on stovetop. Set aside
  3. In a 12” pan, spray with EVOO or cooking spray, add onion, garlic & jalapeno & sauté over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  4. Add ground beef, breaking it up as it browns. Cook for about 5 minutes & add peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add lime juice and seasonings. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. Remove from heat – add rice (see notes below), tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of cheese & hot sauce (if using) to the skillet and stir to mix well.
  7. Pour mixture into baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar.
  8. Cover with foil & bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil & bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted & edges are bubbling. Remove from oven & let cool for 10 minutes.

The only modifications I made to this recipe is that I bought pre-chopped onions from Whole Foods, because that shit hurts my eyes. I also bought brown rice that is in a microwaveable steam bag because I didn’t want to have to clean an extra pan.  I didn’t use cilantro because it tastes like soap and is fucking disgusting. And I didn’t add jalapeños, and it was plenty spicy for me. Also, I had pre-cooked the meat during my meal prep for the week, so I took out an entire step. I did have to clean the pan afterwards, but it was totally worth it.

Bottom line, don’t be an idiot, make this ridiculously delicious, completely splurgy-feeling  meal.  I’m just looking out for my people.


all the difference…

I’ve been struggling with some back issues in the last few months.  Really, it’s because I’ve been getting sloppy with my body mechanics while hauling three littles around town. Of all people, I should know better, but this is the second time in two months that I have completely thrown out my back.  It’s not workout related, it’s just from trying to do too many things at once and constantly being in a rush. Anyway, both times this has happened, I’ve gone to my chiropractor (who I love) and he’s encouraged me to stop working out for a few days.  So last week, I went FIVE days without working out. That is A LOT for me.  And you know what I learned?  That I’m a much better/more patient mom, a nicer wife, more present friend, kinder to myself and more pleasant to be around in general when I make 30 minutes of time for myself EVERYDAY!  It’s as simple as that.  Yes, I love how I feel after I workout, but really, it’s about the time that I’m building into this insane, hectic life for ME. The program that I’m doing is 30 MINUTES a day.  THAT IS IT.  There is no one in the world who can’t somehow find 30 minutes of time each day for self care. Private message me or email if you want to learn more.  It makes all the difference.

tour de best friends…

The Hopkins family has been on the move the past few weeks. I’m calling it the “tour de best friends” because it was back to back to back weekends with some of the most important people in our lives.  It’s pretty exhausting traveling with these 3 little girls (especially a one year old), but it’s been pretty incredible to get to see our people.  First, one of my sisters came in town with her family.  We stayed at our family beach house on Isle of Palms, so even though we were technically “in town” anyone with kids knows that you still have to pack the same amount of shit as if you were traveling cross country.  It was incredible being with them and getting to spend time at the beach with my adorable 4 and 6 year old nephews.  The weather in Charleston was absolutely perfect, so we got a full beach weekend in October.  It was also my week in between rounds of the program that I do, so it was nice to have an excuse to splurge a little bit.img_4536

The next weekend, my best friend (since kindergarten) was supposed to come in town with her husband and her 18 month old son (my godson), but Hurricane Matthew was heading straight for Charleston. We changed our plans and ended up going to their family’s mountain house in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  Pretty sweet deal, right? We evacuated early to try to beat the mad rush of people leaving Charleston.  My kids are not great on road trips, so traveling at night and hoping that some of them will sleep is usually our game plan.  It was kind of a nightmare with ridiculous traffic and kids that were in and out of sleep, but we finally made and believe me, it was TOTALLY worth it.  We got to wake up to this view.img_4655fullsizerender-2

We stayed active with the kids and even managed to get in some workouts.  My best friend, Lolly and I and worked out 4 out of the 5 days and the boys even joined us for one, which was interesting having two 3.5 year olds and an 18 month old joining in. Also interesting, because this is not normally what the 4 of us do when we are together, ha! I think we were all kind of shocked that we were spending some of our time together working out.  Not a terrible view from our “gym”, right?


We had the best weekend ever and we are completely in love with Blowing Rock.  We cooked amazing (and healthy/plan approved) meals and got to sit by the fire overlooking the mountains with this view.  I was ready for some cooler weather.

Then this past weekend, we went to Houston to see more of our best friends.  A year and  half ago, some of our best friends moved to Texas from Charleston, which was completely devastating. I met Kristen when I was coming out of a really hard time with the twins were babies. At the time, she had 3 kids 3 and under and was pregnant with her 4th…yes, you read that right. She and her husband, John, have been some of our closest friends in the craziest years of our lives. It’s been hard not having them with us in Charleston, but it was so nice to visit them in Houston and see their new life, and their 4 adorable girls.  Yup, we had a full weekend with 7 little girls under 7.  You should have seen the looks we got everywhere we went.img_6345

We are all fitness minded people, and so it was so fun to be able to incorporate that into the weekend.  Kristen and I even escaped to a Pilates reformer class and a Soul Cycle class, both were awesome.  I’ve been dying to try Soul Cycle and we don’t have one in Charleston.  It was REALLY fun.  It was also very interesting because it pretty much goes against the Cycling based training that I did as a Spin instructor, but was still so fun, full of energy and a killer workout. It was fun to switch it up and even more fun working out with Kristen again.


I definitely went off plan this weekend.  It happens and you have to live your life, but I’m sitting here on the airplane heading home, and I’m excited to dial back in my nutrition and get back on track tomorrow.  Sometimes I have to get off track a little in order to remember why I am doing all of this to begin with and how amazing it makes me feel to eat clean and be in control of my portions. I have all the tools I need to get back on track, so it makes it okay to have a splurgy weekend away with some of our closest friends. I’m recommitting and ready to get back at it tomorrow.

Now, I need a vacation from all these vacations.

egg roll in a bowl…

Just had to share this ridiculously easy, completely delicious recipe.  If you’ve followed this blog over the years, you know that I am not great (okay, I’m fucking LAZY) in the kitchen.  I prefer pre-chopped vegetables and recipes with minimal cleanup.  If the prep time is more than 10 minutes, FORGET ABOUT IT! It also feels super splurgy to me, like I’m eating fried rice. So, this is my favorite recipe (that fits the requirements above), and I just had to share.

Egg Roll in a Bowl:

1 lb lean ground bison, pork, turkey or chicken
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 bag of broccoli slaw
1 cup carrots, shredded
3 T low sodium liquid aminos
2 t rice wine vinegar
Sliced Green Onions, for garnish

-In 12″ skillet over medium high heat, brown meat, breaking it up as it browns – remove from pan and set aside.  I do this step in my Sunday meal prep for the week, so I just get the already cooked ground bison out of the fridge.
-Add sliced onions to the pan (I prefer to buy these pre-sliced) with a pinch of sea salt, cook for about 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
-Add garlic and ginger, cook for another minute
-Add broccoli slaw and carrots, cook until wilted down, about 5-7 minutes
-Return meat to skillet, add liquid aminos and vinegar, reduce heat to medium low and cook 5-7 minutes more.

Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds or crushed peanuts. I put mine over cauliflower rice and sub a carb for  🍷.

Completely and totally plan approved and completely and totally delicious.


those skinny bitches…

As I’ve gotten back into coaching, I’ve been amazed with how many inspiring women have come into my life. It’s pretty incredible to be in a coaching community with so many like-minded, supportive people. One of which has had one of the most amazing transformations that I’ve ever seen.  When I first met her, I instantly knew that she was going to be one of “my people”.

So, this is Hannah.



At first glance, I would put her in the “genetically gifted skinny bitches” category. (Not that I’m walking around judging other women, but holy shit, look at that body…it’s fitness magazine worthy). These “genetically gifted skinny bitches” are the ones that it always seems to come easy to..they love to workout, love healthy food, don’t struggle in social situations, etc. They’ve probably never stood in their closet in tears trying on every outfit they own.  That’s the story that I’ve made up for these people that I envy.  But the funny thing is, that is the FURTHEST thing from Hannah’s story. This is her instagram post from today that she gave me permission to share.


“I’ve been so many things. I’ve been skinny, I’ve been bigger, I’ve been an athlete. I’ve been starved, a binge eater, a yoyo dieter. I’ve eaten low fat, low carb, no carb, liquid diets. I’ve been unhealthy, unsuccessful, unsupported and unmotivated. 

What am I today? 
I am healthy. 
I am balanced.
I am strong.
I am successful, motivated and supported.
I am a version of myself I have never known. I don’t have to obsess. The number on the scale has never meant so little to me. It doesn’t mean I’m not disciplined or committed. And it doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts and hiccups. It means if I want to splurge, I do, and I don’t have to beat myself up afterwards. I know that I am what I repeatedly do not what I occasionally do. 

I am not perfect nor do I strive to be. I want to be the best, healthiest, happiest version of myself. For me, for my husband, for our future family.”

Hannah changed her story.  She changed her life.  And I can’t think of anything more inspirational than that possibility. She also did it while maintaining a social life with tailgates and happy hours and girls nights.  She found a program that truly let’s you have it all, and found the best version of herself.  If that doesn’t get you fired up on a Monday, I don’t know what will.

and so it begins…

Today was the first day of preschool. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been waiting for this day for a few weeks now. It’s the beginning of me having a few mornings to myself again. This summer was so great, but also exhausting, and I’m so ready to get back into my routine. I spent all of Labor Day weekend getting my life organized. I cleaned out closets, got my car detailed (the gunk that lives underneath and in between carseats is truly fucking disgusting), organized my house, etc.  It may be cheesy, but I feel like the new school year is such a great way to hit the reset button. And on top of everything, I had my Challenge Group start yesterday, and they were all ready for a new routine/clean slate/change too, and they’ve been totally inspiring me.  I’m working with a group of 54 people in this 3 week Challenge, so their energy and excitement is totally contagious, and it’s been so much fun!

Everything went really well at drop off today, even though I was slightly offended that my baby didn’t seem to give a shit that I dropped her off with a roomful of strangers. Ha. She was so excited and didn’t even look back. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll take it.

After drop off, I met a group of preschool mamas out for brunch (with mimosas) to celebrate the first day. A year ago, I would NEVER have done that. It would have meant that I would miss my only opportunity to work out, and I would have rushed to the gym to get to my 9:15 class and reserve my spot. I definitely would have declined the invitation for brunch and mimosas, how sad is that? It feels so liberating to not be a slave to the gym. Working out is such an important part of my mental sanity, but so is being able to go out with some friends every once in awhile, and I’ve finally figured out how to have both. These at home workouts that I’ve been doing can be done before the girls wake up, while they are at school, during their rest time, outside while they are playing, when they go to sleep, etc. I can go to the gym for a class when/if I want to and when/if it works in my schedule that day. I don’t have to stress about this tiny window of time where I have to fit everything in. Anyway, my point is that it was so nice to use my only kid free time socializing with other moms as opposed to spending the entire time in the walls of the gym. I’m so glad I’ve found a more efficient way to get it all in…workout time, friend time, kid time.

I’m registering people my next Challenge Group starting today. I’ve honestly never seen these kind of results in this amount of time.  It’s unbelievable. Flexible nutrition program (that includes wine, cheese, chocolate and carbs), 30 minute daily workouts, access to private accountability group and me as a coach! Message me if the new school year has you excited for a new start and wanting to hit that reset button. .

instagram lies…

Today was Meet the Teacher day at Riley, Quinn and Tess’ preschool. All summer, the big girls have been going to camp 3 days a week (just for a few hours in the morning).  Camp ended a few weeks ago, and it’s been hard for us to not be in more of a regular routine.  I know that there are mom’s out there who want to be with their children all the time and don’t send their kid’s to preschool until the last second, but that’s just not me.  They need a break from me, I need a break from them. That is just what works for us. The last three weeks have been hard for me, and I’m so ready for preschool to start. We’ve decided to put our twin girls in separate classes, which may not seem like a big deal, but was an agonizing decision for us. I’ve been having so much anxiety about how it’s going to go, and one of the girls has been having anxiety about it too, which is heartbreaking. Anyway, I knew that today was going to be overwhelming. I had all three girls, and we had 4 classrooms to go to, 8 teachers to meet, a million events for me to sign up to volunteer for and a tired baby. Miles offered to go with me, but I don’t want to have to have him help me in situations like this.  I want to be able to go to something like Meet the Teacher day by myself like every other mom.

Anyway, on the way there, one of the big girls started panicking because she’s been having a hard time with the whole separate class thing. I was running about 10 minutes late, which ended up being a blessing, because there were no other parents in the classroom when I CRIED (yes me, I CRIED, not my 3 small children, ME) to the teacher about separating their girls and our reasons for making that decision. They definitely must think I’m cray.  Then we walked to the next class where there were 8 million kids playing, I lost a child for 2 minutes in the chaos, then had to fill out paperwork while my baby spit up on a teacher that was nice enough to hold her. The next classroom, the big girls got into an epic fight and were wrestling each other to the ground over a tiny elephant (a full on beat down), while the baby was throwing 40 mini water bottles on the floor (and I was trying to clean them up without her escaping the classroom), and I was literally sweating so much it was dripping on the floor. I’ve literally never been such a shitshow in my whole life.  I felt like everyone around me felt sorry for me (which I hate). My sister described it perfectly “when you lose a whole year of your life in the matter of a few hours.” As we were leaving, I let them sit on a bench and eat some popcorn before we went home, and I took this picture.

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Is this not the cutest “Meet the Teacher Day” picture ever? I laughed as I posted it on Instagram, because I knew what the last 2 hours were really like, but that picture sure made it look like it was a breeze. Instagram is a highlight reel, not real life. I use Chatbooks (if you don’t know about Chatbook, look it up immediately), and our baby books are generated from Insta. I’m using it as a tool to document my children’s lives, so I’m posting the cuteness, not the day to day struggles. Saw this again recently (on Instagram), and it’s just too perfect!

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f the scale…

I just finished my third round of this three week program. The shifts that have been happening mentally are huge for me. I look at food differently. I’ve stayed more consistent with my nutrition then I ever have in my life. I’ve never been on a program where it’s totally fine to have wine, cheese, dessert, whatever…and because I’m not feeling deprived, I’m not binging…for the first time in my life! THAT IS HUGE!

I woke up feeling good and leaner than normal.  I was actually excited to step on the scale, feeling like I might have hit my next big goal (20 lbs lost). The number on the scale was disappointing, and I let it piss me off for a few minutes. I’m still holding strong at 16 lbs down, not losing as rapidly as I did in the beginning. So instead of stressing and obsessing, I asked Miles to take a few pictures so I could see what was really happening. Here are the before and afters, from June 7-today.

Fuck the scale, this is progress.  I’m so much leaner. I have so much more energy. I’m not trying on every dress in my closet just to go out to dinner. I still have a long way to go, and I’ll be honest, posting these pictures publicly makes me die inside a little, but this blog is about my journey…all of it. Even if it means I have to post pictures that make me cringe. The number on the scale is just a fucking number.  It is a tiny component of this journey, and I’m so glad there are other tools to measure my progress. Lesson learned.

Message me if you want to learn more about this program.  Registering new clients for the next round now. It’s a game changer.

diastasis recti…

Mamas- pay attention! So many people have Diastasis Recti and have no idea!  After my twin pregnancy, my OBGYN told me that she didn’t think it would be a problem for me, and it turned out I had one of the most severe cases possible. One of my favorite celebrity trainers, Heidi Powell, wrote an amazing post about Diastasis Recti, how to see if you have it, how to minimize the separation and exercises to avoid. Unfortunately my situation was too extreme to be fixed by exercise and had to result in surgery, but there may still be hope for you!  Read this article, it could be a game changer for you.

Diastasis Recti: Closing the Gap by Heidi Powell

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progress report and accountability group…

I just finished 2 rounds of this 3 week program, and I’m amazed at the results.  I took measurements this morning, and I’m down 14 lbs and 15.75 inches…since June 6th!  Not gonna lie, I’m pretty psyched.  I feel more motivated than ever.  I still have a long way to go until I’m at my goal, but I know I’m going in the right direction and I know that IT WILL happen, I just have to stay consistent.

It’s just kind of crazy.  I’m only working out 30 minutes a day, eating plenty of food, still having dessert, still drinking wine, still going out to dinner and living my life. I feel like I’m doing LESS (not counting calories, not spending endless hours at the gym/hitting the pavement), but somehow getting MORE results. It just hasn’t felt like I’ve been making many sacrifices this time around. While I’m in survival mode day to day with these littles, this program has kind of brought me back to life. It’s the most mommy friendly program I’ve ever seen.  Let’s be honest, “me time” is not something that is easy to make happen as a mom, and this program forces me to find 30 minutes a day.  It’s also made me use my time more efficiently, so I feel less overwhelmed throughout the day trying to get everything done.

Throughout this process, I’ve realized how much I miss helping people, and I’ve decided to get back into coaching.  I’m working with an amazing group of women right now, and we are all doing this program together. There’s nothing better than women supporting women, right? This Accountability Group has been a game changer for me. As a trainer, the accountability and nutrition component has always been what lights me up, and it’s been so great for me to get back to that passion.

So, here’s your invitation. Whether you have weight to lose, just want to have more energy, make working out a part of your daily routine or just looking to find a way to make 30 minutes of “me time” per day, this program will be perfect for you. Private message me (or email if you’re ready to make a change.  Registration for the next Accountability group starts August 1.