Monday: Lazy Dinner

simple Monday breakfast

breakfast: eggs over-medium, whole wheat toast with butter, a Granny Smith apple, and green tea with milk and sugar.

post-workout snack (not shown): 1 mini stack of roasted vegetable ritz crackers and an apple

stir-fried rice and stew

dinner: rice stir-fried with leftover corned beef stew

soft Japanese bread

snack: soft, Japanese bread roll with Earl Grey tea.



These past two weeks have flown by. Between competing in Miami, putting together last-minute travel plans, and dealing with my (hopefully temporary) loss of hearing, I’ve basically been waiting for a weekend to take a breather and get my sh*t together.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the week for that. I’m heading back to Florida next week for two more meets, which I’m pretty excited about. Until then, I’ve got a ton of errands to take care of (and a movie to watch), but more on all that in a later post.

Read more about my track meet, losing my hearing, and why I labelled last week “Hell Week” on Actively Gemma.

how to transition and stick to healthy habits


One of the main focuses of this blog is to document my transition to a healthier lifestyle, and how you can, too. So, every now and then I’ve made sure to highlight my goals of trying to eat healthier and how I’ve attempted to lead a healthier lifestyle overall.

As of late, I haven’t mentioned it much because I’ve felt like I took two steps forward and five giant steps back. A few months ago, I had successfully weaned myself off soda, stopped eating candy, and was slowly but surely drinking more water every day. I had my meal planning and prepping down to a science and I felt awesome both physically and mentally.

Fast forward to today, and I’m back to drinking soda whenever I get the chance (i.e. whenever it’s free), have fallen behind in my Sunday meal prep (but I’m working on it), and I’m 90% sure these headaches I keep getting after practice are due to dehydration (oops). All in all, I haven’t gone back to square one, but I’m not where I want to be with my goals. All this means I’m going to start over in getting back into those great habits I was so proud of. So, today I’m sharing with you just how I transition and stick to healthy habits all in 2 easy ish steps!

read the rest on

stop underestimating yourself


Last week I officially started my training for the year, and I was surprisingly happy with how it turned out. I came down with a cold on Monday, and I’m just now getting over it today (Sunday).  So, my week definitely started a little rocky.  On Tuesday I had a hard tempo workout, but I was still able to hit the times I was supposed to.  Wednesday was interesting as I got back into the sprint mentality and sped through a few sets of 60m runs.  By Friday I was feeling pretty good about myself.  Friday is our hard workout day, and I went into it feeling both anxious about how it would go, and excited to see just where my body was really at.  My running partner that day was my friend, Maya, and she was pretty anxious, too, but we pumped ourselves up and got after it.


ESSAY | How Track Saved Me From Depression

If I’m being honest, I’ve probably gone through this in my head too many times to count, but have never had the courage to actually sit and write everything down.  The only reason you’re actually reading this now is because my friend, Brandi, encouraged me to share my story.  This was and will probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever sat down to write.  Here’s your warning:  this post is extremely long.  It’s definitely more of an essay than one of my typical blog posts, but I knew that if I was going to write about this, then I wanted to write about it, including all the gory details that I’ve always been too embarrassed to share with anybody.



I’ve been contemplating switching from ground beef to ground turkey for a while now, but every time I went grocery shopping I would always end up bypassing the turkey for what I was familiar.  This summer I’ve been slowly trying to change my eating habits for the better.  I finally gave almond butter a try, and have to say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!  So, I figured now was as good a time as any to give ground turkey the try it deserved.

I was a little wary at first because I’ve heard it’s very easy for the turkey to turn out dry or mealy, but luckily that wasn’t the case with this dish. I couldn’t tell the difference at all!  I was so happy with how it turned out (and with my amazing chef skills), I immediately started typing this post up.  Without further ado, here’s the recipe for you to try at home!


Planning for the Week 11.9.14.

Continuing the theme of last week’s meal planning, I thought I would share what I ate during the week. I actually decided to make this post near the end of week, so I didn’t keep track of what I ate for every single meal, but here’s what I do remember.

Monday:  homemade granola, raspberries, vanilla yogurt; quick chicken teriyaki, steamed broccoli, homemade fries
Tuesday:  chicken parmesan;
Wednesday:  scrambled eggs, spinach, buttered toast; pineapple; chicken teriyaki
Thursday:  granola, vanilla yogurt; cheese pizza (take-out)
Friday:  breakfast sandwich (scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, English muffin); chicken teriyaki, sautéed spinach, brown rice, plain omelet
Saturday:  waffle, breakfast potatoes, cantaloupe, scrambled eggs, bacon, chocolate milk; buffalo chicken wings (restaurant); granola, yogurt

Chicken is one of the most versatile ingredients in my opinion.  I only cooked it 2 ways last week, but there are so many ways to prepare it that it can fit into whatever dish you’re in the mood for.  This coming week I’ll be making quesadillas, which I’m extremely excited about.  I’ll probably post the recipe if it turns out OK.

What will you be eating this week?

Stay Healthy!
❤ Gemma

Simple Homemade Granola

I’ve been meaning to make homemade granola for weeks now, and I finally managed to get it done this past Sunday.

Granola is one of those foods that seems a lot more complicated to make than it actually is.  Once you find a recipe you like, you can easily customize it however you want, and you’ll always love your own granola more than any store-bought brand because it will always have everything you love in it.

I’ve eaten my granola with yogurt and raspberries for breakfast and dessert almost every day this week, so I’m already almost out of it. I’m going to have to make a bigger batch next time. With the holidays just around the corner, I’m also thinking of making some special holiday versions for my friends and family.

yogurt dessert

The general ingredients and directions for granola usually run along them same lines, but here’s the recipe that I used and adapted.

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Meal Planning 101

This week I’m switching it up from my usual Weekly Eats post and instead posting about the behind-the-scenes of my meals.

A common question I get after I post my weekly round-up of meals and snacks is “Where do you find the time to cook all this?”. The simple answer is I don’t. I plan out what I’ll be eating for most of the week, then make the bulk of my meals over the weekend.  I basically eat pre-prepared meals, or “leftovers”, through most of the week. Every now and then I’ll make something new in the middle of the week if I’m getting a too tired of eating the same thing over and over, but most of the time, making small changes to a main dish is enough for me.

Let’s start with the nitty-gritty.
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Ab Challenge: The End

Well, it’s now week 5, which means the Ab Challenge is finally over!  *Cheers*

I feel pretty accomplished with completing my first challenge. Some days it was extremely difficult to not just head home immediately after my workouts. But, I stuck it out and now I’m much better at a lot more ab exercises than before.

My goals for the challenge were:

  1. To get better at doing the actual core exercises
  2. To make doing core work after my regular workouts more habitual.

In my opinion, I’ve achieved both, so I’m calling the challenge a success!
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