Wake Up & Live.

Typical Taralynn waited an entire week before writing a recap post and now this one is going to be super long (Ew, I hate talking about myself in third person.) I figured I better do something semi-productive while watching the Bachelorette: Men Tell All. This show is so bad, but I can’t stop watching. I know I’ll be watching Bachelor in Paradise too…why do I keep doing this to myself?

riverwalk catawbwa river south carolina

Let’s start with today & I hope I can keep everything in order.

riverwalk catawbwa river south carolina riverwalk catawbwa river south carolina with VSCO with c3 preset

This afternoon I went to the Riverwalk for a run. I figured the breeze by the river and the shaded path would make 97 degrees a little less painful. Why am I running in this heat? I have this theory built up in my mind that not taking a break will make me a stronger runner during the cooler months. I know it’s hot, but I don’t want any excuse to quit. Getting back into the whole running thing is always hard after a break (for me anyways) and I’ve been in that situation multiple times. I can’t wait to see my times and my progress once the weather takes a chill pill. Unfortunately I have no idea when that’s going to be because it’s going to stay in the upper 90’s for the next two weeks.

riverwalk catawbwa river south carolinaRUN

I ran eight miles and then walked two. I packed a cooler in my car with bottles of ice water because I knew I was going to need a serious hydration session on the drive home. I’ve also been keeping Sour Patch Kids gum in my pocket while running. SAY WHAT? The heat makes my throat so dry and the sour gum fixes that in threes seconds. I quit running so many times because it was hard to breathe with my throat being so dry. Problem fixed!

After running, I sat on the bench to catch my breath and stretched out before walking back.

fresh fruit simply taralynn fit challenge fresh fruit simply taralynn fit challenge

I focussed on hydrating once I got back. I chugged my ice water and ate some fresh peaches and watermelon from the farmers market. I’ve been all about hydrating lately. I used to go days without picking up a glass of water and now I crave it like crazy. I think better, perform better and feel better when I’m hydrated.

fresh fruit simply taralynn fit challenge

I also crave coffee. What’s new? After hydrating, I thought I deserved a little chocolate protein latte. This had one shot of espresso from my Nespresso machine, coconut milk and two tablespoons of chocolate protein powder. It tasted like a mocha latte!

salad with ground turkey, asiago cheese, white rice, romaine, dressing, croutons, and banana peppers,

After walking Grumples, I made a salad for dinner. I love making giant salads.

My salad had romaine lettuce, ground turkey, croutons, banana peppers, shredded asiago cheese, croutons, white rice and Greek yogurt Caesar dressing.

salad with ground turkey, asiago cheese, white rice, romaine, dressing, croutons, and banana peppers,

Eyes on the prize.

& now I have my Greek yogurt waiting for me in the fridge for dessert! I mix a little honey and unsweetend cocoa powder with plain greek yogurt and freeze it for an hour.

July Fitness Challenge

Let’s start with last Monday.

I skipped the Bachelorette (thank you Hulu) so I could run four miles and meet up with Becca for a circuit at the gym. Running at night is so much easier.

July Fitness Challenge

The July Fitness Challenge has really motivated me to stick to my fitness routine and all of the support has been so wonderful! I’m thinking about an August challenge…

July Fitness Challenge Salad: Carrots, falafel, hummus & Veggie Burgers

Monday night dinner: falafel, romaine, carrots, hummus and a veggie burger (in the oven.)

Charlotte NC Painting: Skyline Queen City Charlotte NC Painting: Skyline Queen City  Charlotte NC Painting: Skyline Queen City  Charlotte NC Painting: Skyline Queen City

My Tuesday project 🙂

I’ve decided to start painting more and taking some time to do things that make me happy. I get really inspired while exploring and visiting towns.

I headed to Kyle’s on Tuesday night and we watched The Visit! Goodness, I love that movie!

I woke up at 5 am on Wednesday to have coffee before heading to a bootcamp workout at the gym with my friend Meighan. It’s funny how fast time flies by when you’re dreading something. I’m not an early morning workout person, I’m just an early morning person. My body has been used to the same routine for the past six years and I definitely put it through a shock.

We ended up running to the gym!

bootcamp & water

The workout was awesome! I wish I would have worn my running shoes instead of trainers for the track, but I still managed to survive.


I was so excited to get my coffee, plop on the couch and watch the news with Mr. Grumples. I knew I’d be sore for the next couple of days!

Banana + almond milk + 1/2 packet chocolate protein powder + stevia + ice + 1/4 CUP OATS Banana + almond milk + 1/2 packet chocolate protein powder + stevia + ice + 1/4 CUP OATS

I made a protein shake for breakfast.

Banana + almond milk + 1/2 packet chocolate protein powder + stevia + ice + 1/4 cup oatmeal.

July Fitness Challenge 45 min run/walk July Fitness Challenge 45 min run/walk

I headed out for a long walk after finishing up all my work. I knew if I didn’t walk, I’d be sore and stiff. It’s important to keep the muscles in motion when you’re sore.


It was one of those “snack all day” days. Popcorn, carrots, hummus, falafel and watermelon! I tend to be a snacker when I workout earlier in the morning. Do you guys have a favorite place to get falafel or a recipe you can recommend? I’ve been buying the jumbo falafel at Whole Food’s.

wednesday night <a href=

I made Popcorn for Kyle and I so we could watch our Wednesday night show! Oh, and Grumples…

wednesday night popcorn! wednesday night popcorn!

I got five minutes into the show and was ready for bed. I’m officially old.

coconut oil & coffee

Have you guys ever heard of oil pulling? I’ve been doing it a couple times a week. I love it. I use the CVS Health Cold Pressed coconut oil. Some people have a hard time handling the texture and taste, but I secretly love it.

coconut oil and coffee coconut oil and coffee

Becca also has me hooked on adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to my coffee. I had a tablespoon of cream with it too.

Simply Taralynn Collection Puppy Romper

I let Becca do my hair on Thursday morning and she made me look like a twelve year old at a slumber party. Some people can pull off the double side buns…not sure it’s a great look for me.

*1 small banana *1 frozen pineapple core *10 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk *1 scoop CVS vanilla protein powder *2 tablespoons chia seeds *1 cup ice *1 packet stevia! You can even add a little coconut water!

Protein shake! ?

*1 small banana *1 frozen pineapple core *10 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk *1 scoop CVS vanilla protein powder *2 tablespoons flaxseeds *1 cup ice *1 packet stevia

baby tax

I can’t stop looking at his little face. These little kittens have been roaming around Becca’s apartment complex. They’re are so stinkin’ cute. If Grumples was good with cats I’d probably take one.

Bourbon Salmon, Broccoli & Papas Fritas

I made bourbon salmon, broccoli and papas fritas on Thursday night for dinner.

Salmon, Broccoli & Papas Fritas

I love salmon and I don’t make it enough. I feel the same about broccoli.
Bourbon Salmon 
Papas Fritas

July Fitness Challenge Night Walk

We went out for a six mile walk after dinner.

July Fitness Challenge Night Walk July Fitness Challenge Night WalkJuly Fitness Challenge Night WalkJuly Fitness Challenge Night Walk July Fitness Challenge Night Walk

Our walks are always so much fun. We talk about the weirdest things and end up laughing at the dumbest stuff, mainly ourselves.

friday night with mr grumples

Kyle and I headed to my parents house on Friday night for dinner.

grilled outdoor hibachi

My parents made hibachi on the grill. I got my dad a skillet grill for Christmas and he loves it.

outdoor hibachi

This hibachi plate had broccoli, egg, shrimp, chicken, steak, bell peppers, squash, onion and zucchini.

friday night mr grumples the goldendoodlefriday night drive

The country roads are so beautiful and they remind me of Iowa.  Grumples LOVES car rides and goes nuts when he sees cows or horses. He looks so funny when he sticks his head out of the window because his hair blows in the wind. We stopped at Earthfare to pick up some Friday night ice cream and headed back to my place to watch a movie.

oatmeal & coffee

I woke up early on Saturday morning to have coffee and a cup of oatmeal. I like to respond to comments, emails and watch the news during that quiet morning time.

Southend Charlotte NC

I headed to Charlotte Yoga with my friend Meighan. We wanted to go to Katie Levan’s class, but ended up getting lost along the way and not making it in time.

Charlotte Yoga SOUTHEND CLT

It was our lucky day because they offered us the next class free. They didn’t have to do that, but we really appreciated it. The Charlotte Yoga studio is so cool. The entire floor is filled with art and we literally acted like five year olds and colored until class started. Not only was coloring fun, but so was walking around looking at the talented art from others.

Charlotte Yoga

I really liked our class. I am by no means a “yogi”, but I can hang. I didn’t feel intimidated or lost at anytime. Our instructor was so down to earth and helpful. Everyone was at their own level and she let everyone go at their own pace. I left the class feeling refreshed, inspired and at peace.

charlotte yoga charlotte yoga

If you live in the Charlotte area, you really should try out the Charlotte Yoga Studio in Southend. It was one of the best yoga experiences I’ve ever had and it made me want to go again. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere was contagious.

Southend Charlotte NCSouthend Charlotte NC: The Common Market Charlotte Southend The Common Market

When in Southend…go to the Common Market (before they close in a couple of days.) I’m so sad to see this place go. They sold the building to make room for an office building. I know they’ll be moving to a new location, but it’s still sad to see this staple spot leave the Southend. There is so much art and character that will be hard to naturally replicate.

We bought some ginger and spice Kombucha!

Atherton Mill & Market

Thank goodness Meighan is just as obsessed with coffee as I am. We headed over to the Atherton Mill and Market in Southend to pick up Not Just Coffee.

Atherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, Southend Atherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, SouthendAtherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, Southend

It was way too hot out for hot coffee, so iced coffee it was! How beautiful is this? I’m thinking inspiration for my next painting…

Not Just Coffee  is a must if you’re in Charlotte. They have three locations now and I need to hit up the new one.  I get a lot of questions about what to see, where to eat and what to do when you’re in the Queen City, so I’ve been working on a “Taralynn’s Choice” post.

Atherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, Southend Anthropology Desk

We took our coffee across the street to check out what was new at Anthropologie. I’m so obsessed with all of their stuff. I could look around Anthro for hours.

Anthropology: Southend Charlotte NC

This set up is so cute. I had to take a photo for inspiration…

Anthropology: Southend Charlotte NC grilled outdoor hibachioutdoor hibachifriday night with mr grumplesfriday night mr grumples the goldendoodle friday night driveoatmeal & coffeeSouthend Charlotte NC charlotte yoga charlotte yogaCharlotte YogaSouthend Charlotte NCSouthend Charlotte NC: The Common Market Charlotte Southend The Common MarketAtherton Mill & MarketAtherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, Southend Atherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, SouthendAtherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, SouthendAtherton Mill & Market: Not Just Coffee, Southend Anthropology DeskAnthropology: Southend Charlotte NC Anthropology: Southend Charlotte NC

That giant hanging flower arrangement was made out of died cupcake liners and torn balloons…why are so people so talented?

Charlotte NC running

When I got back, it was running time! It was 95 degrees outside, but I couldn’t use that as an excuse to quit.

Running Simply Taralynn Charlotte NC

Plus I have the best running partner. We also did a couple stairs on our route. I think doing yoga made my run so much better because my muscles were loose and ready to go!

We headed to the South Park mall after our run. Snapchat is so fun 🙂

Edamame Chips and Hummus

We stopped at Whole Foods on the way back so we could pick up some Halo Top (yes we are obsessed) fresh fruit, a yogurt parfait and some other snacks. I walk past these popped sea salt edamame chips every time I go to Whole Foods. I finally cracked and decided to try them. We dipped them in hummus and they were pretty good.

Simply Taralynn

We relaxed the rest of the afternoon and then got cleaned up for dinner.

Can’t leave without a little serenading from Kyle ♥

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

We went to the Poplar Street Cafe & Wine Bar with some friends.

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

This place is so underrated. Why isn’t this place filled with people? Why aren’t there fights for reservations? It blows my mind…

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

I have been here twice now and it’s been exceptional both times. It’s such a cute and romantic little spot. It gives you a warm southern welcome as soon as you step on the property. The hanging lights in the trees, the front porch swing and the creaking old door looks like it was stolen from a Nicholas Sparks set…& it’s right in the city!

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

This place should be filled up at 7pm on a Saturday night.

They let us seat ourselves and it was hard to choose between the classy rooms or the outdoor patio. Last time we ate there, the manager gave us a little history tour of the house.

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

I wish their coffee and dessert bar was open early mornings and late nights on the weekends. I also think they should have weekend breakfasts! How cute is this little coffee bar? I just want to work there.

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

The waitress was so sweet and welcoming. She memorized all of our orders and they came out perfectly…I was so impressed. I don’t know how she did it! She even brought me a sample cheese plate to choose which one I liked for my salad. I didn’t even ask her to do that.

We started with asian chicken skewers and the hummus plate. All of the starters were great. Rich with flavor and enough to fill the whole table of four. I LOVED the hummus and the way they grilled the warm pitas for dipping. *they should serve veggies with that plate.

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

All of the meals/appetizers were very inexpensive and you get a lot of food.

Still not understanding why this place isn’t packed.

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

I ordered the Arugula Pear Salad:
Arugula / Anjou Pear / Gorgonzola / Manchego / Walnuts / Olive Oil Lime Dressing + Chicken

The salad was giant and all of the flavors went so perfectly together. I was full after eaten half but it was so good I couldn’t stop. Their homemade dressing was a hit! I’d love to get my hands on that recipe…

Poplar Street Cafe: Charlotte North Carolina, The Fourth Ward

This is a place I want to bring all of my friends and family who visit from out of town and a place I hope stays open forever. I just love it! It will definitely be added to the “Taralynn’s Choice” list!

vanilla bean halo top

So…I finally got my hands on the Vanilla Bean 🙂 & IT’S AMAZING!!!!

Now I have three more flavors to go!

These two are something else. ♥♥♥

siggis and cereal siggis and cereal

I woke up early on Sunday morning to explore the abandoned buildings of the Carolinas with Becca. Becca likes to shoot abandoned buildings and history. She’s actually very good at it. You can follow her explorations on her Instagram. I decided to tag along with her this time.

My to-go breakfast was half a container of Siggi’s Vanilla yogurt topped with cereal. I like to add a little bit of local honey to the yogurt.

mamas coffee house charlotte nc

We stopped at Mama’s Coffee shop before heading out on the explorations. I’ve driven by this place for over two years and had never stopped.

mamas coffee house charlotte nc mamas coffee house charlotte nc

Sometimes crazy decor can be tasteful but I wasn’t feeling this place. I think it was a personal preference, but the vibe reminded me of places I have visited in bad dreams. Little kids banging on the piano and people sitting on the couch filled with permanent marker. I’m not sure how I feel about fabric couches filled with permanent marker…they have obviously been there for a long time and you’d have to pay me to sit on it. The vibe just kind of weirded me out. It was a little over stimulated.

mamas coffee house charlotte nc

I may have judged this place by the cover because I secretly have a thing against yellow buildings. I’m starting to sound like the weirdest person ever. Becca agreed with me, so I was a little less worried about my sanity.

mamas coffee house charlotte nc mamas coffee house charlotte nc

I’m more of a classy or rustic coffee shop goer. Would be cool if they painted the walls a solid clean color and then designated one wall just for drawing.

mamas coffee house charlotte nc mamas coffee house charlotte nc

BUT, some people really do like crazy decor like this and I’ve heard that their food is really really good, so just because I wasn’t a fan of this place, doesn’t mean the next person won’t love it. They are known for their tasty sandwiches and desserts.

We drove all the way out to Lancaster, South Carolina. It was an abandoned heaven spot for Becca.

exploring the abandoned carolinas exploring the abandoned carolinas

I stood in the middle of the street for almost five minutes before a car passed.


We were both ready for brunch after exploring in the heat! We decided to eat at the Terrace Cafe in Ballantyne. I’ve been a fan of this place since moving to Charlotte. I used to live right next to it and I’d walk there for breakfast.

I ordered their Veggie Omelet. It was an egg white omelet with onion, tomato and peppers. It was served with wheat toast and fresh fruit. I ordered the side of bacon:) They serve the toast with the berry best jam!

Becca and I headed to the gym after breakfast. We decided to keep our phones in the car and it was the best decision we ever made. We had the best two hour circuit (had no idea what time it was) and I kept finding myself getting the urge to look at my phone. It’s crazy how addicted I am and I didn’t realize it until I went without it for a couple hours. I am going to start doing this more. I feel like there are no distractions and no rush when I don’t have my phone. We finished our workout with a 30 minute sauna session.

Sunday night stir fry dinner

I headed to the grocery store after the gym to pick up some things for Sunday night dinner. I was in the mood for chicken stir-fry & it’s so easy to make.

I chopped up the vegetables, cooked them with olive oil and classic stir fry sauce on high for twenty minutes. I used bell peppers, carrots, broccoli and onions. I added the broccoli once the other vegetables are almost fully cooked. I don’t like overcooked broccoli.

Sunday night stir fry dinner

I cooked the chicken in a separate pan on high with olive oil and classic stir fry sauce.

Sunday night stir fry dinner

I drained the chicken and then added it to the pan with the vegetables. I mixed in three tablespoons of sweet chili sauce, covered the stir fry and let it sit while I made the rice.

Sunday night stir fry dinner

I’m obsessed with boil in bag Jasmine white sticky rice!

Sunday night stir fry dinner

I want this meal all over again 🙂 I love how easy stir fry is to make and it’s very inexpensive for how much it makes!


Someone was hungover from the weekend and had Monday morning fever…& I’m not talking about me.

His favorite spot. I always pull the blinds up so he can keep a watch out.

I had some peach oatmeal before heading out on my run!

july fitness challenge 

Five miles never felt so good! I was rushing because I was dinner motivated.

simply taralynn fit challenge dinner

I had ground turkey, rice, baked zucchini and eggs. I usually dip everything in low sodium soy sauce.

Simply Taralynn Collection Puppy Romper puppy romper

Puppy Romper is in my shop 🙂

I had such a great week! ♥

Questions for you!

  1. The July Fitness Challenge ends in four days…should I do an August one?
  2. Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?
  3. If you could choose my next blogpost to write, what would you want it to be?


  • Rian

    Taralynn, you have come a long way since your original blogging days. What an amazing and inspiring woman you have turned out to be! Your blog is filled with positivity, joy and warmth. So different from some of the other more media-driven ones out there. Thanks for your hard work and I’m glad to see it’s been paying off for you.

    You have DEFINITELY inspired me to get in better shape. I myself struggle with food costs for healthy food, plus am surrounded by temptations, as the house I rent a room in is filled with lots of sugary cereal and boxed stuff. But where there is a will, there’s a way…

    Thank you! 🙂

    Reply to Rian
  • Ashton Jury

    Your stir fry looks amazing! Are the boil bags near just the regular rice at your grocery store? I’ve been obsessed with cauliflower rice lately, I love the frozen one from Trader Joes, I made a fake chicken fried rice with it. But the boil rice sounds so simple and easy!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Lily

    I love love love reading your blogs. I love the new set-up. But I find it a little hard to read with this font. I feel like it strains my eyes trying to read this.

    Reply to Lily
  • Madison

    I literally stood up from my desk at work and did 30 crunches and some light yoga after reading your post! Thanks for inspiring me.

    Reply to Madison
  • Mackenzie

    Taralynn- your zest for life and adventure is beautiful ❤️ My husband makes fun of how excited I get when you make a post. You inspire me girl, thanks for always keepin’ it real!

    Reply to Mackenzie
  • Carly

    I love your recap posts! Your drive behind workouts is inspiring and it shows… you look great! Also all of your pictures and stories about Charlotte make me want to visit SO much!

    I agree with most other commenters and say YES you should do an August Challenge! I was traveling for most of July so I missed out, but was inspired to fit in what I could by your instagram pictures!

    My weekend will be dedicated to relaxing and enjoying summer! I plan to be outside as much as possible early in the morning or just before dusk so its not too hot! I also hope to throw in a few workouts! 🙂

    I always love your blog posts, so its hard for me to pick what the next should be! I always love your recipes and restaurant reviews (even if they are a part of your recaps). I would love to see a ‘favorites’ post that could be favorite places in Charlotte, favorite blogs, or favorite cities you’ve visited.

    Keep loving life like you do! Its inspiring! 🙂

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Carly!

      Charlotte is the city I LOVE. I used to hop for state to state/town to town and Charlotte is the one place I NEVER wanted to leave. This place is home and I hope it will forever be home.

      I’m hoping to do something for August!

      Your weekend sounds perfect! Mine was so so so low-key and much needed.

      Those are all great posts ideas. Thank you and I will keep them all in mind!!

      xo & thanks for stopping by to common! I always love hearing from you girl!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kathleen

    I love you and your blog, and have been following since your Tumblr blog. :]
    I’m also an avid runner, lifter and cyclist, averaging at about 10 to 12 mile runs a day (sometimes more) with long rides on the bike here and there. Running and cycling are my life.
    Have you thought of going on a raw till 4 or 80/10/10 vegan lifestyle? I think you would love and thrive on that lifestyle. I’ve been vegan since I was seven and turned to raw till 4 and 80/10/10 in the past three years, and it has really made a difference in my workouts, mental clarity, health, appearance, and just overall I feel amazing. You should try it, even for a week. You can’t knock it until you try it…. or even try one or two days out of the week making just all vegan meals and snacks. :]

    Lots of love to you! ???

    Reply to Kathleen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kathleen!

      Thank you 🙂 You are very very active! WOW! I don’t know how you do it!

      A vegan/raw any food lifestyle isn’t really realistic for me. I don’t like to limit or label my diet. There are days where I eat vegan, days where I eat bad, days when I eat really healthy and I like having that balance. Mentally telling myself what food I can eat/can’t isn’t healthy for me. I also had my doctor tell me in 2012 that I needed to start eating meat because of the iron. I have been anemic for years and symptoms are worse without heme iron, which is only found in animal proteins. It’s easier absorbed and I have a hard time on a plant based diet. I definitely do a lot of vegans meals and TRULY LOVE THEM:) I keep a balance. 😀


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca

    Do you have a recipe for the bourbon salmon? That sounds so good. I think you should do an August fitness challenge. Even though I didn’t post during the July challenge, it really did inspire me!

    Reply to Rebecca
  • Agnes

    Super, he also runs!
    I always admire your rules, they are great!

    Reply to Agnes
  • Taylor

    I never thought about putting protein powder in my coffee! That’s brilliant!

    Reply to Taylor
  • Anonymous

    I created my own fitness challenge for August where I will be doing cardio and focusing on working different areas of my body on different days (arms on day 1,back day 2 and so on) But I do hope you keep the # going. Seeing other people working out and what they are eating has helped me reach my July goals (early!)
    As for you next blog post – in depth post about your fitness and meal prep/plan ideas . Also It sounds like you goals will be different this time around so I would love to hear about them too. Happy FriYay!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Danielle

    I always love the displays in Anthro! Little tidbit of info: I live in Nashville and my friend James Worsham is an installation artist. He is flown all over the country to different Anthropologie stores to do their installations. He’s incredible! His house has random tree branches coming out of the walls. It’s so artistic and beautiful!

    Please do an August fitness challenge! I have LOVED the July one!!

    Lastly, I must know where your shoes came from in that last photo with the puppy romper! I feel like you have posted about them before, but I can’t find the post!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Isabella

    I’d love to see an August challenge! More recipes and food-based goals would also be great since diet is what I struggle with the most.

    I love reading your fun and motivational posts, but I’d always be curious to see more about your struggles. Do you ever face challenges with time-management and your workouts? When you make an enormous delicious stir-fry, do you ever struggle with willpower not to eat seconds or thirds? I find mental blocks get in the way of my health goals the most so I’m always hungry for tips to motivate/restrain/empower myself.

    Reply to Isabella
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Diet is definitely everything and all about balance.

      I know this might sound crazy, but I don’t really face challenges of time-management. I wake up early morning and try to get all of my work done and then set an hour aside to workout everyday and if it wasn’t enough, I do a little more at night. I like to randomly do abs/planks/sit ups/burpees/squats throughout the day! As for the food, I have a wonderful balance and relationship with food. I don’t stress over eating bad things and I don’t tell myself I can’t have anything. If I want seconds of stir-fry, I have seconds. The beauty of stir-fry is that it’s so healthy you can do that. I try to make healthy meals and meals I feel really good about. When I treat myself and never restrict food or cravings, I find that I don’t crave them as much. If you don’t have a balance, you’ll struggle. There is no reason to limit yourself. If you find yourself wanting more food, craving a ton, and getting stressed out/struggling with thoughts, then your body is trying to tell you something. 1. Treat yourself. 2. Never restrict. 3. stop counting calories. 4. eat more protein. 5 eat more often. & stop beating yourself up 🙂 It should be a lifestyle and a way of life…you shouldn’t have to overthink anything! Your diet and fitness lifestyle should feel natural.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mason

    You and Kyle look so great together!

    Reply to Mason
  • Ariel

    A little coconut oil in the coffee trick:

    After adding the coconut oil into your coffee, put it in the blender for a little!! It makes your coffee really frothy! (kind of like a latte!) And less like you’re just drinking coffee and coconut oil 😉

    Reply to Ariel
  • Courtney

    I have been reading your blog for many years. It’s crazy that you are in my backyard now (Lancaster). Next time you are out this way, you should visit 40 Acre Rock in Kershaw, SC and Landsford Canal State Park in Fort Lawn, SC.

    Reply to Courtney
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to check that out:) Do you ever go to Waxhaw? ALSO, what are some good places to see in Lancaster? Cute little places to eat? secret spots?!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Angelica

    Hey there lady!
    YES! Please do an August challenge, I got a bad flare up and fell off the workout wagon…. Thinking of doing a round of the whole 30 program, OR my own eat clean August challenge to go with the fitness challenge.

    This weekend I’m going a Mickey Mouse Party for a 1 year old. should be fun 🙂

    I would love a home decor post or diy post

    thank you

    Reply to Angelica
  • Mindy Colburn

    Please, please do an August fitness challenge! It is so motivating and gets people supporting one another!

    Reply to Mindy Colburn
  • Jess

    Yes please do an August fitness challenge I would love it!!!

    Reply to Jess
  • Lauren

    (Hey, Taralynn! I’m not sure, but it seems as if the comment I left yesterday might not have gone through??? I’m not sure, but I’m reposting it just in case. And if it did go through and you just haven’t had time to approve it yet, I’m sorry to bother you!)

    Wow– the floor of your yoga class is amazing! How much fun that would be! And your runs are looking fantastic — the mileage you’re putting in is amazing!

    1. YES!!! Please do an August challenge. Even though I mostly do my own routines other than what’s posted on your site, the accountability and encouragement of Instagram and your blog has really encouraged me to push myself this month. It has been wonderful….
    2. My folks are actually coming down to visit my husband and I, so that will be wonderful! We’re getting Papa Murphy’s on Friday and probably going hiking on Saturday, plus they’ll get to come to our church and pick up Bountiful Baskets with us. I’m so excited!
    3. Hmmm…I really like your recap posts. Or maybe one about things you’ve been “liking” recently– books, TV series, specific exercises, songs, that sort of thing….

    I’m excited to see the new blog design!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Tara

    I would love for you to do an August fit challenge! We were gone on vacation for a while during July so I couldn’t follow it all the way, but it gives me motivation and ideas for workouts! I love ground turkey too! I season it with Mrs. Dash southwestern seasoning and bake it for about about 25 minutes. It’s so good!

    Reply to Tara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I will see what I can come up with. I’ve been sorting out my own personal goals so I may tie that in there and make the fitness challenge a mental one too! I will have to try to make my ground turkey like that! Thanks for the tip.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenny

    1. Even if I haven’t been able to complete the July Fitness challenge every day I’m super motivated by it. I’ve had to modify what I do some days, but that totally still works. Please do an August one! 🙂

    2. It’s my birthday on Friday so we are going camping in Napa for the weekend! It’s going to be super warm, but I’m planning on bike rides to wine tasting, some hiking and maybe finding a swimming hole somewhere to cool down.

    3. I’m always a huge fan of ‘a day in the life’ style posts, or how-to explanations of something (organizing part of the house, building outfits, painting, planning a weekly menu, etc).

    Reply to Jenny
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Modifying is great! Love that you do that instead of nothing at all.

      SO MANY BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEKEND!! Happy early birthday to you! Your weekend is going to be a blast and I can’t wait to hear all about it! xo

      I will try to do that! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooke

    I tried the Halo ice cream recently since you recommended it! I got the birthday cake one and it is really good! Definitely hits the spot when a craving strikes.

    Also, your stir-fry looks so good! I always use the Soyaki sauce from Trader Joe’s in mine. Have you tried that? It’s amazing!

    Reply to Brooke
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ugh. I am SO JEALOUS that you got to try the birthday cake one. I want to so bad 🙁 Hoping Whole Foods will have it in by Friday!

      I havnet tried Trader Joe’s yet but I’d like to!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kaiko

    I would love a post about how you built to the runner you are now. I’ve been trying to get into running, but I never progress very far. Would love some tips!!!

    Reply to Kaiko
  • Christy

    I would absolutely love an August fitness challenge. I started following the July on late, it’s be nice to do one thats a whole month!

    Reply to Christy
  • candace

    1 – definitely do another challenge – great way to stay motivated!

    2- My birthday is this weekend! And I have nothing planned and nothing to do 🙁

    3- no idea what you should write next, maybe something on how to rest/relax, things you can do at home (coloring, small diy projects) – I have a hard time just chilling and could use some ideas

    Reply to candace
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I think so too!

      HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!:) The great thing is that you have one more day to plan! Maybe go grab dinner with your friends!

      I think that’s a great one. I really like coffee & netflix…and secretly sometimes do puzzles. 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Evie

    1. The July Fitness Challenge ends in four days…should I do an August one?
    Yes, please continue! I’m loving the motivation boost.

    2. Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?
    Weather permitting I plan to go on the longest bike ride I can handle! Then I’m going to a traditional festival here in Tokyo 🙂

    3. If you could choose my next blogpost to write, what would you want it to be?
    I always enjoy your DIY and decor posts. It would be really nice to see some more bits and pieces from around your apartment. I really like your sense of style!


    Reply to Evie
    • Taralynn McNitt


      A bike ride sounds great! I have to fit one in soon.

      Thank you so much! I need to start doing more painting and DIY. I already have an idea planned out!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • harley

    I call those big salads….Hugh Jass Salads. ?

    Reply to harley
  • Brooklyn

    You should definitely do an August fitness challenge!
    Poplar street cafe looks so romantic <3 I wish I lived in the South!
    I'm like Becca, abandoned places are so beautiful in photos.

    I used to run in crazy heat, now I can't even stand SITTING in crazy heat. I have been dying just being in my apartment, and outside is worse. I don't know how you do it girl!

    I've never had papa fritas. But they look good!

    Can't wait to see your new blog design!


    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      The South is wonderful and the best decision I ever made!

      It’s a suffer. I hate it! I’m just so so so looking forward to the cooler months.

      They’re like crispy little french fries!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Wow– the floor of your yoga class is amazing! How much fun that would be! And your runs are looking fantastic — the mileage you’re putting in is fantastic!

    1. YES!!! Please do an August challenge. Even though I mostly do my own routines other than what’s posted on your site, the accountability and encouragement of Instagram and your blog has really encouraged me to push myself this month. It has been wonderful….
    2. My folks are actually coming down to visit my husband and I, so that will be wonderful! We’re getting Papa Murphy’s on Friday and probably going hiking on Saturday, plus they’ll get to come to our church and pick up Bountiful Baskets with us. I’m so excited!
    3. Hmmm…I really like your recap posts. Or maybe one about your “likes” lately — books, TV series, specific exercises, songs, that sort of thing….

    I’m excited to see the new blog design!

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That was the best studio and so gorgeous! & thank you so much! I didn’t hit my 150 mile goal yet BUT I DID BREAK MY RECORD for miles in a month.

      1. So glad to hear that. The workouts are just for a guide if you can’t do your own thing. I LVOE THAT YOU DO YOUR OWN THING. When it comes to healthy and fitness, you have to do what YOU LOVE and what WORKS BEST for YOU! 😀 I didn’t stick to it perfectly either.

      2. Sounds like the perfect weekend!!!

      3. That could be a cool one 😀


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Do you chew gum after coffee to refresh your breath?:) that’s my thing with coffee!

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Tara

    Taralynn, what is the brand of boil in a bag rice you used?! I never can make sticky rice correctly…also your next post should be a new dessert from the Food Network. You always pick out the best ones.

    P.S. if you have time check out my blog and give me some feedback! Brand new at this and have showcased your protein peanut butter cup recipe already ? http://www.walkgingerly.weebly.com

    Reply to Tara
    • Taralynn McNitt


      It’s called “success white jasmine rice” it doesn’t say “sticky” but it really is the same thing!

      I love the name of your blog! so cute 🙂 Loved your blog and it looks like you’re doing well! My only tip is to make sure all the images match each other in size! It always looks a little neater that way! Thank you for sharing my recipe! Yours looked great!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Morgan

    Your next blog post should be how you and kyle met/your love story!? #sorryImNosy #yallaresocute

    Reply to Morgan
  • Alex

    Hi Taralynn!
    I just love your recap posts, I look forward to them every week!

    Random question: I saw you added ground turkey to your salad, it looks so good! I’ve been wanting to cook more with it but I’m new to it, is it the type that you can prep and then store in your fridge to add to meals here and there throughout the week? I’m trying to get better at cooking in general haha but it’s intimidating! I’ve followed your blog and recipes for a few years now and hope to be cooking like you someday! I know it takes a lot of practice, did you just go through a lot of trial and error before you got it all right? Any tips for a beginner? 🙂

    Thanks so much!! <3

    Reply to Alex
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Alex!!

      Thanks so much & sorry for not getting one out sooner!

      That is exactly what I do with my ground turkey. I cook it up on the stovetop without any seasonings and then add it to wraps, spaghetti squash salads, rice etc! I love the flavor of ground turkey plain too. We all start somewhere!! 🙂 Trial and error for everything in life! Start with easy things like rice, eggs, cooking up ground turkey on the stovetop, baking chicken and things will start to make sense. I also love watching the food network.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ericka

    Aside from yoga, what other group fitness classes do you recommend? I love the energy a group setting provides, it’s just that I don’t have a ton of rhythm (or so I think in my head haha!) so classes like Zumba, pilates, cardio funk etc., I try to steer clear from. I’m also interested in getting into more of a strength training routine… any suggestions would be a huge help!!! THANKS! PS. LOVE long posts 😉 keep ’em coming <3

    Reply to Ericka
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Ericka!

      Rhythm?…I HAVE NONE. As long as you’re moving and having fun, that’s all that matters. It’s not the rhythm that builds muscle or burns calories. I really like boot camps, body pup classes or barre. You should try out one of those if you want to work on strength training. I like to write down my won circuits and take them to them gym too! 🙂 & thank you so much!! I love writing them.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    I love your long recap posts, I enjoy drinking a cup of coffee or tea when I read them 🙂

    Weekend plans? My second baby shower (!), hopefully a run if my sprained ankle cooperates, and watching a movie with my husband!

    OH MY LANTA! Just tried Halo Top (I couldn’t resist after seeing you posts about it a couple times!) and now I am officially addicted. So far, I’ve tried the vanilla bean and strawberry. They were both perfect in every way!

    Have a great weekend girl!

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Bethany!

      It’s funny you should say that because I enjoy coffee or tea while writing them/or commenting.

      YAY! The baby shower should be so much fun!! 🙂 What movie are you thinking about watching?

      HALO TOP IS EVERYTHING and will most likely land in ALL of my future recap posts. You tried great flavors! I think I like it better than the “bad for you” ice cream.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    1. You should absolutely do an August one!! I haven’t been able to follow the July one to a T (my job is super stressful lately and I’ve been working LONG hours), but the past week I have stepped up my game and figured out a way to motivate myself!! I have a planner that I write down all my exercises that I did for that day, and I open it up every morning and think of ways I can do better today! So far it has worked wonders! I am loving the motivation from it and it helps me de-stress in a MAJOR way! Exercising really is the best stress reliever!

    2. My Saturday routine for the last couple months has been a 2 mile run followed by a 2 mile walk at Freedom Park/Sugar Creek Greenway, followed by a latte at Not Just Coffee & walking through the Atherton Mill Market! This blog post was the entirety of my day Saturday! Even including going to the Whole Foods at South Park to get strawberry Halo Top which I am now OBSESSED WITH

    3. Your blog posts motivate me to explore new areas of Charlotte! I think doing a post of your favorite spots in Charlotte would be awesome! There is always something going on and some new restaurant or market opening! (I personally can’t wait for O-Ku to open in the Atherton Mill… I’ve been to the one in Charleston and it’s SO good!!) Your posts get my butt out of bed on Saturday (early) mornings and get out and be active! (before the temp gets to 150 degrees….). I can’t just sit in the house anymore!

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You definitely do not have to follow the plan to a T…I DON’T EVEN DO THAT! It’s all about motivating and using it as a guide if you’re stuck! Its great to hear that you have been motivating yourself. Sounds like you have it all under control! Nice job on keeping a planner. I do that too…but in the blog form 😉 It also help to create a private Instagram account and post everything to motivated yourself.

      Surprised we haven’t ran into each other. SOUNDS LIKE MY SATURDAYS 🙂 If Halo runs out…I KNOW WHO TO BLAME!!! kidding…but seriously. I did ask the manager to get all the flavors in!! So he said he’d do what he could!

      I love the Queen City so much and it’s growing so fast that I can barely keep up. I have never even heard of O-KU! I’ll have to look that up! Glad I can help you start your day saturday 😉 THIS HEAT HAS BEEN NUTS!!! xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • debbie in alaska

    If you put the coffee, coconut oil and cream in a blender with a little cinnamon – it emulsifies and gets all frothy and amazing.

    Reply to debbie in alaska
  • Liceth

    Omg I love your blog I have been following along for years but have always been afraid to comment lol. Anyyywaays . Please do an August challenge , sadly I was on vacation without wifi when I found about the July challenge but i figured I would repeat it by myself in August . Your workouts that you provided with the plan are super organized and perfect for someone like me who wants to get back into exercising again.
    For my weekend plans I am going out to the Orange County fair on Sunday with freinds and family to celebrate my 25th birthday lol..as a present to myself I want to focus on myself for my 25th and get back into shape and to start to eat healthy as well..an Agust challenge would be a great help if you did one again 🙂
    For your posts I honestly already love what you write about ..but as someone who is going to get back into running I would love to see a a beginners running workout or something like that .

    Reply to Liceth
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Afraid to comment!? I love comments. Never be afraid!! & thank you for being a reader for years!! It’s nice to hear from you and I LOVE getting to know my readers.

      I may just have to do a July Fitness Challenge. Looks like a lot of people missed out! 🙂 It’s fun for me because it keeps me just as motivated and I can always use an extra push! I hope you had fun on your vacation…I don’t know how you went without wifi! Healthy though! I hate how dependent I am on it.


      & thank you. That is very sweet of you! I have a post 3/4 written for runners! I need to get it done 🙂 xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    The July Fitness Challenge ends in four days…should I do an August one?

    Yes! I’m not doing the July fit chall 100%, but it still motivates me

    Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?

    Yes – my parents will be in town. Can’t wait to see them!

    I’m always asking you guys questions! Do you have anything to ask me?

    What job would you want if you weren’t a blogger?

    Reply to Amanda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s all about motivation! I don’t care if someone just reads it:) I love knowing that it can motivate them to do something, even their own workouts!

      That’ll be great! Family time is very important.

      That is seriously a really good question. I think there are several things I’d like to be…
      Elementary Teacher…or own a healthy coffee cafe.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kate

    I love these long posts!
    My question for you is this…I have never been a runner. I have tried and failed several times. Do you have any advice for someone who is starting out as a serious beginner? I want to love running, I just don’t! I do workout regularly and take classes(zumba, weight lifting, tabata, spin, etc). I need to get myself into a better routine of eating healthy, exercising, and losing weight. You do such a great job of balancing. Any tips would be great!

    Reply to Kate
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Kate!

      No one was born a runner. We ALL started somewhere and I actually still don’t feel like a runner or consider myself one. I remember not being able to run for literally one minute. You have to start somewhere, start small, and don’t start too fast. You can’t get discouraged and you can’t ONLY run.

      I started out by running one minute/walking one minute and doing that for thirty minutes three times a week. Eventually it turned into running 2 minutes/walking 1 minutes and then running 5 minutes/walking 1 minute and so on! Never ever focus on speed. Focus on how long you can run for and your body will naturally get faster.

      Make sure to do other workouts to strengthen your muscles! Strength train and stretch. You also have to hydrate, eat the right foods and do a lot of reading on the art of running. I love learning new things and trying out new workouts to improve my running.

      Running isn’t fun when it’s hard. If you keep practicing, it’l be come easy and you’l love it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Kate

        Thank you, thank you! I ‘m looking forward to hitting the pavement tonight. Hopefully it’s something I can work towards enjoying…fingers crossed! Ha!

        Reply to Kate
  • Kate

    1. Yes!! I didn’t have time/motivation to do the July challenge, but after seeing how many people participated I would love to do the August challenge if you end up putting one together!

    2. This weekend, my boyfriend is going to be out of town so I have the house to myself (and my dog, Sully). I cannot wait to watch some must needed Rom Coms, play music, and focus on myself for a couple days.

    3. I struggle with balancing eating healthy and “cheat meals”. I never know how many times I should be allowing myself to “cheat”, and I don’t want to be to strict because then I end up bingeing after too long. How often would you say you “cheat”?

    Reply to Kate
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kate!

      I may put together something for it! 🙂 I love bringing people together for a fitness group.

      You’re going to have a fun weekend to yourself!! Love that you have everything planned.

      I don’t really plan cheat meals. I kind of just focus on eating healthy all the time and then treating myself to unhealthy things in moderation whenever I want. Planning when to eat things sounds silly. If you plan things or restrict stuff, you’ll want to binge for sure. You have to find a balance! If you’re working out regularly, eating healthy, and treating yourself…you won’t need to plan cheat meals.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. Though I fell off the wagon a little bit with the July challenge, I would love an August one. I love the few longer circuits that the July challenge entailed. It’s something I’m not good at creating for myself & I love that it required no weights & really got my heart rate up. Even if you don’t want to do a whole month you could do something like a “Friday Fitness Challenge” – release a circuit you’ve made up & people post as they complete it?

    2. I’m doing a preview run of a 10K trail course I’m running in a few weeks + my running group is hosting a picnic afterwards as well. Other than that, a band I like is in town, so I may hit that up. No one wants to go with me, so I’d be flying solo, but been there, done that.

    And the garden has gone crazy. The BF & I have made over 40 jars of pickles + pickle relish + pickled watermelon rinds & there are still more cucumbers to come, and then it’ll be salsa time when all the tomatoes ripen. So, I just may spend my weekend in the kitchen.

    3. Next blog post. Hmm. Interestingly enough, I’m working on a Best of the Best post for Pittsburgh. To include all my favorites. A local magazine does one every year, but I feel like they leave out so many great places. What about something like what a typical day looks like for you. I know you don’t have a normal 9-5, which I’m always so intrigued by. It’s something I would love to break away from eventually, I just have to find something I’m passionate enough about that would also pay me.

    Where do you find your boil in a bag sticky rice!? That sounds awesome!

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Jessie!

      I also LOVED the circuits. I try to keep them weightless for all levels and for people who do not have access to home. People who workout a bunch usually know that they can add weights if they need to. That is a really great idea about the Friday Fitness challenge or something like that! 🙂 Thanks girl.

      That sounds like such a blast. I plan on joining a running club in the Fall! Love that you can fly solo to those events. You’re awesome!

      HOLY MOLY! 20 JARS OF PICKLES!!! Where are you storing these? lol You may be the most interesting person I know and I LOVE IT. You’re always doing something crazy or super adventurous!

      That is crazy. Great minds think alike! I’d love to read your best of Pittsburgh. 🙂 I feel like my day in the life post would be so boring! lol

      GROCERY STORE OR AMAZON! 😀 look for the purple and red box!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

        Haha, we were actually laughing because we’ve run out of places to store them! And since the cucumbers were a flop last year we didn’t even think we’d get any. Surprise, surprise. Right now we’ve got a hall closet full of winter coats & pickles. Haha.

        I’ll let you know when I post it. Despite these places being my favorites, I hardly have any pictures. So, I’m trying to hold off until I can get some. Which I guess just means eating at all my favorite places. 😉

        Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
        • Taralynn McNitt

          hahaha you need to take those things to the farmers market or start giving them away! SO FUNNY! Hopefully you don’t smell like pickles this winter 😉

          eating at your fave places? NO…..

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chandler

    Hey Taralynn! Your healthy lifestyle is SO motivating. YES, please do an August fitness challenge. I just got engaged, and I need to kick my butt into gear for the wedding! I’m not sure of my weekend plans yet. Either the cabin, or hanging out with friends, so great either way 🙂 What was the iced coffee drink you got early in the post? It looks delish! A question for you is when/how do you intentionally take time to relax during the week?

    Reply to Chandler
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Chandler!


      Sounds like you’ll have a great weekend no matter what you do!

      The iced drink was just coffee & cream!

      I relax while blogging. I never feel overworked or tired, so it’s a good downtime for me. Walking is also my form of relaxation.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily B

    Ummm.. the chocolate protein latte looks awesome! I am assuming you blend it all up really good so it’s not powdery (totally not a word..but you catch my drift! Lol!) Definitely going to have to try that. I also put coconut oil in my coffee. I’ve been doing it more frequently. I made a coconut oil/honey/cinnamon/vanilla mixture that I put in my coffee a few times a week. It’s delish! Add a little half and half and it’s like a cafe miel!!
    What’s your favorite Halo Top flavor? The first kind I tried was the vanilla bean and just recently tried the strawberry. Loved them both! They aren’t readily available to me so I can only get what’s available at the store when I’m there 🙂
    1. You totally should do an August challenge…mostly because my schedule didn’t allow for me to do the July one 🙂
    2. I’m on my last weekend of shows for Shrek the Musical! A little sad it’s over, but mostly glad to get my life back. Shrek has taken over my whole summer so I am just chomping at the bit to do all the summer things in August!

    Reply to Emily B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It was so good. It was a vegan based protein and dissolved with the hot espresso really well. I didn’t even need to stir! I’ll post that brand in the next post! Your coconut oil & spice coffee sounds amazing! I do it once or twice a week as well.

      It’s so hard. I LOVE THEM ALL & really really want to get my hands on the other flavors. I like the vanilla 🙂

      I’ll try to come up with one! 🙂

      I bet you’re so ready for a little break. I know how overwhelming shows get! *thespian here* I’m sure you’re doing such a great job! Wish I could see!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Meredith

    I always chew gum during runs and during boxing class! If I don’t I’ll convince myself that I need to drink water every 30 seconds. ?

    Reply to Meredith
  • shanna

    1. I planned on following the july challenge, but it was too much for my level. I think an august one would be great! sure has worked for you! I’m sure there are others you have inspired as well.
    2. Saturday work for a couple hours (ugh) and a baseball game with the family. sunday a 10 mile family bike race.
    3. actually, I was going to ask how you met becca. glad you opened the door on questions so that it didn’t seem weird. you always say how different you to and I can see it on the surface, but you seem to have a lot in common personality and health-wise. I read her guest post but I don’t recall it mentioning how you two clicked.

    oh yeah, damn, those abs! you look great!

    and I also crave water. haha

    Reply to shanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Shanna!

      The great thing about the fitness challenge is that you can moderate it to fit your own level 🙂 Next time you need help, let me know!

      Sounds like you’re going to get some nice family time in!

      Becca and I met through a mutual friend that she works with. We really do have a lot in common and our “differences” compliment each other. She really is the best!

      & thank you so much! I have a lot of work to do still!

      xo xo xo Come back and tell me all about your weekend!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Liv

    I would absolutely love an August fitness challenge! The July one motivated me so much and helped with my biggest problem concerning exercising, not knowing what to do, what’s a good balance of workouts, etc. it would be amazing (if you do an August challenge) if you could maybe throw in some more gym workouts…I have a membership but rarely know what to do there as well ?

    The fair is definitely in the plans for this weekend!

    How do you balance work/school/workout time? You do so much all the time it looks like, and my health definitely suffers from lack of time with my two jobs. Do you have any tips for quick gym workouts, eating healthy on the go, etc?

    Your blog has changed my life in so many ways- the positivity and guidance from someone who seems so down to earth and real is always welcome. In the past year I’ve struggled with horrible anxiety and depression as a result of a newly diagnosed health issue, and reading some of your past posts about similar issues has really brought positivity back into my life in some aspects.

    Have a blessed day!

    Reply to Liv
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Liv!

      I’m so happy to hear that you loved and used the July Fitness Challenge. I felt so motivated and it really held me accountable. I will definitely keep the gym workouts in mind.

      I bet the fair will be so much fun! I do miss the Iowa State fair! I used to go every year.

      I wake up very early in the morning and go straight to my computer to work. When I hit a stump, I go workout. I always keep myself surrounded by healthy food. If something bad is in the house, I’ll most likely eat it at night. I make sure healthy options are available and healthy dessert alternatives are available. I also “go with the flow” and do as I feel. It’s kind of the beauty of working from home I suppose.

      Thank you so much for the kind words. You have no idea what that means to me! I know how bad anxiety and depression is and just keep working on yourself and pushing past it. This too shall pass and it’s all about finding positive people and things to surround yourself with! An optimistic mind is key.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Annalisa

    First off, I love your long recap posts! They always help motivate me–thanks for doing them 🙂 I’d love an August Fitness Challenge. I’m heading back to grad school next week and a fitness challenge would help maintain some consistency/sanity during the back-to-school frenzy for everyone I think!

    This weekend I’ll be camping/hiking with my boyfriend, we love being outside even though it’s been extremely hot here in Iowa (love the evening country drive pics, they do look like home)! He’s staying here while I go back to NC for school, so we’re taking advantage of as much time together as we can.

    I was introduced to your blog several years ago by a close friend of mine. It’s been really neat to see your journey through health & happiness! One of my questions for you is food-related…I have been vegetarian for six years but recently started my own journey of eating meat again. I have always been interested in your chicken recipes especially but never had the chance to try them…do you have a favorite go-to for a new carnivore like me?

    Reply to Annalisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Annalisa! (such a pretty name)

      Thanks so much for reading and I’m happy you love the long recaps! I enjoy writing them! It’s one of the best parts of my week.

      August is always a great month for fitness, especially before everything starts back up again.

      Camping and hiking sounds like so much fun. Kyle and I are also going hiking this weekend. & I just got excited reading that you’re from Iowa! I miss home a lot and I’ve been trying to find a time to make it back to visit. I know the time apart is going to be hard, but it makes a relationship that much stronger! xo

      Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s crazy how we change over time and sometimes I look back at old posts and it makes me so grateful to be where I’m at in this very moment. & tell your friend I said thank you for connecting us. That is a great question. I remember when I was a pescatarian and introduced meat back into my diet after three years. I really like a well flavored baked chicken! http://simplytaralynn.com/2016/06/08/baked-chicken-roasted-veggies-kale-salad/

      I hope you have a great time camping and I hope you come back to tell me all about it!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Vanessa

    The July Fitness Challenge ends in four days…should I do an August one?
    I’d love that! But I also have to say I stopped on the July challenge and did my own thing entirely because of my crazy working times. Today was the first day this whole month that I had time to go for a run. But still it motivated me to stay on track so please keep going!

    Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?
    On Saturday I’ll be canoeing with my little scouting kids, that’ll be amazing. In the evening I will visit a friends birthday party and then hopefully have a date. But before that – waiting for that specific guy to respond my message, he is so lazy with that 😀

    I’m always asking you guys questions! Do you have anything to ask me?
    I’d like to know whether you plan your workouts somehow. Do you have a schedule you follow or do you just do whatever feels good for you? And do you have specific goals you want to reach?

    Reply to Vanessa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Doing your own workouts is great. Only you know what works for your body, schedule and mind. It’s so hot out today. I’m glad its my rest day for running!

      Canoeing sounds like a blast! Sounds like you have a fun weekend coming up & good luck on that date! Laziness isn’t a great start lol He should be all over it! 😉

      I kind of plan my workouts, but typically go by how I feel in the moment or that day. I just want to keep up with staying happy and healthy. I love where I’m at right now and I’d like to continue this path!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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