January 2, 2017 – What are YOUR goals?

2017 is right around the corner and I have one question for you. Okay, actually TWO questions for you ;)

What are YOUR health goals for 2017? And what will you be doing to improve your health on January 2, 2017?

  • Are you looking to lose a few of those holiday pounds? Or maybe, finally – once and for all, shed that baby weight? 
  • Do you want to improve your fitness game? Gain lean muscle mass? See those biceps POP?
  • What about your energy? Is one of your health focuses for the new year to have the same amount of energy you did as a teenager?
  • Eat healthier? Be more active? Feel fantastic inside and out? Fulfill something that is missing in your life?

What is stopping you from achieving your goals? Do you not know where to start? Does it seem intimidating? Have you ever considered working with a personal trainer and/or health coach to reach your goals?

I can’t answer these questions for you, you gotta dig deep for that. I can, however, tell you what program changed my health and life (and many of my personal training clients’ lives) for the better. Are you willing to listen? Maybe you already know…


Yup, this company has changed my life and I am so grateful. They released a HUGE announcement today and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

I am SO excited to announce that AdvoCare shared their 2017 ALL-IN 24-Day Challenge with the world TODAY!

AdvoCare has been my choice for a healthier lifestyle going on 3 years (has it been that long?! Read more about my story here.) I use AdvoCare products daily for energy, improved workout performance (BODYPUMP!!), gaining lean muscle mass, and to feel great! My personal training clients have seen incredible results with the addition of not only the 24-Day Challenge, but also the Performance Elite products into their fitness routine. I love that the products are developed and tested by a team of scientists, nutritionists, and physicians, the products are 3rd party tested for banned substances, AND that AdvoCare provides multiple solutions for both the physical (energy, weight management, wellness, sports performance) and financial areas of your life.

I am so very grateful AdvoCare entered my life almost 3 years ago!

So, what’s this ALL-In 24-Day Challenge?!

The ALL-IN Challenge includes the same fabulous products as the regular 24-Day Challenge PLUS bonus items AND free shipping from now until December 20, 2016. *While supplies last!*

Oh, and did I mention a JUMBO BOTTLE OF CATALYST?! <– Can you tell I’m excited? This mega bottle is only available to those who decide to go ALL-IN and is going FAST.

You better bet your britches that my January 2017 AdvoCare ALL-IN 24-Day Challenge has been ordered… Plus the jumbo bottle of Catalyst (obviously…)! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to join me and kick start a healthier lifestyle for YOUR 2017!

The challenge can be customized to fit any health goals and/or budget, so please comment below or shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) so I can help you customize a package to meet your needs. I would love to tell you about the fantastic products, discount options, and business opportunity if you are interested.

There are so many important health goals to choose from, not only for the beginning of 2017 but for each and every day that we wake up. I encourage you to make the decision to make 2017 your healthiest year yet. It doesn’t matter which program you decide to follow or how small the step, any movement towards health is in the right direction!

How Pregnancy Has Changed My Approach Towards Health & Fitness

Hi friends! I’m excited to have my dear friend, Katie here on ONW for y’all today. Katie is a soon-to-be mama and always has the connections to the BEST events in Chicago. Seriously, if you follow her life you will wonder how she fits it all in! She has an awesome post today and I’m thankful she is filling in for me while I’m on mama duty :)

Take it away, Katie!

My name is Katie and I blog at Live Half Full, where I share my daily life to hold myself accountable to living a healthy lifestyle. My blog has held me accountable through many stages of life the past four years-training my first full marathon, wedding planning, crossing the finish line of my first triathlon after recovering from neck surgery last year and now through pregnancy!

photo 2

I met Becky originally through the Intuitive Eating Challenge a few years ago and then got to hang out with her quite often when she moved to Chicago before she left me for the Florida sunshine! Becky asked me to help her out while she takes care of her new little man and I happily obliged. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first baby in October, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on pregnancy so far.

Over the past four months, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much being pregnant has helped solidify my health and fitness goals. As someone who has struggled with dieting in the past and was always working hard at fitness goals, pregnancy has mellowed me out in a good way.

Instead of focusing on a diet or working towards a fitness goal, pregnancy has shifted my focus to taking care of myself the best I can. It’s been a great change and I’m hoping these habits will stick after I have the baby!


When it comes to food, I’ve basically been following this “plan”:

  • Eat what I want– I gave up dieting over three years ago, but it took pregnancy for this to really stick. Blame it on the hormones, but throughout my pregnancy I have had a distinct need for exactly what I wanted to eat at any point it time. It’s almost humorous how much more enjoyment I’m getting from food these days. And, I’ve found that eating what I want does not cause me to just eat junk- I’ve craved salads, green smoothies, fruit and nutritious meals! And yes, I’ve craved some junk- but it always balances out and I never feel guilty.
  • Eat when I’m hungry– Again, another concept that I was working towards pre-pregnacny that finally stuck. Instead of being focused on portion control, I focused on my hunger levels. When I am starving, I eat enough to satisfy myself. And when I’m not that hungry, I eat a small amount to fuel what I need. It’s been really nice to gauge my hunger and I’m hoping this sticks around post-pregnacny.
  • Focus on fitting in as much vegetables and protein as I can– Now that I have a child growing inside of me, I have unlimited motivation to fuel my body with nutrients. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t eat- ice cream, chips, etc.- I’ve been focusing on fitting in as much of the nutrient dense foods as possible. This means adding a vegetable to every meal, making sure I’m eating enough protein and generally eating for energy. It’s been working wonders for me and I’ve felt great! So much so that I think I’ve learned a permanent lesson of how I want to treat my diet from here on out.
  • Drink tons of water– Similar to my hunger cues, I’ve been intensely aware of how much water I need throughout pregnacny. Which has basically meant keeping a water bottle with me at all times and refilling constantly. This is never something I struggled with, but something that’s been reinforced the past four months. Hydration is the key to feeling my best!photo-258-1024x768

Similarly with exercise, I’ve been following these “rules”:

  • Do movement that feels good– For my pregnacny workouts, I’ve stuck to the things that I enjoy, feel good doing and look forward to. For me, this means prenatal strength workouts at home, lots of walking and spin and yoga classes here and there. Because I’m listening to my body, I look forward to working out and am motivated by the fact that staying active gives me energy. It’s as simple as that!
  • Don’t beat myself up when I miss a day– Even though I feel my best when I stay active, there are some days when I am tired and have no desire to workout. In the past I would have forced myself to workout, which sometimes still happens when I know it’s just mental, but more often than not I give in. Taking care of myself is my number one priority right now and sometimes skipping a workout is the better choice. It feels good to have my own interest in mind and I think this will stick after I have the baby as well.

As you can see, this “plan” and “rules” are meant to be lighthearted. And that’s the thing- pregnancy has lightened me up and in turn I have stumbled upon the healthy, balanced lifestyle that I’ve been working so hard to achieve. It seems like all it took was this baby to come along and cause me to reset my expectations. It’s been a great change and I’m grateful to have an experience that is changing me for the better.


You can follow along my pregnancy journey at my blog or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Looking forward to connecting with you all!

What big life changes have caused a shift in your perspective when it comes to health and fitness? What are your current “plans” and “rules” when it comes to eating and exercise?

Heart-Pumping Workout

TOMORROW is Valentine’s Day! A holiday full of chocolate and flowers and chocolate and decadent dinners and candlelight and chocolate and wine… Did I mention chocolate?

Ah yes, a holiday for lovers known for its abundance of chocolate truffles, caramel-filled candy and other sweets.

Tomorrow, instead of giving your favorite love a box of something store-bought and *not* good for the heart, why not give them something we could all use a little more of?

Heart-healthy, quality time together! You, of course, should still enjoy a romantic dinner or a decadent dessert with your favorite person but first, get your hearts pumping with my Valentine’s Day workout!

Valentine's Day Workout

**Side Squat Jumps – One Rep = In a squat position, jump your legs out and then in again. I feel it helps to stand on a yoga mat so you know how far you are moving your legs. You should feel the burn!**

Is there anything better than spending time with your sweetie? I say yes, spending time with your sweetie knowing that you are improving their health (and yours too!) in order to spend many more Valentine’s Days together :)

How are you going to stay healthy on Valentine’s Day?

Runner’s Core Builder

Promotions are bad for my health. Seriously.

I was supposed to start my new position in marketing on Monday. I woke up feeling somewhat uneasy, told myself it was just “first day” nerves (even though I knew it was more…) and walked into work only having to call my new manager at 8:15am to let her know I had to go home.

I’ll spare you the details but I had the WORST stomach virus of my life. I really thought I might be dying multiple times on Monday afternoon. Drama queen?  Maybe.

Thanks for understanding my absence on the blog over the past few days. I couldn’t even look at my iPhone without getting nauseated.

Back to why I think promotions are bad for my health…

I was promoted to my previous position on the SWAT team last January and on my 2nd day of work, I fainted. Yep, that’s right. I thought it would be cool to go unconscious for 30 seconds in order to test my team’s ability to respond in an emergency. I’m apparently awesome at making first impressions.

Thankfully there was nothing wrong. I’ve just come to the conclusion that my body doesn’t appreciate it when I change jobs :/

One of the reasons I started CrossFit a few months ago was for the strength components of the program. I love running but am not, unfortunately, one of those girls that has a naturally toned stomach. I wish! Running alone wasn’t giving me the strength training component I needed in my daily fitness routines and this type of training is so important for women’s health. Plus, it adds healthy lean muscle mass to our frames. An increase in muscle mass = higher metabolism = more food for us! And I’ll take the toned arms and bikini abs too ;)

My Runner’s Core Builder was designed for you awesome runners out there who are in need of a little extra strength training. This workout should take you between 4-5 minutes and your core should have a painful nice burn by the time you are done :) It’s quick, can be done anywhere and it’ll get you results. What more could you ask for?

Runner's Core Builder

I would have loved to test out my “Runner’s Core Builder” fitness routine earlier this week (I haven’t had a chance to do this workout since before Christmas!). As soon as I’m feeling back to normal, you can bet that I’ll be doing this to continue to strengthen my core. For an additional challenge and a real ab burn repeat this workout 2-3 times in a row!

Here is some quick guidance for this workout…

  1. When doing planks, make sure your elbows are slightly bent, you are looking about 6 inches in front of you, your abs muscles are engaged and your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
  2. At the top of each of your squats, squeeze your tush for a full hip extension. This will also make sure you get an awesome glute workout!
  3. Breath! Oxygen is needed for all types of fitness :)

How do you incorporate strength components into your fitness routine? Are there any good workouts that you follow?

A Fun Weekend + My Weekly Health Goals

Happy Sunday! How has your weekend been so far?

Kyle and I have been enjoying spending a weekend at home for the first time in a month! I went to CrossFit yesterday morning (Box Steps with a Barbell + Death by 10m = EXTREME soreness today!) and then we ran a lot of errands (Target run, anyone??). After a quick lunch, we decided to go check out Fulton Brewery in the afternoon.

The brewery is in downtown Minneapolis (super close to the Twins’ stadium) and, surprisingly enough, Kyle and I had never been there before! Although it was FREEZING cold outside (I think it was around 15 degrees yesterday, brr!!), we bundled up like true Minnesotans and walked the 2 miles/30 minutes to Fulton Brewery.

Fulton Beers

We each started out with pint of our choice. I went with The Ringer (an American Pale Ale) and Kyle had The Worthy Adversary (a Russian Imperial Stout) – both were just what we needed after our sub-freezing walk! After our beers, we switched over to a flight so we could sample a variety of Fulton’s brews. They were all great! I recommend checking out Fulton Brewery if you are ever in Minneapolis – Great people, Minnesota food trucks AND awesome beer! 

Fulton Beer Flight

Kyle and I were both really tired Friday night (3-day weeks are obviously super strenuous…) so we decided to have my celebration dinner on Saturday night instead. We made reservations at The Union, a new restaurant in Minneapolis. I love trying new restaurants and this one had been on my list since its opening in November! One of the unique features of The Union is its rooftop seating and bar area. The rooftop has a retractable roof so it can be used in the winter months as well – so cool! It has great views of Minneapolis and a fun atmosphere for both diners and bar patrons.

B&K - The Union

Downstairs, the open-kitchen restaurant had a classy and modern feel along with a fabulous menu. The chef has a great variety of options on the menu – I had a really difficult time deciding what to order! After weighing all of my options, I ordered the pumpkin ravioli while Kyle chose the roasted duck. Both were absolutely perfect. My ravioli had a ridiculously creamy pumpkin filling and was topped with parmesan crisps. AH-MAZ-ING!! I savored each bite :)

Today we are spending the day relaxing. I made a quick Whole Foods run this morning (I <3 Whole Foods!), and I plan on getting a workout in later this afternoon and then make a healthy treat that I hope to share with you all tomorrow! :)

Check out the cool fish display I saw at Whole Foods this morning – LOVE this!

WF Fish case

I am SO happy to finally get back to a schedule and routine after the past few crazy holiday weeks! I am going to be cookin’ up a healthy storm and getting my fitness rear into gear this week – YAY! It feels so good to treat your body well after a few weeks of unhealthy foods.

Weekly Health Goal

This week I am going to focus on putting whole, healthy foods into my body. I have felt kind of sluggish the past few weeks with the onslaught of Christmas cookies, holiday party appetizers and cocktails and heavy meals. Also, since I am starting my new job tomorrow (EEK!! Nervous yet so so excited!) I want to make sure I am at the top of my game. I know that consuming healthy, whole foods and staying active will help to get me there!

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Sunday: Massaged Kale Salad with Salmon (Thanks Jamie!)
  • Monday: Butternut Glazed Orecchiette with Ricotta
  • Tuesday: Make-your-own Tacos
  • Wednesday: Superfood Salad with Shrimp (Iowa Girl Eats)
  • Thursday: Baked Sesame Chicken
  • Friday: TBD/Promotion Happy Hour with friends!
  • Saturday: Out for Dinner

Weekly Fitness Plan

  • Sunday: The Cookie Eraser
  • Monday: Elliptical
  • Tuesday: CrossFit
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: CrossFit
  • Friday: Elliptical
  • Saturday: CrossFit

What did you do this weekend? Are you making any great meals this week? Are you trying to get back into a healthy routine after the holiday craze?

Elf For Health Challenge – 20 Things I’m Thankful For!

Have you heard of the Elf For Health Challenge?

Two of my favorite bloggers, Elle at Nutritionella and Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean, developed a fun challenge to help keep those participating healthy over the holidays! They have daily assignments and tasks to keep you on track. You are also assigned an elf partner that helps support and encourage you throughout the process – SO. MUCH. FUN! My elf for the next week is Leslie, check out her blog: Musings From the Front Porch Swing.

Check out Elle’s page if you want to learn more about Elf For Health!

Today’s assignment was to create a list of 20 things you are thankful for. Below is my list!

  1. Kyle, my loving and adorable husband. 
  2. Mitchell, my cute and naughty pup.
  3. My family and their unconditional support.
  4. My friends – both near and far.
  5. In-laws that I love spending time with! I feel it is rare to have such a great relationship with your spouse’s family :)
  6. A job and coworkers that I love.
  7. My ability to be active and run, walk, hike, do yoga and CrossFit.
  8. Means to travel as frequently as I like.
  9. Owning our own condo.
  10. My optimistic personality.
  11. Olives ‘n’ Wine and all of my readers :)
  12. Coffee, particularly soy lattes.
  13. Technology – I’m addicted!
  14. Living in Minneapolis, a super health-conscious city with TONS of trails, lakes, and other ways to have fun and be healthy outside.
  15. My education – for what opportunities it has given me and who I met along the way (including Kyle!).
  16. Wine – I have to be honest here!
  17. My persistance – I am pretty determined and tend to focus and work on things until I excel.
  18. My love of baking and cooking – YUM!
  19. Spas – Shallow? Maybe, but I love a good massage, facial and mani/pedi.
  20. My health.

What are you thankful for?

My Holiday Health Perspective & Weekly Health Goals

Hello! Happy Sunday :)

Kyle and I just returned from Iowa where we celebrated Christmas with my parents this weekend. (We will be in Chicago celebrating with Kyle’s mom on Christmas Day.) Since I have a busy Sunday and Monday, I’ll provide an update later this week on my family Christmases and weekend in Ames!

We all know how indulgent the Christmas, Hanukkah and other holiday seasons can be. There is always an abundance of sugary cookies, scrumptious candies and tempting cocktails at every holiday party and heavy, “comfort food” meals at family gatherings. In addition to finding the perfect holiday party dress and gifts for loved ones, the decadent food offerings this time of year can add a lot of unnecessary stress to those of us who are watching our calorie consumption, working hard to shed a few pounds or just trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

This year, rather than being overly stressed about each and every “unhealthy” calorie I put into my body, I have decided to take a new, positive perspective. I thought to myself: “All of these holiday celebrations with our friends and family only come once per year, right? So why can’t I (and we!) just enjoy the next few weeks without worrying about the not-so-healthy parts?” And, you know what? That is exactly what I am going to do! I am going to enjoy my mom’s candies and Kyle’s dad’s Hanukkah party and Christmas dinner and I am NOT going to feel frustrated or guilty or disappointed afterwards. Such a novel idea!

Peanut Butter Balls

I will, of course, indulge within reason. I will stay active. I will listen to my hunger signals. I won’t eat until I am uncomfortable. But, if I want a third peanut butter ball, I will have one because – as recent news events have unfortunately reminded us all – life is too short. This season only comes once per year and I (as well as you!) should rejoice and feel blessed for our ability to enjoy it!

I invite you to join me over the remainder of the holiday season. Enjoy the treats and the cocktails. Squeeze in a workout or two over your holiday break. And, most importantly, hug your family and your friends and give thanks for having the opportunity to celebrate this holiday season with them.

Okay, now onto my meal and fitness plans for the week! Since Kyle and I will be leaving for Chicago on Friday for 12 days (which, BTW, is probably the LONGEST time I’ve had a vacation from work in 3 years!!!!! I. AM. SO. EXCITED!), I won’t be making a big grocery trip this week. We will just be picking up a few of the perishable foods that we *need* every week: apples, spinach, onions, peppers, bananas and avocados. I hate wasting food and we have plenty to eat in our freezer and cupboards to hold us over for a few days.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Sunday: Turkey Burgers
  • Monday: Chicken Fajitas
  • Tuesday: Jen & Becky Cooking and Wine Night!
  • Wednesday: Spanikopita
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Dinner with Kyle’s dad and Joy
  • Saturday: Out for Dinner

Weekly Fitness Plan

  • Sunday: Winter Blues Workout
  • Monday: Elliptical
  • Tuesday: CrossFit
  • Wednesday: CrossFit
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: CrossFit
  • Saturday: Run or Yoga

How do you stay healthy and unstressed during the last few weeks of the holiday season? What “treat” are you most looking forward to on Christmas?

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