Cigna Blogger Meet-Up at Disneyland Napa Rose

Cigna Blogger Meet-up! Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

This is my first recap of my Coast to Coast edition of  runDisney weekend! Prior to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, I received an exciting email inviting me to a Cigna Blogger Meet-up! I had the pleasure of attending my first Cigna Blogger event back in January, so I couldn’t wait to connect with the team again! Cigna is the official sponsor of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The meet-up was held at the exquisite Napa Rose at the Grand California Hotel & Spa.

We were first introduced to Cigna Dietitian Julee Stand and Laura Flores, co-host of Un Nuevo Dia. They spoke to us about their healthy lifestyle journey as well as planning nutritious meals. The event centered around nutrition and meal preparation. We also discussed how “lack of time” is one of the reasons we often make poor food choices. I have been guilty of this myself, so it was great to learn ways to stay on top of my nutritional game.
Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Hosts Laura Flores and Julee Stand We were split into four groups which meant four healthy cooking demonstrations. I was part of the “Goofy Group“! Woot-Woot! Learning how to prepare healthy meals in 20 minutes or less was a win-win, because I’m notorious for being tired after a long day and/or workout and in need of a quick, healthy meal to prepare.

Cigna Meet-Up - The Goofy Crew

The Goofy Crew with Chef Mickey!


Our first stop!

The Salad Station! If you know me then you know that I’m a Condiment Queen! I love dips, sauces, dressings…you name it. We learned how to make vinaigrettes, herb-oils, and all sorts of fun fixings to go on our salads. I was in foodie heaven! To commemorate the moment, we were encouraged to taste, take photos, and share our foodtastic experience on social media! #CignaRunTogether

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Salad Chef

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Sampling

Here I am sampling freshly made vinaigrette.

Cigna Blogger Meet-up 1a


Next up…

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Chef Chris

Chef Chris started off by preparing a delicious meal including: chicken (or a vegetarian option), kale pesto, veggies…and FARRO! What the what? I seriously had to Google “farro” because it was the first time I’d ever heard of it…like ever! It was prepared in the most amazing, flavorful way—toasted farro with smoked mozzarella. I was in heaven! Chef C definitely had my creative juices flowing!

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Chicken Dish


Fruit is the New Black!

We made it to the dessert station with an assortment of nature’s candy!

Cigna Blogger Meet-Up - Candy Striped Fig

Do you know what this is? It’s a “candy-striped” fig! They are only available approximately 3 weeks out of the year. It was too pretty to eat, but you know I ate it!


Cigna Blogger Meet-Up - Nature's Candy

You also heard me talk about cotton candy grapes—yep, we sampled those, too, along with tree-ripened peaches…AND GOOSEBERRIES! I love that they were dipped in white chocolate. So fun to eat! GET IN MY BELLY!

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Gooseberries


Smoothie Bar!

The last stop was the smoothie bar! We were provided a pre-workout and post-workout smoothie demonstration. The pre-workout Crunchy Coffee Cocoa Smoothie was perfect for coffee lovers…and yes, I love coffee! I also loved the post workout Blueberry Cactus Pear Smoothie. It was my first time hearing of this fruit, too. The smoothie was refreshingly delicious! I’m happy the earth is filled with so much yummy goodness!

Chef Katie pouring up yummy smoothies!

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - smoothie bar

Healthy cooking and meals can be fun. All it takes is a little effort and a meal prep party! I love cooking and it’s important to me that my family eats healthy…with a few indulgences from time to time, of course! Simple healthy meals don’t have to be boring! If you don’t believe me, ask the smoked mozzarella farro! I can seriously taste it as I type. I really just had a flashback—So good! A big thank you to the Chefs at Napa Rose for showing us ways to enjoy and prepare quick, fresh, and healthy meals. 

I’ll just put this right here…

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Napa Rose, Main Dish

Chicken Breast with Seasonal Vegetables and Smoked Mozzarella Farro

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - berry salad

Berry Salad

Cigna Blogger Meet-up - Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp



Cigna Blogger Meet-up Chef MIckey & Artie Cakes

Chef Mickey & Artie Cakes


I am honored that I was able to take part in this special event during Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. THANK YOU Cigna for inviting me to attend and Napa Rose for having us. I am forever grateful to runDisney for connecting me with so many amazing people, bloggers, and friends who are passionate about healthy living. The memories I have will last a lifetime! 

Visit Cigna’s website to learn about the mental benefits of running and how to prepare for a race. You can also check out Cigna’s Top Training Tips for Runners here!


Disclosure: Cigna invited me to this event and no compensation was received. However, my tummy left happy and all opinions are my own. Photos by My Pretty Brown Fit ©  


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Hello Fall | My Pretty Brown Fit

Pumpkin Spice + Everything Nice!

wpid-pumpkin-spice-everything.jpgHAPPY FIRST DAY OF FALL!!!

Not sure if you can tell it or not, but I am SO EXCITED! I absolutely could not wait for fall to get here! I love this time of year for so many reasons. This is the opportunity to set new goals and prepare to crush them. I also love fall weather, watching the leaves change, cooler running temps, and pumpkin spice everything! If you really love pumpkin spice like I do then you have to say…”pumpkin spice everythang”! *sips coffee*

I also could not wait to bring out my boots! I bought my first pair of for real cowboy boots one year ago when the HB and I went to Nashville to run our first Women’s Running Series Half Marathon – Nashville! It was so much fun and you can read my recap here. If you have never been to Nashville…this is a great time of year to go!



Seasonal Yummies!

I will be trying out some new recipes for fall and I can’t wait!  Also, if you love baked goods, check out my Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe here. They are amazing! I told you it’s all about pumpkin spice everythang!

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins - My Pretty Brown


Another favorite is my Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup! It’s super healthy and I know you will enjoy it. You can find the recipe here!

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup - My Pretty Brown


Fall Races and Training

If you are training or preparing for a fall race, make sure you check out Jeff Galloway’s newest installment of Training and Motivation Tips on The Training Plan here! If you need more running/training tips, you can always look under the “Fitness & Running” section under the “Jeff Galloway” tab–OR get Galloway Tips now!


Before I go…

With every new season comes change. You may have noticed a slight change here. My blog (name) has officially transitioned to My Pretty Brown Fit! The slight rebranding (name change) just felt right. It was time. The content will stay the same, but if you are new to my blog, you can read more about us here. I hope you will enjoy your stay! And make sure you subscribe to stay up-to-date with my latest posts on fitness, food, running, new recipes…and more! I’m really excited about my growth and the journey ahead.

I am looking forward to a great season and I hope you are, too!


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The Training Plan - My Pretty Brown2

Jeff Galloway Training & Motivation Tips: The Training Plan

It’s a new installment of Jeff Galloway Training & Motivation Tips! Woo-hoo! Fall is here which means it’s training season. I absolutely LOVE this time of year for so many reasons and running in cooler temps and fun races are a few of them. If you have followed me then you know that I follow a training plan. I think it’s imperative that everyone follows a plan from 5K and beyond. Jeff Galloway will be sharing tips that new and seasoned runners will benefit from when having a training plan. Check out these tips and why you may want to consider incorporating a plan into your training.

Jeff Galloway Introduces New Run Walk Strategy - My Pretty Brown




WHY SHOULD I HAVE A TRAINING PLAN?  When using a proven strategy, a runner gains control over fatigue while improving motivation.  Those who follow the right training plan, for the individual,  tend to improve more, with less injury risk.
WOULD BEGINNERS BENEFIT MORE FROM A PLAN?  Unfortunately, most beginners “run as they feel” or follow conflicting advice.  This leads to confusion and more aches and pains.   The right schedule will systematically increase the type of running needed for a goal, with strategic rest for rebuilding.


1) A longer run builds endurance, 2) a hilly run builds strength, 3) Scenic or social runs insert fun and keep you coming back for more.
WHAT IS ADDED TO A PLAN IF THE GOAL IS TO RUN FASTER?  The right training plan will gradually increase the speed repetitions needed for the individual goal.  Easier days and rest days must be inserted before and after speed workouts.  To avoid injury, the pace and the increase must be realistic for the individual.   
EVERY OTHER DAY!  Most runners—especially beginners—run best when they run every other day.  This allows for the “weak links” to heal.  The very slow long run is usually on the weekend, when there is more time available.  Hills and fun days can be run on the short runs during the week (for example, Tuesday and Thursday)
SHOULD I EXERCISE ON NON-RUNNING DAYS? While you don’t have to exert yourself on non running days to improve your running, exercise will energize your mind, and improve your attitude and vitality—while burning some fat.  So I recommend any exercise that does not fatigue the calf muscle, such as recreational walking. 
DOES VARIETY HELP?  Changing things a bit can improve motivation.   You don’t have to change the “mission” on specific days, but alternating some of the courses or running with different groups can make each day more interesting.
WHAT ARE VARIOUS MISSIONS, FOR VARIOUS DAYS? Each type of run bestows a different benefit.  Hill runs build strength.  Drills that work on cadence, gentle acceleration and gliding will improve your running form.  Long runs produce stamina and endurance. 
WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER LONG OR FASTER RUNS?  Take it easy on these days.  Do little or no exercise, don’t over-eat, drink 8 glasses of water/sports drinks, and focus on how you will enjoy the next run.
SHOULD I SKIP THE REST DAYS—TO IMPROVE MORE QUICKLY.  Not Recommended!  It is during the days off from running that the running body rebuilds and improves.  While some runners can get away with running short and slow runs on rest days for a while, these “junk miles” can compromise recovery and lead to injuries. 

IF I DON’T LIKE A WORKOUT CAN I SUBSTITUTE? Following a consistent plan is more likely to lead to success and improve motivation.  Those who pick various elements from different schedules experience  more burnout and injury. 


Jeff Galloway 13.1 | My Pretty Brown BlogRegister now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 Half Marathon weekend from December 11-13th

  • Jeff Galloway 13.1 – Sunday, Dec. 13th
  • Barb’s 5K Presented by BeeCauseSaturday, Dec. 12th
  • NEW Fit Kids Run/Walk – Saturday, Dec. 12th

Register now! 



Jeff GallowayNEW Jeff Galloway‘s Customized Training Plan!

Let Jeff customize a plan that allows you to “have a life” while achieving your goals! Your 6 month plan includes:

  • customized training schedule
  • daily email reminders for your workouts
  • drills to improve your running form and efficiency

For for runners of all levels, from beginning to ultra, with busy schedules or without a local Galloway training program.
Learn more now!

Jeff’s proven method has helped hundreds of thousands to achieve their goals, injury-free. Whether you’re a beginner or a Boston Qualifier, let us customize a plan that allows you to “have a life” while achieving your goals.
Your 6-month Custom Training Plan includes –
• A customized training schedule to your target race over the next season
• Daily email reminders of upcoming workouts
• Based upon your current conditioning
• Drills to improve running form, efficiency, and speed
• For runners at every fitness level, from beginning runners to ultra-runners
• Perfect for those without a local Galloway Program or with busy schedules – See more at:
You can read my previous installments of Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips here! For more great tips and wisdom from Jeff Galloway, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter!
 Have you ever used a customized training plan?


Copyright © 2015 Galloway Productions All rights reserved. 

Cigna Top Training Tips for Runners

Cigna’s Top Training Tips for Runners

The Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Weekend is almost here! The weekend will include lots of running and fun events with the best runDisney friends ever at the Happiest Place on Earth! Disney always brings out the kid in me and it’s a magical experience every single time.

Cigna is the sponsor of the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend and they are sharing their top 10 training tips for runners! These tips will benefit every runner no matter what race you are preparing for.

Cigna Top Training Tips for Runners


After you have followed through with all nine tips, it’s important to be your OWN cheerleader (tip #10)! There is power in positivity. You can and will do whatever you put your mind to! Just get out there, have fun, and CELEBRATE!

For those attending the Disneyland Half weekend…I’ll see you real soon! Coast to Coast, here I come!

Happy Running!





2015 Kentucky Derby miniMarathon Recap: I Made Mine A Double!

The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon (and Marathon) was the second race part of the Kentucky Half Classic! Note: KDF’s miniMarathon is the half marathon distance totaling 13.1 miles. On the last weekend of April, my HB and I arrived in Louisville for a fun-filled, festival weekend! When we arrived, we headed straight to the Expo to pick up our packets. As soon as we walked in we saw a sign wishing all of the runners “Good Luck” on the race!

Kentucky Derby miniMarathon


Expo Time 1 - Kentucky Derby miniMarathon

T-minus 15 hours!

I picked up my packet then went to check out all of the vendors. Of course Bondi Band was there. Y’all know I love my Bondi Bands! You can find them at and you can even customize your own!

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The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Tips, & Tweets!- My Pretty Brown Blog

The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Training Tips, & Tweets!

The Happiest Place Magical Medals, Tips, & Tweets!- My Pretty Brown Blog

The Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Weekend is less than three weeks away! I cannot wait to see all of my runDisney friends and earn my Coast to Coast Race Challenge bling! I will be running the Disneyland 10K and the Disneyland Half Marathon all part of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Plus, it’s Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! This will be my third Run Disney race and first Run Disney challenge–and just in case you haven’t seen the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge medals…here they are!

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Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips - My Pretty Brown Blog

Summer Running Tips from Jeff Galloway

Hi friends!

I just received NEW Galloway Blogger summer running tips from Jeff Galloway to share with you all! It has been so hot here in the South. *soul cry* I was so excited to get past winter that I forgot how hot summer can get. Let me just be honest, fall is the only season that does not come to me with baggage. We just belong together! We’re like Mike and Ike (yes, they are back together)…Bey and Jay-Z…Bebops/freeze cups and summertime. Back to this heat. This summer has come with a few challenges, including  having no other option but to use the treadmill (dreadmill). Well, I’m excited to share these summer running tips with you!

Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips - My Pretty Brown Blog


Dealing With the Heat: Jeff Galloway tips

Training through the summer can not only be grueling, but down right dangerous.  Here are some tips to train safely and as comfortable as possible in the hot summer months.

  • Slow down by 30 sec/mile (20 sec/km) for every 5F temperature increase above 55-60F ( every 2.5C above 14C).
  • When the temperature is over 70F (21C) you may take a 5 minute “cold shower break” every 25-30 minutes to keep cool.
  • Try to complete your run before the sun rises above the horizon.
  • More frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase.  If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30.
  • When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building.
  • Pick shady courses on hot days.
  • Don’t wear a hat!  Pour water over your head.
  • Have an indoor alternative—treadmill, etc.
  • Run in the deep end of the pool, using a flotation belt.



jeffgallowaysummerrunning 1ANOTHER AMAZING LAKE TAHOE RETREAT!

We stay at the beautiful and comfortable Squaw Valley Lodge. Lodge amenities include indoor and outdoor hot tubs, swimming, tennis, sauna and fitness room. Week camp began Thursday, July 23th.  Weekend camp began Friday, July 24th at 5PM. Both camps began with an easy run to get acquainted.  The morning breakfasts were followed by clinics by Jeff and his guests. Seminar topics include Running Injury Free, Nutrition, Speed work, Goal setting, Shoe selection, Pool running, and Running form / analysis.

After lunch, our guests shopped, went sightseeing, sunned by the pool, or joined the group for a scenic hike, T-shirt swap, bike ride, river raft ride, etc. The group gathered again in the evenings for dinner onsite or at one of the nearby restaurants and after-dinner relaxing.

You can learn more about the various Jeff Galloway Retreats at




Make your nomination today!

In conjunction with the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting, Road Race Management and MarathonFoto will again honor an individual who has made a major difference in the sport with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is for contributions to the sport of long distance running over the course of a lifetime. Nominees, who may be either living or deceased, should have made major contributions to the sport in more than one area, for example as an administrator, elite athlete, promoter of the sport, or innovator as an event director or vendor.

“We are seeking to honor a ‘sport changer’…a person who really made a difference,” says Phil Stewart, RRM editor and publisher.

Nominations from the public are being solicited and will close on August 31, 2015.

A ten-person committee will choose the winner to be announced November 6 at the Race Race Management Race Directors’ Keynote dinner in Hollywood, FL.

Make your nomination now!


You can read the previous installments of my Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips here. For more great tips from Jeff Galloway, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy running and stay hydrated!