What's Normal? The BMI Chart is a liar!

What is Normal?

I woke up this morning repeating the words “healthy skinny”. No clue why. Perhaps it was the Bluebell ice cream snack that I consumed before bed throwing hints. Judge not! Well…I had a recent conversation about “The Chart”. You know which one. The one every diet plan wants you to follow, the one your personal trainer shows you at your first one-on-one sesh, or the one you often see at the physicians office. Actually, I’ve had countless conversations about that stupid BMI chart and all I can say is…don’t believe the hype it tries to feed you! I don’t fit into the mold of the chart. My normal is skinny to me.What's Normal? The BMI Chart is a liar!

I do know how I feel when my jeans are fitting just right, when my dress is hugging my curves in all of the right places, and when my inches lost reflect something totally different than what the scale reads. I feel great!

Does “normal” unquestionably make me healthy, fit, and/or strong? Most certainly not!

What's NormalI know the definition of skinny varies from person to person, but why can’t we accept that “strong is the new skinny”, “healthy is the new skinny”, “fit is the new skinny”, etc.?

We should always strive to be our best while celebrating where we are on the journey. We should also never allow anyone’s opinion, past disappointments, or a chart strip us of our efforts. Whether you are trying to lose weight, pack it on, tone it up, slim down, or get that baby weight off…keep pushing.

I will always be an advocate of health, fitness, being physically active, and I hope I never get to a place where I get comfortable and stop trying. I may have a “moment” or two, but I know I must keep going! If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and your efforts are not showing up to the party—or if you feel like the scale is simply lying to you (the scale and I have this conversation often *le sigh*)…know this:

You've Always Been Beautiful | My Pretty Brown Fit Keep going!


Holiday Sweat

Getting My #HolidaySweat On!

Holiday Sweat

Holiday season is here and I want to make sure I stay on top of my fitness goals. There’s a fun #HolidaySweat challenge going on in the Fit Approach community! I may be a little late to the party, but it’s never too late to start. It’s so easy to get comfortable this time of year with all of the parties, yummy foods, weather, etc—but if we stay active, we can go into the new year focused and with the right mindset.


Here’s the Scoop!


Week 2: #holidaysweat challenge with #sweatpink and @runtothefinish

Monday, November 16, 2015: (You can still add this on to one of your days this week) What’s your core strength goal this week? Longest plank? 3 Core workouts? #ShowYouCan @timexsports #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Tuesday, November 17, 2015: Show us your plank! How long can you hold it? Tighten those tushies, legs and core! #ShowYouCan @timexsports #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Wednesday, November 18, 2015: Show us your most creative core move! Crunches with a baby instead of medicine ball?!  #ShowYouCan @timexsports #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Thursday, November 19, 2015: Flash your time! Share a watch photo of sweaty fun for the day! #ShowYouCan @timexsports #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Friday, November 20, 2015: FREE FRIDAY! Show us what you’re up to today… sweating, eating, cooking, preparing for a healthy flight! #ShowYouCan @timexsports #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink


Weekly Goals

Monday — 3.4 mile run/walk (done)

Tuesday — Plank it out!

Wednesday — 4 mile run + crunches

Thursday — 30 minutes of cardio (arc trainer, StairMaster, etc.) + showing off my sweaty fun!

Friday — Free Friday! It’s normally my rest day, but I’ll share a photo of what I’m sweating, eating, or cooking.

Saturday — Long Run

Sunday — Rest


How will you be getting your #HolidaySweat on? Feel free to join me!


30 Things I Love Right Now - pen HEAVEN  RIVER WILD | My Pretty Brown Fit

30 Things I Love Right Now

(1) OPEN HEAVEN / River Wild album by Hillsong Worship.  (2) Pumpkin Spice everything.  (3) Distance running. (4) Food photography. (5) Heated throw (best invention ever). (6) OISM leg and foot massager. (7) Being CHANGED. (8) Marriage Small Group.  (9) Tuna Creations. (10) #BlogLikeCrazy. (11) Cooking during the holiday season. I can taste my sweet potato and pecan pie right now. (12) Overcoming my fears. (13) Hot chicken. (14) Loredona Riesling. (15) Being a Marine Corps Marathon finisher. (16) Ranch Fries from Wings Plus. (17) Running Turtles. (18) “Hello” by Adele on repeat. (19) The Hoka Clifton 2. (20) Perseverance. (21) My running bestie (BRF). (22) Being an overcomer. (23) Trap music. (24) Fall. My favorite season. (25) Piña Fraise LaCroix (Translates to Pineapple Strawberry). (26) Grace. (27) The Shrimp Basket. Yes! to all-you-can-eat shrimp. (28) The Scott Family. (29) Holiday-inspired flavored coffee drinks. (30) Every single person that encouraged me, prayed for me, and sent me well wishes on my journey to the Marine Corps Marathon.

30 Things I Love Right Now — Part 1


8 Ways To Start Your Day - My Pretty Brown Fit

8 Ways to Kick-Start Your Day

I’m happy that it’s Monday! Yes, you read that right! I love the start of a new week because it gives me a fresh start and a new perspective. Last week (and weekend) was so busy. I was ready for a fresh start. Last night was also the first night I actually felt like I gained an hour of sleep and felt rested. I woke up refreshed! In honor of my good sleep, I’m sharing ways to kick-start your day!

8 Ways To Start Your Day - My Pretty Brown Fit


1.  Prayer/Meditation: Prayer/meditation will center your mind, body, and spirit. It creates an atmosphere for positive energy that will lead to a productive day.

2.  Water:  Before I go to bed at night, I place a bottle of water on my nightstand. While we are asleep our metabolism slows down and our body is slightly dehydrated—which is why I drink 8 ounces of water before my feet hit the floor every morning. This also helps get a kick-start on getting those recommended glasses in.

3.  Morning Stretches:  I get up and stretch for 10-15 minutes every morning. I also like using a foam roller, resistance bands, or even a towel to get my stretch on. I feel so relaxed and ready for what’s next! Check out these 8 stretches you should do every morning!

4. Exercise:  I love starting my day with a workout when I can say “NO” to Mr. Snooze. I feel better when I get it done early rather than late. For those who need a little motivation to start the week (especially Monday motivation), Move It Monday is an international campaign that encourages people of all fitness levels to get moving each week starting on Mondays. Check it out! Also, if you are a blogger or writer, See Jane Write shares why bloggers and writers need to exercise!

5. But first, Coffee:  Admit it. Everything is better with coffee! There’s something about it that gives that extra boost to start the day. Green tea works, too. If you are looking for ways to energize your day and clear your brain, read this post!

6.  Eat Breakfast: We hear it all the time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s true. It also keeps you from becoming a Crabster! It’s best to go for a protein-packed, fiber rich breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. I like to eat every to 2 to 2.5 hours, so a healthy snack in between breakfast and lunch is a great option, too!

7.  Writing Out Goals/To-Do-ListWriting out goals and a to-do-list really help me organize my day. As I complete a task, I mark it off my list then move on to the next one. Before I know it, my tasks are complete.

8. Turn up the music:  There’s something about music that just gets me pumped up! Turn on your favorite playlist and move and groove your way out the door to an awesome day!

[Tweet “Here are 8 ways to kick-start your day! #health #wellness”]


How do you kick-start your day?



Run Disney Event Schedule 2016-2017

runDisney 2016-2017 Event Calendar Revealed!

I’m so excited the runDisney 2016-2017 event calendar has been revealed! I was a little bummed about not signing up for Star Wars in April, so I had to make up for it. I plan to run my first Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November 2016 and hopefully Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2017! Wine & Dine will be my fourth runDisney race. I try to run at least one Disney race a year. Actually my race schedule for the year is planned around my Disney races (i.e., Disney requires a magical plan and budget).Run Disney Event Schedule 2016-2017When I found out the theme for the 2016 Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I seriously wanted to cry. Also, the theme is not revealed until closer to the event date which is well after the the race is sold out. This usually takes minutes. So, I had to make a big decision: be part of the Disneyland Half Marathon 10th Anniversary Weekend and earn my Coast to Coast bling or run the Princess. Since Princess was my first Disney race, I knew I had to go for the bling! Okay, back to the theme. *gasp* The Little Mermaid, my favorite Disney movie to date, is the theme for 2016! I know it’s going to be so much fun! By the way, if you’re running the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, make sure you check out my Princess Half Marathon Magical Tips here.

Even the girls at Team Sparkle have fun, mermaid running skirts and accessories lined up for this weekend fit for a Princess! How cute is this skirt? I think I may get one so I can run as Princess Ariel for the Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon!


[Tweet “The #runDisney 2016-2017 schedule has been revealed! Which races will you be running? “]


Recaps 2, 3, and 4…of my Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend are coming very soon! I seriously had to get my 2015 Marine Corps Marathon done. You’ll see why when you read my Mission Reflections of the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. And yes, the official race recap is coming for MCM, too!

If you missed my Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Recap Part 1: Cigna Run Together Blogger Meet-Up — you can check it out here. One word: FOOD!


I look forward to a magical 2016-2017 with my magical friends! Have you ever participated in a Disney race weekend? Which Disney races will you be running next year?



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

[Tweet “Cigna Blogger Meet-up Recap: Making time for healthy meals!  #CignaRunTogether”]


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 ©  


MPBFit -Sig

Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce

Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce

Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce My Pretty Brown Fit

I know you are wondering, “What is a zoodle?” Zoodles are a fun way to say spiralized zucchini noodles! They look identical to traditional pasta noodles that you would find in the grocery store or at your favorite Italian Bistro. If you have been following my Artstagram then you know that I have fallen in love with my Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer (or Spiralizer). It is amazing! The spiral slicer has dual stainless-steel cutting blades and I can choose between thin or thick spiralized pasta zoodles.

I love that Zoodles are completely healthy and not packed with carbs like traditional noodles. They are also a great way to get your recommended servings of veggies in. So far I have only used my Veggetti for carrots and zucchini, but you can also spiralize squash, cucumbers, and potatoes. You can purchase the Veggetti here (affiliate link). It’s inexpensive and does the job!


Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce I craved spaghetti for weeks so I decided to go to my local Aldi and pick up a few zucchini. I bought enough to meal prep so I pre-spiralized them and had them ready to cook. I decided to enjoy my zoodles with a delicious Tomato Cream Sauce!

[Tweet “Try this recipe! Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce #healthyswap #recipe”]


Zoodles with Tomato Cream Sauce 2


Tomato Cream Sauce


1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey
1 jar, Classico Creamy Tomato & Roasted Garlic
1, 6 oz tomato paste (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsps Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of white pepper (or black)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Parsley for garnish


Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large sauce pan (or pot *see note). Continue to cook until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain.

Stir diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce into the pan. Season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Note: I use 2 jars of Classico tomato sauce and 1-1.25 lbs of ground beef or turkey. When I use 2 jars, it’s best to use a large pot when preparing sauce.



Instructions (save this step for last)

(Per serving) Spiralize 1 medium or large zucchini. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan. Add spiralized zucchini noodles to pan. Lightly sauté over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until you get your desired texture. Be careful with sautéing too long because you don’t want to overcook. Also, zucchini releases water so you don’t want your zoodles to be too watery. If they are, just drain.

Serve zoodles with a serving of tomato cream sauce and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish!


MPBFit -Sig