health tips

Take Back Your Time Week Two: Build Your Tribe

I was never into sports as a child.  I didn't start working out till I was 30 years old!!

My sister and I are also 6 years apart so for the first years of my life I was an only child. As a result I have struggled with playing well with others.  Don't get me wrong it is not that I dont like others I love people, and the older I get the more I appreciate my friends.

When I started on my fitness journey I did it the way I was used to  - on my own.  I had a personal trainer and me.  No group exercise classes no gym buddies.  When I got lonely or bored I added another session with my trainer.  But as those first months went on that became a little expensive!! Then I started body building a sport that is notoriously solitary.  Hours on the treadmill and hitting the weights by myself.

Once I found crossfit it was like a whole new world!! The community came first.  I remember my first crossfit competition and being in awe that the person who finished last got the loudest cheers.  The members of the gym where like family.  They went out socially together they shared their lives.  I truly believe that this community was the reason that I have stayed with Crossfit for the last 4 years.  

So how do you create your tribe?  How if you are just starting to fitness journey to you find people who have the same goals you do?  Well happy you asked! Here are my tips in creating a tribe that make you better:

1- You have to put yourself out there:  This is the hardest thing to do! It means steping out of your comfort zone and doing something scary.  It means saying high to a total stranger in your spin class, showing up at a race and knowing no one.  yes it could go horribly wrong but it quite possibly will go right and you will have a new friend!!

2- Dont take the judgement of those in your current tribe that do not support you: Another tough one.  As humans we are programed to want to be likes and belong and it is really hard when people who we have know forever (sometimes even family) are not supportive of our goals.  Or worse are judgemental about them!  The best way to handle this judgement is to realize the IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU.  More often than not their judgement is a reflection of their own inability to do what you are doing, and you know that saying "misery loves company"...  Its best to love and release those people.  It does not mean that you can never spend time with them again but before you do realize that you cannot change them and love them where they are.

3- Join an online community or training group:  This one is my favorite.  Yes technology seperates us from real relationships but it also is a good first step when you want to find like minded people.  A good place to start? THe Brick House Bodies Fit Inside Out facebook community!!

Perfect place to meet other like minded women, stay motivated and get great inspiration for meals and just to get through the day!!

But there are dozens of groups on social media it just takes a little research to find the one thats right for you.

God never meant for us to live our lives alone.  As His creation were were made for community.  Building a tribe can be life changing but the change has to start with you.



My Guide to Creating your Grocery Shopping List

I LOVE to go to the grocery store! It is one of the things I look forward to the entire week.  I love taking my time and browsing every aisle. I love checking out what's in season, what's exciting and what new products are on the shelves.  But I know that for many love is not quite the word that would be used to describe the experience!  Between handling the kids grabbing things off the shelf, the long lines and having no idea what you want or even need the grocery store can be overwhelming to say the least!!

After being asked by a couple of you guys on social media I wanted to share my grocery list with you.  But before I go there I wanted to take a couple of steps back.  For me my trip to the store starts way before I walk through the doors.

Plan to Succeed

I focus on 3 things when I start to write my shopping list:

1- Make sure that I have a balanced menu.  At least 3 protein sources, 3 carb sources and 3 fats sources

2- Buy as much fresh whole foods as possible.  Tons of fruit and veggies, fresh meats and eggs too

3- Buy organic when possible but it's ok to go conventional.  I know food is expensive.  I have a family and I am realistic.  Do I buy 100% organic NO.  Do I make the best choices that my budget allows for YES.  This usually means most veggies and fruit are organic.  Beef is grass fed and eggs are organic.  Chicken is usually whatever is on sale because we go through a lot of chicken.

Menus Make it Fun

Yes I plan my menu for the week.  But before you think that I am crazy or super organized let me clarify.  My menu is pretty simple.  I plan theme nights for dinner, breakfast is usually the same every day and lunch is usually a stir fry of whatever is in the fridge.  It usually works out to look like this:

Monday: Asian night (stir fry)

Tuesday: Tacos (of course)

Wednesday: breakfast for dinner (fritatta)

Thursday: Italian night or salad night

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: family dinner out night

Sunday: Crockpot meal

A Note on Variety

The most common feedback that I get from people when they start on the road to eating better is that they want VARIETY.  Countless choices for breakfast lunch and dinner.  My feeling is this:  Think about your eating habits prior to starting this journey.  Where you cooking a different meal every meals for weeks on end? More often than not if you really though about it you probably were eating the same 5-6 meals on repeat.  The second most common feedback I get is lack of time.  Having countless options takes time.  Keep it simple and make it delicious.  As you get more comfortable with prepping and eating whole foods you will naturally start to add in more  variety.

The List

So now you are finally ready to hit the store.  You have planned your menu.  You know what you need.  I always browse the store's coupons on line before heading out and I do clip coupons.  No shame in my game!! I set up my list as the store is set up and it looks like this:


apples, bananas, berries

avocados, brussles sprouts, spinach, brocoli, kale, prepackages fresh veggie stir fry, onions

sweet potato, mini white potato


lean ground beef (90/10), Lean ground turkey(94/6), boneless chicken breasts, pork loin, organic eggs

Starchy carbs

oatmeal (gluten free), gluten free bread, brown rice


Kerry Gold grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, almond and cashew butter

Spices and seasonings

salsa, coconut aminos(great for asian night), Mrs. Dash seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic

And thats it!!! This list gives me all of the basics that I need.  Of course I add things some weeks and take away stuff other weeks based on my menu and what is in season and looks good but this list and tips should get you started.

Now that you have your list check out a previous blog post: Meal Prep 101.  It details how I meal prep each week in the least amount of time.

Let me know if you used this list and how it worked out!!

Happy shopping!!