Thursday, September 27, 2012


What are your fitness goals?

This is something I often ask myself. First of all, what is attainable? It is important to set realistic goals in order to keep yourself motivated. If you've never ran a step in your life and hope to run 10 miles by tomorrow, it probably won't happen (safely). How much time do you have to achieve these goals, or is it ongoing? For example, do you want to run a 5k by November, or do you hope to make your life "healthier in general" over the next year?

Next, how are you going to stay MOTIVATED?! We all hear of the New Years Resolution people who sign up for gym memberships, use them for a week, and never return........ until the following January. This will NOT be you! Especially with a few of these tips!

Now, keep in mind that everyone is motivated differently, I just found these to be helpful for me! Once you identify your goals, you can twist these tips into motivators that work for you!

True statement.
 While this might be a little overboard, it definitely helps me! I literally have this homemade sign hanging in my cabinet. When I'm about to go back for a 10th bowl of cereal (haha) I look at this sign and realize... is it worth it? Will this help to "shape" my abs? Probably not. Sometimes I hate this sign, but some day when I have a 6-pack, I know it'll be worth it!
Cheat days=my fav
Now I'd be CRAZY to have my "abs" sign in my cabinet without a little motivation as to WHY I should avoid my favorite junk food..... by posting when my next "Cheat Day" is, I'm able to reason. Like, "Okay, I GUESS I'll wait until Saturday to indulge in cookies..." You will feel so proud of yourself after accomplishing a full week of eating nutritiously, that your cheat day will be heavenly. (My cheat day this Saturday will include Mexican and FroYo)
My little cabinet :)
Next, I keep myself motivated by filling my cabinet with mostly healthy foods. If you buy junk food, you will most likely (definitely) eat it! So save your money and save yourself from having to postpone your goals! Don't forget about the cheat day you should have once a week to keep your metabolism going, your body guessing, and your sanity!!!
This is the easiest thing you can do. WRITE DOWN your goals! I have this hanging above my mirror so I see it every day! It helps to keep me on track and it gets me excited to live another day healthfully.
Peppers, Apple, Grapes, Banana :D
Stay motivated by packing your lunch and snacks! That way you won't be tempted by the Burger King line at UMass Boston every day... I realized that this is what I packed for my study session today, and it tasted great!
...... And then we realized I was wearing my "Miss Collegiate Area" t-shirt so we figured this was a picture-worthy moment. FIT FOR SUCCESS REPRESENT!  Ps- those grapes were delicious. Thanks for the cheesy picture, Lisa!
Lastly, when you are feeling extra tempted by fast food, at least go for a salad and a yummy-tasting yogurt! My lunch today included a huge salad (already half-eaten in this picture.. guess I was too hungry to realize I should have taken a picture at first) and my Apple-Cinnamon Chobani was like dessert! So delish!

Remember that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Figure out your goals, find your motivators, and GET ER DONE! You will be so proud of yourself :)


Monday, September 24, 2012

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For... BREAKFAST!

In case you didn't know, not only is breakfast my favorite meal ever, but it is also the most important! In order to keep your metabolism in high gear, a nutritious breakfast is crucial- and you can continue to keep it running high by eating about 5 smaller meals throughout the day.

What are you having for breakfast today? Here are a few of my favorites!

gotta love protein :)
If you've read my previous posts, you know that I'm a huge fan of special k.... If you're carbing up for breakfast (smarter to "carb up" in the morning instead of at dinner so you can effectively use this energy throughout the day, rather than letting it go unused in your body while you sleep at night- causing it to turn into sugars!), I suggest the Protein Plus Special K. With 7g of sugar, it is a little more attractive than my other favorite flavors (Fruit & Yogurt), but it also PACKS 10g of protein into each serving! This will keep you fuller for longer and will help to build that muscle! Just make sure you measure out each serving so you know what you're putting in your body. Otherwise, it is super easy to accidentally eat 12 servings... this stuff is good.
my best friend- Mr. Coffee Pot
I get asked all the time if coffee is okay to keep in your diet. Personally, I say YES! And so have the few trainers I've spoken with! Honestly, I wouldn't want to live without it! It is my favorite treat, and dieting is NOT about depriving yourself. So I happily enjoy coffee every morning. However, it IS important that you aren't packing your coffee full of sugar and cream. I chose to make my coffee every morning, not only because its cheaper, but because I know exactly what is going in it. My coffee is complete with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, a dash of skim milk, and 1 tablespoon of creamer (pictured here is Fat Free Hazelnut- yum!) And yes... I measure every thing out with measuring spoons! This enables me to know exactly what I'm putting in my body.
Oatmeal is also a wonderful choice for breakfast! It is quick and easy and helps to keep you full! I enjoy the "lower sugar" kind, which only has 4g and about 120 calories. If you have extra time in the morning, make your own oatmeal and add a small amount of brown sugar!

My favorite option!
Egg whites are my favorite! I've posted about these before, but I'm posting about them again. That is
how much I believe in them. I always measure out 6 Tablespoons of egg whites every morning... that is only 50 calories, no carbs, but 10 grams of protein!!! Love that. I fill my egg whites with delicious veggies, and honestly, they taste great! I was pretty hesitant to try them at first, but I'm so glad I did! Here is my 'recipe':
Dice up peppers (red and yellow pictured here), onions, spinach, and 2 slices of deli turkey.
With a squirt of PAM, let the veggies cook on medium to medium-low for a few minutes. Sometimes I cover this so that the peppers and onions can soften up.
Then add in your egg whites! I usually do 6 Tablespoons, make it more if you're hungry! The beauty of egg whites is that they are super filling for only a small amount of calories! When they are just about done cooking (not runny, slightly browning), add in your diced turkey slices.
And ENJOY! I eat my egg whites with a side of Pineapple Peach Salsa. It makes them taste even better if you're looking for a little more flavor :)

Bananas are my breakfast staple. If I'm not eating one for breakfast, it usually ends up being my mid-morning snack. So much deliciousness.
Lastly, Oatmeal Squares! These keep you full FOREVER! 5g of fiber, 6g of protein, and a heavenly taste. I actually enjoy these more when I'm on the run. I measure our a 1/2 cup of this dry cereal and enjoy it for a snack during class or when I'm away from home. And notice how it has 46 GRAMS of whole grains.. per serving!? That is just about ALL you need for the ENTIRE day! Rock on! I still suggest switching all of your "white" products to "wheat", but this sure is a quick way to get in those heart-healthy grains.

So what are you waiting for? Go enjoy a delicious breakfast and jumpstart that metabolism!

Morgan :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Healthy Fuel!

Today I thought I would post about the yummy meal I made for dinner tonight! I try to save up my "pasta nights" for only once in a while, and tonight was the night! Read up on my nutritious, delicious, and easy meal!!

Chicken and Spinach Whole Wheat Pasta
First, gather up your supples!
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 Thin-sliced Chicken Breast
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Light Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan 
- Garlic Powder
- Pepper
- PAM spray

1. Lightly spray a pan with PAM and cook the chicken breast on medium heat!
2. At the same time, boil a handful of whole wheat pasta until cooked!

3. Drain the noodles, and add a handful of spinach into the pot, allowing it to soften for a minute before adding the cooked pasta back in.

4. Mix together the pasta, spinach, and chicken and add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic powder and pepper, and a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese! And ENJOY!

Told you that was simple! It took 15 minutes tops to cook and serve, and you won't feel guilty eating it! 15 minutes out of your day is better spent preparing a healthy meal than waiting in a fast food line! It was a nice, light meal and I'm amped up for a good run in the morning :)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

First Race of the Season: Ovarian Cancer 5k!


September marks the beginning of my "running season" and I'm so happy I finally ran my first 5k of the fall! It amazes me that it was only ONE year ago that I ran my first race ever. I am so glad running has become such a big part of my life; not only does it give me "Morgan time," but it relieves my stress, allows me to clear my mind, sweat out my frustrations, listen to my favorite music, and stay in shape :)

Entering races motivates me to train (even on days I'd rather lay on the couch and watch Project Runway) but it also is a great way to give to charity and promote a cause.

Today I ran the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition 5k
It was a nice, cool Sunday morning, and I was SO amazed at how many people turned out to run! I love seeing people being active while contributing to such a great cause! Of course, I woke up completely exhausted this morning.. but that didn't stop me! I began my run nice and slow (typically everyone SPRINTS as soon as the gun goes off....) and in about 4 minutes, I was passing most of those silly sprinters as they had to stop to catch their breath. Definitely motivation to keep running!
Here I am before the run! Ready to go!
Annnd after! Nice and sweaty :)
lucky number... 29?!
 My goal was to run the race in 27 minutes without stopping. I haven't timed myself all summer, so I figured 9 minute miles would be a good goal! To my surprise, I was able to run the 5k in 25:10 and it felt great! Can't wait to try to beat my time in the next race! GOAL-SETTING is so crucial because it gives you something to push yourself towards... and makes you feel incredible when you accomplish your goal!

I get a lot of Facebook messages asking me how I train, etc. So this week, I decided to log my runs to give you an idea of what I actually run! I am by no means a crazy, professional running expert, but here is what I did this week:
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: off
Friday: off
Saturday: 5 miles
Sunday: RACE DAY! 3.1 miles

Honestly, I had no organization as to why I ran those distances, I just based it off of my energy level each day, but if you are looking for ways to get into running shape, there are SEVERAL websites that set up daily plans to help you be race-ready. One is "Couch to 5k" (listed below) and you can also get it as an app on your phone!
I always recommend that you set a goal, start slowly, and with each run, try to go a couple steps further. Before you know it, you will be running double what you used to!
So there is the summary of how my first race of the "season" went! I have a few more on the calendar and can't wait to run them!

XO! Morgan

Monday, September 3, 2012

Miss Mass & Summer Wrap Up

Well, the calendar may say that it is September, but I figured it is time to write my "Miss Mass Wrap-Up"... better late than never!

I can honestly say that the Miss Massachusetts 2012 Pageant was the greatest experience of my life. Not only did I have the opportunity to represent my passion and platform, Fit for Success, but I was able to meet 15 incredible friends. I learned how to multitask between nursing school, appearances, exams, dance practices, paperwork, exercising, fundraising, and eating right. I learned to enhance my life in SO many ways, especially on how to make my body a healthier one which led me to feel more confident about myself. I learned how to be more poised on-stage and in my every-day speaking, and developed a further passion for the Miss America Organization. I learned that my fellow "competitors" are actually the kindest, most dynamic and intelligent group of women from across the state of Massachusetts, and I felt completely honored to be part of that group! I accomplished my goal of making it into the Top 9, and was thrilled! Most importantly, I am SO amazingly proud of Taylor Kinzler, our new Miss Massachusetts who has already done a BEAUTIFUL job representing our state! Here are a few pictures from the competition!
On-Stage Question! I got asked about the effect of advertising on the childhood obesity epidemic in America! 
After months of exercising and avoiding my favorite cookies... the Lifestyle & Fitness competition!
Top 9 Swimsuit Competition!
My talent- Jazz Dance to "Monkey Back"
evening gown :)
Thank you Glitterati Salem for helping me find the perfect dress!
getting called into the Top 9!! SO shocked!
With the beautiful Taylor Kinzler (minutes before she was crowned!!!)
our incredible Miss Massachusetts 2012, Taylor Kinzler!
The entire process of competing for Miss Boston, Miss Collegiate Area, and Miss Massachusetts has made me realize that you CAN accomplish ANYTHING you set your mind to!!! Like I always say, set your goals, and do your best to work towards them! I can promise that you will feel nothing but proud, win or lose! Best of all, you can always try again............. :)

Since Miss Massachusetts, my summer has been a whirlwind! I was as busy as a bee working at the Boston Harbor Hotel, perfecting my sports bra/running shoe tanlines, reading books, spending time with friends, traveling to Minnesota for a week to hug my family, and eating a few too many cookies! I am truly excited for a new school year, a new running routine, and a new pageant season to begin!

Fit for Success blog followers: MORGAN IS BACK! Stay tuned for more blog updates from now on!

Thanks for reading!