Tighter Together 30 Day Challenge

I have purposefully steered clear of "one-time-macro-counts" in an effort to support and educate those who want to learn instead of a band-aid solution that requires more effort and time in order to be successful. BUT, summer is right around the corner and I think with the right perspective we can have a lot of fun, get in some killer workouts, have a deeper understanding of macro counting and get a lot leaner and tighter......TOGETHER. I'm 100% committed and will be following the plan each day with recipe ideas, workout videos and practical tips as we go! It's 30 days--- we can do anything for 30 days, right?!

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From running to Weights

This blog is something that I hope to read when I’m 105, so reliving the glory days of young knees and sweaty runs will have to be documented in case I will have slowed down by then. I have no doubt I will look back on my life with thoughts of areas I should have given less attention to, and plenty to which I should have given more, but a love exercise is something God knitted deep into my heart with a purpose. I have a feeling exercise will have some very sweet memories of my kids, women I never would have met otherwise, and personal victories as I reflect some day.

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Move Sweat Shred: Q & A

I answered over 200 individual questions about the Move Sweat Shred Guide on Tuesday’s post and I couldn’t have been happier to do that. I would never want to start something or spend money on something unless I had all the answers, so thank you for asking! 



1. Can I Modify the Guide for 3-4 Workouts a Week?

YES. I guide is not all or nothing--it is NOT success or failure, it is NOT results or nothing. You WILL see results if you are consistent with these workouts even if it is not every day. The guide has 5 unique workouts every week (no repetition), but that does not mean you have to get them all in each week. You can also break them up and complete different cardio sessions with different resistance workouts--just as long as you get it in and are pushing yourself, you will see results.

(tip: I recommend skipping Cardio + Abs, since the other workout days incorporate those often) 

2. Can the Workouts be Performed at Home? With What Equipment?

YES. There are women who have already completed the entire 8 week guide from home. You will need to modify about 5% of the guide, but I provide those modifications to you upon e-mail request (madelinemoves@gmail.com).

Equipment: Step, dumbbells, kettlebell (dumbbell works also), medicine ball (5-10lbs) and resistance cables to be used in place of cable machines and an inflated exercise ball (although not required)

3. How Long do the Workouts Take? What if I only have 30-45 minutes?

People of average fitness level typically complete an entire workout in about an hour or a few minutes over. HOWEVER, circuit training is SO simple to follow that you can simply shorten a workout by not repeating a circuit and moving on to the next instead.


4. Does the Guide Have Weight Recommendations to Help Choose for Given Exercises?

What About Videos for Form Guidance?

Yes. It has suggested weights for exercises, but it also gives clear guidelines on how YOU can determine what weight is right for you. (Hint: the last two repetitions of an exercise should be very difficult). Each exercise is linked to a video so you can check your form to be sure you are performing properly.

MSS Guide Weeks 1-2 (4).jpg

5. Does the Guide Include Cardio Recommendations?

Yes. The guide has two HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts a week, LISS (low intensity steady state) and steady state cardio that is not required, but recommended based on your goals. It is all outlined in each workout and found in the introductory information.

This guide is very “friendly” to runners and I’ve provided a detailed post on how I recommend incorporating it into a training program.

Below is an excerpt from the guide

MSS Guide Weeks 1-2 (1).jpg


6. Does the Guide Include Nutrition?

Meal Plans?

Will I See Results Without Tracking Macros?

My nutrition support is an 8 Week Macro coaching program, but I am currently full and not taking on new clients. Macro counting is NOT required to see results, but some people prefer to do the two together. As long as you are eating in accordance with your body’s caloric needs, you will see physical changes in performing the guide without macro counting.

If you are interested in the coaching for the future, subscribing to the blog notifies you of availability.


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Air Fried Dinner Ideas & Meal Prep

I’m not the most qualified person to have a blog that includes food because I really do creativity in this area.Give me a gym or even minimal equipment and I can be occupied for hours coming up with new workouts, but the kitchen….not as much.  My Fitness Pal is proof that a lot of meals get repeated, but it’s ok because I like what I like and my energy and creativity is harnessed in other ways. Aren’t you just so excited to keep reading?! Don’t abandon hope just yet, because I have a brand new appliance that has sparked the experimental flame in the kitchen and adding some new flavor to my staple meals!


Best Choice Products was kind enough to send me an Air Fryer and to be honest, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing and would probably not have bought it on my own because as you know, I’m a bit of a minimalist in the kitchen. I think my minimalist tendencies actually work to my advantage with the air fryer because it is truly so simple and effective. I have tested a LOT in it over the past two weeks and I can safely say that it cooks most vegetables EXACTLY how I want to eat them--that roasty flavor, but with a crunch that I can’t seem to master in the oven. I would be lying if I said exactly how I know the little alien pod works, but from my end, I just cut the vegetables, spray with coconut oil and set according to the recommendation in the manual (usually 10-15 minutes) and it crisps them right up for me.


Probably one of the best examples I can give to describe the simplicity is that while I was babysitting last week (and too nervous to put the baby down for fear of disrupting the peace), I chopped a zucchini with one hand, threw it in, started it, got it on my plate and ate my dinner without a peep from my sidekick.

Another quick example is the dinner we ate last night. When I saw “we,” my sister is living with Drew and me while she finishes school and we love it when our dinner times coincide, but sometimes it means we are waiting on each other to finish using the oven since we usually eat different meals. Last night, we each ate something a little different, but all used the air fryer in some way:

Carrie: Pork tenderloin with air fried potatoes and asparagus


Madeline: Mexican cauliflower rice with roasted pepper, mushrooms, ground turkey and air fried zucchini noodles on top for crunch


Drew: Cauliflower fried rice, air fried butternut squash and air fried chicken cilantro wontons from Trader Joe’s.


Air Fried Meats

You may be wondering how the air fryer does with meats and to be honest, we have found that it’s better for smaller things like chicken nuggets, although the recipe book says salmon and steak are options as well (have yet to try).

All in all, it’s been a really fun new addition to our kitchen and I think it is 100% worth investing in if you prefer fried foods. I never cook with excess oil because of the unnecessary fats and to be honest, the mess and clean up. If you have a few recipes you can’t live without, this would be even more useful!



Lately, I have been simply tossing a big bunch of asparagus in the air fryer for about 12-15 minutes and the putting it with the rest of my lunch for the week in these glass containers provided by BC Products. Meal prepping my lunches is without a doubt the best use of an hour and a half on the weekends for getting ahead and staying on track throughout the school week. I really don’t like thinking about it each night before and wondering if there will be leftovers for dinner or if I’ll have to make something else, so I just do it all at once, measure it and log it into My Fitness Pal for the whole week. My schedule doesn’t allow me to go out for lunch, and it’s an easy way to save money by packing a lunch, so even if my job were from home or more flexible, I think I would still do it!

The Nitty Gritty: when it comes to weighing vegetables--

 raw is most accurate.

My typical procedure goes like this:

1. Cut vegetables for the whole week into a bowl on the scale (example: 200g asparagus, 186g zucchini, etc....and write each one down

2. I'll make a new recipe in My Fitness Pal with all the raw ingredients and their weights (it doesn't take long at all)

3. Cook them up and divide them evenly by cooked weight into my containers (example: 5 containers with 150g cooked vegetables each)

4. Log into my daily lunch a 1/5 serving of the recipe that was created with the raw vegetables.

It's really much quicker than it sounds and you can chop it, write down the weights and then log it while it's cooking. Then I like to copy and paste the lunches for the whole week!

It's really much quicker than it sounds and you can chop it, write down the weights and then log it while it's cooking. Then I like to copy and paste the lunches for the whole week!

Tip: If you ever forget to weigh it raw, just SEARCH cooked butternut squash in our Fitness Pal Library and someone will have probably done the work for you!

Tip: If you ever forget to weigh it raw, just SEARCH cooked butternut squash in our Fitness Pal Library and someone will have probably done the work for you!

Watch Giveaway and Winning the Weekend

First of all, there is an amazing giveaway opportunity for someone to win a beautiful, wooden Jord watch in today’s post! I am wearing the Ebony & Sable watch from the Cassia collection. It was fun to swap my Apple watch for something a little fancier for the weekend! (I also have world’s puniest wrists and Drew loves to make fun of them and say he could snap them like twigs….thankfully he hasn’t tested the theory)

Some topics are disputable, but I think we can all agree that weekends are welcomed by everyone and never seem to stay long enough. This particular weekend is was extra special because Drew and I celebrated Valentine’s by staying at a downtown hotel and just spending uninterrupted time together (and if you’ve read this post, you know that’s my love language). I know you aren’t here for all those details, so let’s talk about some practical takeaways that might help you balance all the memories and life-giving experiences that the weekends bring without sacrificing your health and fitness goals.

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Loving Yourself Without Being In Love with Yourself

The “Self-Love” topic is one I never thought about until I got more involved with social media. I was not raised hearing my parents tell me to “love yourself, Madeline, because if you don’t....you can’t expect anyone else to.” They told me every day that they loved me. My parents showed me (and continue to) that I was loved with their provisions, their time, their correction, and everything else that I took for granted as they selflessly invested in my siblings and me. But honestly, nobody had to teach me about loving or prioritizing myself, that comes as naturally as my desire to eat (no problem there).

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Day Dates, Carb Cycling and Protein Goals

For those of you who are familiar with the idea of tracking macros instead of calories (although they are similar concepts), let me offer some answers to BROAD questions that could help navigate a sometimes confusing conversation. I cannot answer extremely specific questions about what your personal macro count should be unless we work together in an 8 Week Coaching format, and that isn’t to be vague, it’s just that macros are the MOST individualized approach to nutrition and in order for your nutrition to accurately match all of the characteristics that make you who you are (height, weight, training style, goals, diet history, body type, carb sensitivity, non-exercise calorie expenditure, etc) I have get all the details to give you the best advice

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Exercise Smarter, Not Necessarily Harder

This training technique marries two elements of training that are synergistic even though most people never bridge the gap. There is so much inner strength to be gained from the discipline of exercise, but there is also tremendous frustration when a person’s efforts seem futile in the results they are hoping to see outwardly. Strategic circuit training will change the cycle, accelerate results and have you excited for each new challenge. 

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Marriage: You asked, We answered....

With that being said, when I asked for topics that would be of interest and value to you, one of the most prevalent was marriage/relationships. To be fair, I don’t think anyone qualifies to be an expert in this area and if they tell you they are, I’d steer clear. Relationships are so tender, so deep, so uniquely multifaceted that it takes constant sharpening, repairing, sacrificing to allow them to flourish. So yeah, anyone who tells you that they are “easy” or should be is probably missing out on the deeper levels that are completely worth the work.

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Be STRONG to RUN-- Strength vs. Cardio

Let’s get right to it-- this post is for all my running friends out there who know strength training needs to be a bigger part of their routine, but don’t know exactly where to start or just have trouble staying consistent. If you asked me to write this post two years ago, I wouldn’t have much to say because I ran all the time, loved it and suffered through strength half-heartedly out of conviction, not enjoyment.

Fast forward two years and I’m at a point so happy and excited with strength training that I am having a hard time training for the Boston marathon because it means giving up some of the time I spend circuit training (I NEVER would have predicted that). I still LOVE to run and want to improve as a runner because it will always be one of the most invigorating, mind-clearing, endorphin-boosting, challenging, satisfying form of exercise to me,

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