I’m not losing weight for my wedding & here’s why.

I was never the girl who had a wedding board on her Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I always wanted to get married. I am such a loving person and love hearing every couple’s love story of how they met and love watching romantic movies. I know many girls know from a young age of what kind of wedding they want. That was never me. However, as Matt and I got more serious and the discussion of marriage came up I could not help but get excited and begin pinning. I was getting to marry the guy of my dreams and my best friend. The guy who really gets who I am and loves me for that.

matt taco

Fast forward to engagement..

26992048_1954678744545468_1093288240429305427_n.jpgThen onto wedding planning. The first solid step of wedding planning for us was me finding my weddings dress. Now I know to some people that seems a little backwards. We didn’t even know what state we were going to have the wedding in at this time. My mom and I went to The Boutique by B. Belle Events in Downtown Charleston, WV and truly had the best experience! Belle and her staff were wonderful and I am so glad we went there. I did say yes to the dress my first time trying on dresses. It was truly an experience e I will never forget.IMG_2652.JPG

Right after Jillian got us something to drink, she asked about the theme of my wedding, my fiancé, and really got to know me and what I pictured my wedding day to be like. I remember her asking what I wanted to feel like. I told her I wanted to feel comfortable and feel like the best version of me. Now to some brides and people in general, the best version of themselves they seem to think is them being smaller but I would STRONGLY question that. When I was trying to be smaller and not in a good place with my body, I was a hangry, unhappy person and not the best version of myself. I was not in a good place. It was in that moment that I felt most thankful to be in a good place with my body, myself, The Lord, and my fiancé. I realized that on this day the most important day of my life I wanted to be focused on the love I have for Matt and the fact that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. This day is our beginning. I realized all the things I did not want to be focusing on. I did not want to be focused on something that was not me. I did not want to be focused on how thin I did or did not look in my dress. I did not want to be chasing a thin body.

I remember Jillian warning me that dresses run smaller than jeans and to not freak out if I was a larger size than I normally can. I can tell you right now that I do not even know the size of the dress I got because that was not even important to me. I remember telling her the size I thought I might be. I am not going to put that number on here as it may be triggering to someone.

I can tell you what I do remember. I remember how I felt in my dress. I remember I felt beautiful. I felt like my true self. My best self. Isn’t that how we all want to feel? It has been a long road on this way to be where I am today with my body and it was not easy. If you are struggling with body image or disordered eating please seek help. It is not like there are days that I wake up that I still don’t have negative thoughts every now and again. It’s hard not to in a society that is constantly telling us we need to change something about ourselves. Hello billion dollar diet industry. However, what gives me joy is that God says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The God who created the whole universe thought that the world needed a Whitney Carney.. or a Whitney Long.

matt engagement




Day in the life [2/20/18]

I haven’t wrote a day in the life post for a while but wedding planning is in full swing so I am excited to share some of it with you all!

My mom and I had a venue tour for the wedding venue Tuesday morning at 9:00. I got up around 6:30 and started getting ready.

Ate breakfast – 2 pieces of Canyon Bakehouse whole grain bread with almond butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon, and some raspberries. Coffee on the side of course!


I threw some chicken in the crockpot for chicken fajitas for dinner that night. This recipe is super easy and tasty! Disregard the paleo, clean eating mambo jumbo on the recipe. I just like this recipe because it is really easy and tasty. I knew I was not going to be home until late that night so I wanted something to be ready ahead of time.


We left around 8:00 and got to the venue early. For all of you wondering you now know that we are having the wedding in West Virginia.



My mom and I met with Paige who walked us around the grounds and told us the history behind JQ Dickinson Saltworks. The property has been in her husbands family for over 200 years and they have been making salt ever since. She went over the process of how it is made and everything. It was super neat.



I love that we will be supporting a local business. The place will be beautiful. I am so excited to see it fully in bloom! I first heard of their business because my best friend from high school Sierra  had her wedding there. Mom and I later tasted their caramel sauce with their sea salt at the Etsy fair in Charleston, WV. We tried it again because it’s so yummy.


They also make chocolate so of course I got some of that.


After that it was off to IFITT24, the gym that I work at.


My work schedule changes from day to day but most Tuesdays are my catch up day from a full day at DECC on Mondays, the eating disorder clinic I work at. Monday I saw eight patients back to back so I had a lot of charting to do. My intern Erika met me there to do some charting. Before she got there I did my physical therapy stretches for my knee and some cardio on the elliptical. This is my first time doing the elliptical since my injury. It felt good and no pain. So thankful for God healing my knee and for my team at Dynamic Physical Therapy.  Injuries are no fun! I am thankful for the injury because it has helped me be able to relate more to my patients who are having to take a break from exercise. And while it was hard at first I won’t lie, it has helped me become so much more at home in my body. Our bodies are amazing and carry us through this crazy, beautiful life. I think I am now more appreciative of mine and all that it is able to do.

IMG_2834.JPGPost-workout was a Chobani greek yogurt drink.


Lunch was leftovers from dinner the night before- Roasted chicken, fingerling potatoes and steamed broccoli. Have you all tried fingerling potatoes? So creamy and delicious, especially roasted in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.


I do IFITT24’s health program and they are so gracious to let me see private clients there as well. I had a private client at 3:15-4:15. Then my intern Erika and I headed to Kroger’s so she could prepare for her grocery store tour. She is doing a distance internship and one of her assignments was to do a grocery store tour. She chose the topic of fiber rich foods since February is heart month.

I snacked on an apple and some cashews as we headed over. Took a pic halfway through my snack.


The tour went well and we had so much fun. Erika did a great job!


After that I headed home and dad shredded the chicken for me in the crockpot. We sautéed peppers together and then ate together as a family. I love that we still eat together as a family because I think that is so important. We always did that growing up. We also made some nachos because my brother is not keen on tacos themselves. I had some of those too!


Mom and I then watched Married at First Sight and I had some of the chocolate I got earlier.



I facetimed Matt for about an hour and then went to bed. We discussed some wedding planning, our days, and did a devotion.

That was my day!



Exciting days in Oklahoma

Faded Fall (1).jpgLast Thursday I flew out to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend a professional site visit at Laureate to tour their eating disorder treatment facility. This is not a sponsored post. I just think there is A LOT of stigma around eating disorder treatment centers (Thanks so much Netflix!) so I thought I would let you in on what a treatment center is like. I also wrote a post a while back when I visited Veritas in Raleigh, North Carolina if you want another view of a treatment center.

I arrived to the hotel, unpacked, and watched Chopped until it was time for dinner. We all met downstairs while we waited for Laureate staff to arrive to take us to dinner. I immediately hit it off with a girl who is a mental health counselor at an Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Clinic in New York. Hi Becky! I am always wanting to go to different conferences and things so it is cool to have someone to meet up with at future events. There has been this body image workshop by Marci Evans and Fiona Sutherland that I have been dying to go to. I also want to go to International Association of Eating Disorder Professional’s (IADEP) symposium one day.

We ate dinner at McGill’s where I had filet, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and failed to take a picture.  After dinner we went back to the hotel room and Matt came by and we watched some TV until I went to sleep.

The next morning I had breakfast at the hotel. Laureate staff had told us they would be having breakfast from Panera such as bagels, yogurt, and fruit, but I was really hungry when I woke up that morning so I decided to go ahead and eat at the hotel. I had oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar. I also had two boiled eggs. Matt came and ate breakfast with me before I left for the morning. He has some scrambled eggs and cheesy potatoes with peppers and onions, and an orange.



I later had a yogurt parfait, orange juice, and of course some coffee! We had a couple presentations before we headed out for a tour of the facility. The first presentation was from their medical director of the program and it was on Modern Understanding of Eating Disorders. He is doing a ton of research about neural circuits and eating disorders. He is even doing a flotation study to body image. Super interesting stuff. We learned how Laureate got started. Laureate is actually owned by the owners of Saint Frances, one of the best hospitals in Tulsa.  The owner’s daughter had schitzophrenia and there were no mental treatment centers for her to be treated at.  They built Laureate since there was no mental health treatment in Oklahoma at the time.

IMG_2489There is SO much research about obesity. However, there is little research on eating disorders. However, but when we take a health at every size approach, we know that the BMI does not amount to much when we are focused on individual health. It was meant to be used for classifying populations, not individuals. One of the things that I like about Laureate is that they use a health at every size/intuitive eating approach and this carries on into their nutrition department as well.

The main thing that I took away from this lecture is the importance of a TEAM approach in the treatment of eating disorders. My boss and the clinical director of DECC always says “it takes a team,” and that it truly does! Without the patient being at 90% of their ideal body weight, medications won’t work properly and therapy will not work as well either. Therapy may be going well, but without proper nutrition, the patient could still lose X number of pounds because cognitively they are not all there. He talked a lot about the neuropathways and reward systems in the different eating disorders which I found fascinating, but I won’t bore you all with that LOL.

I really enjoyed the dietitian’s lecture. Unlike Veritas, they do not have a levels system in which patients move up as they progress and have more privileges.  However, they do have different tables for beginners, intermediate and advance and these range from less structured to more structured. As far as the menu goes, they progress from non-select to menu select to self-select/serve.  In the non-select the RD picks what the patient is eating. In the menu select, they are literally choosing off a menu. I wish I could have taken a picture of it because it was so neat. It had a list of exchanges for proteins they could choose as well for starch and fat. The menu is a thirty day cycle of lunches and dinners.  The self-select is literally what it sounds like. They are plating their food themselves. However, there is the head chef and a RD there observing to make sure that they are getting what they are supposed to. They do utilize the exchange list for their meal plans like the majority of treatment centers do. They DO NOT use measuring cups, label reading, or calorie counting.

Another thing that I already knew, but that she really stressed and I think is important to share is that a lot of the times eating disorders go unnoticed. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. You never know who might be struggling. Health is optimized through behavior change and they also utilize blind weights like Veritas and DECC.  She talked a lot about the importance of MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) and labs. I won’t bore you all but one thing I did not know and found super interesting is that lipid panel can be elevated when the refeeding process begins.  This is because the liver is not processing well. Which then leads to a lot of PCP’s taking certain foods high in cholesterol out of patient’s diets that does not need to be taken out. This person has an eating disorder! However, through continual eating/proper nutrition labs will level out.

They utilize a non-diet approach which is optimal for eating disorder recovery, as well as overall health since there has been SO MUCH research to show that how dieting can be horrible for our health and does not work.


We got to tour the facility as well as their dining hall and meet their head chef. He talked about how before working at Laureate he had never worked in healthcare. He used to be a chef at a country club and serve 27 ounce steaks LOL. He had heard about how hospital food is not the best and had told Laureate that he would take the job as long as he got to cook the way he wanted to. They agreed, but he said that he had to learn A LOT about eating disorders and nutrition including proper portion sizes of proteins!


As he was talking about his job, he teared up. You could truly tell how much he cares about the patients and how much he loves his job. Made me cry too! He talked about how he will mix things up to challenge the patients, but also make the holidays/seasons fun by decorating and having themed meals. He also showed us how they create an example meal of how each patient should have their meal. Like veritas, they have a paper that says the menu item and what exchanges it meets. Depending on their meal plan, a patient may need to add another item to their meal.

IMG_2495.JPGThey also had these examples that the patients can look at to help them make sure they are getting what they need. I thought these were neat. We had Panera for lunch and then went to tour the Magnolia House.IMG_2497.JPG

The Magnolia House is a transition living “halfway house” for eating disorders. This is for patients transitioning to outpatient care and in earlier stages of recovery. Thirty days of care are scholarshipped. This is just for 18+ older. They have to either work/volunteer/go to school for 20 hours each week. Laureate provides breakfast, snack, and dinner each day. They are responsible for lunch groceries and making their outpatient appointments. There are weekly staff meal outings as well as staff led cooking group and peer led cooking groups. One staff supervises meals and process groups. 50-60% patients utilize this and they have even had patients move to Tulsa to access the Magnolia House. Personally, the Magnolia House was one of my favorite parts of the Laureate treatment site visit as I think it is just amazing and would be so beneficial for someone leaving treatment. Because as we know, treatment is SO much different than being on your own back in a diet-focused society. It was also super pretty!


After finishing the tour, we said our goodbyes. Matt and I went to eat dinner. We were going to go to the new Torchy’s tacos in Tulsa but the line was out the door and we were both too hungry for that nonsense. Instead, we went to Café Ole in Brookside. Matt and I went here before for brunch when I lived in Tulsa, and also my dad, myself, and Matt ate here the day I moved back to WV. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Such a weird feeling. Not knowing what was to come with this relationship with this guy I had been dating a month that I was so crazy about, and moving 15 hours away from. BUT THE LORD has been so faithful and we are SO thankful for that.

IMG_2505.JPGIMG_2507.JPGWe both got enchiladas. Matt got chicken and I got cheese. So good! They made for great leftovers for Matt the next day because we didn’t finish them. After we ate, we went to Trader Joes and visited with his parents.

Trader Joes finds:


So far I’ve used the bagel seasoning on avocado toast. What else do you all put it on?! I am obsessed with it. It is so tasty! They had those cookies as a sample and I had to buy some. They are so delicious.


The next day we ate breakfast and I packed all my stuff to head back to WV. Matt’s sis-inlaw Melissa has been wanting to take our pictures. She is trying to get experience and wanting to eventually open up her own photography business. We were all for it. We met her at a park in Tulsa and got started. Taking pictures was SO fun. Matt and I are so goofy so we had a blast with Melissa.


Towards the end of our photo session, Melissa had said she wanted to take pictures of just me and I was like sure! Matt was sitting behind me on a rock somewhere out of view. At one point, Melissa had told me to face Matt and I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was so shocked and so giggly. Today it has been a week since it has happened and we are just so so so excited! Thank you to everyone on social media & in real life for showing us so much love!!! We truly cannot wait to be living in the same state together. 🙂IMG_2527.JPG

What else would we celebrate with?!


The Taco Eating Dietitian

Food Finds in OKC

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now. I’ve been trying to be more consistent with blogging instead of just once a month or so, but life has been a little crazy lately, and that’s okay. Because stressing over trying to get a blog post out would not make blogging enjoyable for me. Really love this post by Sara, a Marshall intern who shadowed me last week. In this post she talks about tips to not fall into the comparison trap and I totally related!

A month ago I visited Matt in his new town for his dietetic internship and grad school. Matt went to Oklahoma State for his undergrad degree (GO POKES) and it was really fun visiting the town of Stillwater and making our own traditions there. However, I was really excited to visit his new town in the Edmond/Oklahoma City area of Oklahoma where he is attending University of Central Oklahoma. We tried out a lot of cool restaurants and food trucks that I am excited to share with you all!

Green Goodies

IMG_1791IMG_1792This is a bakery that caters to those who have different dietary needs – hello, me! – They have vegan, gluten-free, and traditional options. They are so tasty. They have the best gluten-free cookies I have ever had. We got a frosted cookie and a salted caramel cupcake to split.. Both were awesome. You have to stop here if you are ever in OKC.IMG_1793

Andy’s Frozen Custard

Going to Andy’s has become a tradition for me and Matt every time I fly into Oklahoma. We went once for a date when we first started dating and almost a year and a half later it is still one of our favorite places. It is a chain, but their custard is off the chain. It is super creamy. They are outside of Oklahoma, but sadly we don’t have any in WV yet.


Matt and I had a Goodwill date and then wore our outfits to Andy’s. It was a lot of fun. I loved the awful Christmas sweater he got me to wear. He did not really like his tight shirt and 80’s sweats but that’s okay lol.


Café Kacao

IMG_1845IMG_1846IMG_1852IMG_1847This place is supposed to be known to be traditional Guatemalan food. It had awesome reviews and we were super excited to try it out. Matt’s mom had been there before and said that it was not traditional, and she was disappointed. However, we still wanted to give it a shot.

I got a horchatta latte and it was delicious. Probably some of the best espresso I have ever had. They were doing all kinds of cool things with the coffee drinks. I saw them torching a marshmallow that must have been for their marshmallow latte.

I really liked mine. My favorite part was the plantains. I love plantains. They were cooked perfectly. I enjoyed my dish, but I guess it was not what I was expecting. Matt got a burrito and was super disappointed. His burrito was not very traditional at all in his opinion, but he said it still tasted okay.

Overall, the place had a super cool vibe, but if it is up to Matt I doubt we will go there again. Maybe he just ordered the wrong thing, but in his opinion the menu was not very traditional it was more hipsterish LOL. We were both pretty full and only ate half which made for great leftovers later. We are all about that leftover life.

Pho Cuong

IMG_1839IMG_1840OKC is a really cool city because it has different districts. They have an Asian district which was where Pho Cuong was, but the Asian district has other restaurants as well as Asian grocery markets. Super cool! Pho Cuong really looks like nothing on the outside or the inside for that matter, but their pho was super good.. and cheap! I love how pho is so warm and comforting but at the same time super fresh with all the veggies. They also have different types of Bubble Tea. Do you like Bubble Tea? I love how sweet, ice cold it is and how it is dotted with chewy boba tapioca pearls. Matt and I both ate there for less than 20.00.

Holey Roller’s Donuts

IMG_1875IMG_1876OKC also has a more Spaniard/Artsy district called The Paseo Arts District. It has a lot of cool different Spaniard looking buildings and various places to eat and check out some cool art! Holey Roller’s Donuts is a donut truck Matt and I found online and we followed them to a farmer’s market. They have also recently opened up their own shop at The Paseo. Holey Roller’s specializes in having vegan donuts, but also offers gluten-free donut options daily.


Their food truck is adorable, and the owner was super nice and helpful when deciding on donuts. This was one of my first gluten-free donuts that was not from the frozen aisle at a Health Food Store. It was so cool to be able to have a donut again, but even more cool that they were delicious and super moist. Matt and I would be regulars if I lived in OKC. I got a gluten-free chocolate sprinkle donut and he got a regular pumpkin one. They were so good that he insisted on tracking Holey Rollers down the next day at The Day of The Dead Festival. We got a gluten-free chai donut to split. The icing was super yummy. I’ve never been a chai person before but this donut may have changed my mind.


The Mule

IMG_1889IMG_1888The Mule is a sandwich place and brewery. It doesn’t sound like much. In fact, when we were talking about trying it out Matt was worried that a sandwich would not fill him up. We decided to give it a shot anyway since they had gluten-free bread on their menu. All of their ingredients are locally sourced and they had some unique sandwiches on the menu including a sandwich called the macaroni poney- that’s right-macaroni on a sandwich. Neither one of us got that one but we sure thought it sounded interesting. I got a turkey sandwich that had turkey, gruyere, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy aioli. Matt got the big mule grilled cheese with three different cheeses on them. He got gluten-free bread too and we split them.  Both sandwiches came with either fries, salad, or soup and we both got fries. I was full and did not finish my fries. They made for a nice side with our salmon and asparagus for dinner the next evening. We both loved this place.

I think a HUGE misconception with intuitive eating is that when you eat “whatever you want” that health goes out the door. However, I believe that when you are intuitively eating- listening to your body and tuning into your hunger/fullness cues – you are more in tune to what your body needs. To me, that aligns right with overall health and healthy eating. We made some blueberry baked oatmeal to have for breakfasts during this week which I know my body was needing. We also had salmon two nights with asparagus and fries/potatoes. With intuitive eating some days your body may want the grilled cheese and other days your body may want the asparagus and salmon. Your body knows what to do with ALL the different nutrients you give it and I think it is amazing God made us that way.


Oh and here’s a picture of Matt with a random bird that found him. It was too funny. He just looked down and it was on his leg chilling there. It was such a sweet bird. 🙂


Self-care is more than just face masks.

I have blogged about what self-care looks like to me here and talked about a time I was not practicing self-care here. I feel like self-care is a new trend word. However, what does it really mean? I really love Kylie Mitchell’s explanation here and this Ted Talk. I love Ted Talks!

To me, self-care is basically checking yourself before you wreck yourself. Self-care allows you to be more present in life and to better take care of others. When you take care of yourself, you are able to take care of others better. From practicing self-care more regularly, I can now tell when I am in need of it.

I think a misconception with self-care is that movement or exercise is ALWAYS self-care. That’s not always the case. When introducing exercise to a patient at DECC, I always make sure to assess the context of the exercise. Is this joyful movement, or movement that you are doing to control the size/shape of your body? I talk more about healthy movement in this blog. I would say the same thing to someone who does not struggle with an eating disorder. Find movement that you enjoy. Going to the gym 7 days a week is not self-care in my opinion.

What brings you joy? Because if you are running and you hate it that is not going to get you anywhere. Exercise is a stresser. It releases cortisol. It can be a positive stresser or a negative stresser. If you are miserable when you are working out that is a negative stresser. That is not helping your overall stress.

What brings me joy is always changing. I think in different seasons of our lives it will change. Most of my self-care has stayed the same including doing devotionals with Matt, our weekly FaceTime date, and coffee dates with friends. However, movement is different for me lately. I’ve been having knee issues lately which is a really long story that I will not make you read. I’ve had to stop exercising except for doing yoga and foam rolling when I am having a good day. Sometimes that is once a week and I have learned through this process to be okay with that.
I’ve had to learn to give myself grace if my body does change. Truly thankful for Matt and Dr. Luzier at DECC who have talked me through this. I love doing star pose in yoga and something I have heard from a few different instructors is  “What are you serving by being small?” I love that.

Matt and I have talked about that maybe God’s plan was me to have this injury so I can better serve my patients that have to abstain from exercise for treatment. ❤

Another form of self care I have started lately is trying new things. Saturday I attended an Intro to Inversions workshop at Yoga Power. I had never practiced inversions before and it was truly so much fun. I would love to do something like this again.

22222016_1838455116167832_2875119116782040332_nI have talked about using essential oils and soaps in my skin routine before on this blog. I have recently started using Witch Hazel as a toner and it smells so nice. It’s also all natural (I hate saying that term lol) and inexpensive compared to the other ones I have seen. I picked it up at Target. The same day I picked it up, I picked up a knee brace. I felt like I had a little basket of self care. ❤ A knee brace is something Matt has been on me to get while I am in the process of getting approved for a MRI. He was right. It has helped my knee feel a little bit better so far.

I’ve also been loving following along with The Halloween Baking Championship on Food Network. I always watch this with my mom Monday nights. However, this past Monday must have been a long day at work because I fell asleep before it went off. Whoops!

What are your favorite forms of self care?

Have a blessed day!




A weekend full of eats in Cincinnati

Last weekend Matt and I met up in Cincinnati, Ohio. We were both really excited for this trip because we had originally thought that we were not going to see each other until late October. While the late October trip is still in place, we decided that we really did not want to wait almost three months to see each other again. Matt is currently doing his dietetic internship at The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and  his DI had approved him missing one Friday if he made it up. Being in a long distance couple for a year and two months, this is surprisingly the first time that we decided to meet up in a different state than one of our own. It was a lot of fun exploring a new city together. Although I had been to Cincinnati several times for Red’s games, Matt had never been. We always take turns planning trips so I planned the majority of this one. Matt planned Saturday night. Planning is always fun because it gets me excited to think about doing fun stuff together as a couple. It also gets me thinking about seeing him next, and that it is not so far away after all.

Matt flew out of Dallas and I drove from my house to meet him. It was an easy drive and I had some awesome podcasts to listen to. The podcasts I listened to were:

  • Don’t Salt My Game With Laura Thomas, PhD “From Anxious Perfectionist to Non-Diet Nutrition Boss with Haley Goodrich of INSPIRD Nutrition” – Really enjoyed this podcast! HUGE fan of Haley Goodrich and recommend doing Wellseek’s webinars if you are a dietitian interested working in eating disorders/having a non-diet approach. That is how I first (virtually) met Haley. I learned so much and you gotta love CEU’s!
  • Love That Lasts with Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke “New Year Goals, Dating, & God’s Will – I started listening to this one and continued to listen to more recent episodes. This one was recorded in December 23, 2014 – Whoops! LOL

I am a huge fan of the Bethke’s. They are just so hilarious and so relatable as Jesus followers. Fun fact: They were also in a long distance relationship! Matt and I have done their books and plan to do them again later on down the road. I just recently found out they had a podcast.

I picked Matt up from the airport and we headed to get second breakfast. I ate some cheerios and banana before I left my house 4 hours ago that morning. I made Matt some cookies because he loves cookies & so do I. We ate a cookie or two and headed to B&A Street Kitchen. 

We thought this place was a really cool concept. They had a window on the street where you could get food to go – hense the name I suppose. The food was great.

I got two breakfast tacos with eggs, bacon, and queso. Matt said he could tell the tortillas were house made. I described them as “doughy” but he said that did not make sense since they were corn lol. They were the best tortillas I’ve ever had. Matt got a breakfast taco and a biscuit and gravy that looked like a cloud.




We could not check in to our AirB&B yet so we walked around Cincinnati. We went to Washington Park for a while and sat and talked. We really liked this part plus they had a dog park. We then went to Findlay Market. We loved this place. If you are from WV it is kind of like the Capital Market but about 3X the size. There were also little shops and local vendors outside.



Pretty soon it was time to check into our AirB&B. So this was my first AirB&B experience, but Matt had stayed in one before for a grad school class before he moved into his new apartment last summer. I was not sure how it was going to be but it was a lot cheaper so we decided to go this route after searching many AirB&B’s in Cincinnati. We stopped at Kroger to get some food for breakfast the next two mornings. I had already brought some Luna Bars for snacks. We took a nap and watched some New Girl. Later we headed out to Nada Taco. This was in downtown. The thing about Cincinnati we discovered is that you can be in a part you think is a nice part of town and literally go a few blocks over and be in a very not nice part of town. However, downtown was really nice. Traffic was really bad as we were leaving to go to the AirB&B and driving in huge cities is not my favorite thing. Plus parking is really expensive! So we decided to take a Lift. Matt had a discount anyway where he drives for Lift & Uber on weekends. This was also a first experience for me. It was super nice though and not awkward like I thought it would be lol. I am really glad we went this route. We got to Nada Taco and got seated outside. This was our favorite place we ate at the whole weekend. We both got tacos- shocker. I got salmon tacos and he got pork belly. The salmon tacos had a crema on them that was delicious. We both switched one taco so we could try each others.





Out waiter looked like Nick Miller from New Girl so that was fun. Can you tell we love New Girl? If you haven’t watched it, you need to! He had never watched the show until some other customers told him he looked like him too. We then went to an arcade bar called 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. Matt and I’s first date we ate tacos and played video games at an arcade where I beat him so it is always fun to play video games against each other. 🙂 I found out I am pretty horrible at Pac Man. It was a lot of fun though. We then took a Lift/Uber back and watched some New Girl and went to sleep.



The next morning we made breakfast that I did not take a picture of. It was eggs, an Udi’s blueberry muffin, and strawberries. We tried to save money by cooking in for breakfast. #Balleronabudget! Plus the host of our AirB&B did not mind at all. She was great and had the cutest little boy. Everything was clean too. I will say that it looked bigger in the pictures, but that was not a huge deal. It was only like ten minutes from downtown. We would definitely stay there again.

We then headed out to Findlay Market again. I told you we loved that place! We took more time to go into some of the shops. We stopped by a tea shop and got some tea to take home to both of our moms. I got my mom a dark chocolate tea. We have yet to try it though. She’s been wanting to try chocolate tea ever since seeing a company on Shark Tank with chocolate tea.

We ate lunch at Pho Lang Thang. When we were at Findlay Market the day before we could smell the pho and it smelled amazing so we decided to go back. The place looks like it is nothing at all but the food was really good. We were impressed.


IMG_1575.JPGI got the tofu bowl and Matt got the pork bowl. Matt and I really want to try making pho when I go see him in October. Was anyone made pho at home? We thought it would be relatively easy.


I love you pho liiiiife! 🙂


IMG_1579.JPGWe then walked to Washington Park where they had something super cool going on. Totally a happy accident. It was called the City Flea. There were tons of local vendors and we loved it! I got some charcoal soaps because I love essential oil soaps. They are one of my favorite things of self care. ❤ Then we walked downtown where Octoberfest was going on. We had no idea it as going on that weekend when we originally made plans to go that weekend. Apparently Cincinnati is a very German town. Had no idea. Anyway Octoberfest is really just about drinking beer and a lot of German food. There were so many people and it was super hot that day. We walked through the madness and went to a coffee shop called Lola’s. We loved this place. It was super cute and the coffee was good. Matt got an iced latte and I got an iced caramel macchiato.



We then walked back downtown and went to fountain square and decided to do the Carew observation tower. The views were beautiful and it was super fun.




IMG_1597.JPGAfter this we went back to our Air BB and  and watched a New Girl episode and  relaxed.  Later on we went to dinner. Guess what? Another taco place! LOL  This place was in downtown as well. There was a longer wait so we walked around and loked at some of the shops.  There was a cool place where you could make candles and I was wishing that we had one back in WV.  The restaurant kind of had the same feel as the other restaurants on the street. They were all open to the outside which was cool.  The seating was kind of strange but I still liked the place and would go back. The salsa had avocado in it which was cool. It was really tasty. However, the tacos were just okay. We were not super impressed by them. It was still a cool place to get something to eat though.


Matt had then planned for us to go to Smale Park. I LOVED THIS. Super cute park. Gosh if I lived there I would go there all the time. They had ginormous swings which were really popular. We literally had to sit behind on a bench and wait for someone to get off the swing and then sprinted toward the swing lol. We stayed here for awhile just talking and swinging. We then went to a Game Bar and played Uno. That was fun and a cool concept. We then went back to the AirB&B and went to sleep.



IMG_1623.JPGThe next day we fixed breakfast and chatted with the host. We then headed out to Trader Joes & Whole Foods so I could stock up on some of my favorite gluten-free carbs. I love Canyon Bakehouse brand bread so I got some of that from Whole Foods and bagels from TJ’s. Canyon Bakehouse is my fav because it is 100% whole grain which is hard to come by in gluten-free products! I also got a pumpkin bread/muffin mix which I am super excited to try. Matt and I have decided that when we do get married we will do like 90% of our grocery shopping at Aldi and TJ’s because they are so cheap and we love them! I so miss TJ’s after moving back to WV. 😦 Gluten-free has definitely gotten better as far as more products, but I still am not access some of my favorite gluten-free products as often as I would like. We also snagged some free coffee at TJ’s and listened to Life.Church’s latest message while we were driving. Love Life.Church and so miss going to church with my guy! The latest message series is called “My Big Fat Mouth” and it is awesome. So much truth!

Next, we hit up The Littlefield for brunch. Matt got biscuits and gravy, and bacon. I got the truffle egg sandwich. All of their food is locally sourced and it had a cool vibe!

IMG_1627.JPGIMG_1628.JPGIMG_1629.JPGWe then went to Greater’s and got ice cream. Matt had never had Graeter’s and he said it was even better than Bluebell! If you’ve never had Bluebell it is because we do not have it in WV and it is so creamy. I got salted cramel chocolate chip and Matt got Cookies and Cream. IMG_1633.JPG

Something sweet before our bittersweet goodbye. We will see each other at the end of October so that made things a little bit easier. Long distance never gets easy but I am truly thankful for this guy that God has allowed me to do life with and grow with the past year and two months. We aren’t perfect. We have our disagreements, but it is in those moments that God has allowed us to grow and learn about each other. We all are a work in progress and I think that is a truly beautiful thing. IMG_1635.JPG

Hope you all enjoyed this post!



Veritas Collaberative Professional Visit Recap

So about a week and a half ago, I had the opportunity to visit Veritas Collaberative for a FREE professional visit. How awesome is that? Well let me tell you it was VERY awesome! It really seems like so long ago that I went. I seriously had the best time and I am extremely excited to get to share it with you all.

My day started out Thursday morning waking up at 3:30 A.M. in order to drive to the airport and catch my 6:30 A.M flight. My wonderful mom woke up and drove me there. 🙂

Ate some honey nut cheerios before I left because my hunger was real at 4:30 A.M. that morning.

Flew into Dallas. Ate a snack and had an iced coffee.


IMG_1255[1].JPGThen flew into Raleigh/Durham where I caught a taxi for the first time. Veritas had arranged an airport taxi for me to catch but I could barely understand the guy – LOL – thankfully I caught something about “zone 15” and asked someone that worked there who pointed me in the direction. Adulting at it’s finest right?



I got to the hotel around 10:30 A.M. I couldn’t check in yet and I was super hungry so I decided to stretch my legs and find a place to eat. I found this place that had great reviews and seemed to have an awesome menu. Lots of gluten-free options for my gluten intolerant self – a bun made out of plantains and they had yucka fries too! Looked super cool and sourced local ingredients. I get there and the power is out on that side of downtown. 😦 Guess that means I will have to go back and try out that restaurant another time. Asked a local for directions on how to get back to the other side of town because I got confused. Got back and ended up just getting a lettuce wrapped burger and fries from this place and it was pretty good. I was SUPER hungry regardless so anything sounded good at this point.





Went back to the hotel and it was ready so I went up to my room and got settled in. Stretched out on the bed and watched an episode of Catfish. I had never watched the show before Matt introduced me to it and now I love it lol. I don’t know why I find it super entertaining but I do. Anyone else a fan?

Got ready and headed out to catch the shuttle for the first day of the professional visit.






I was the only dietitian at the professional visit. The others were either therapists or social workers. Everyone came from all over the place to visit. Everyone was super nice! The people at Veritas were super nice too.


Especially this girl! Hey Teresa!

The first day we visited the Adult Hospital. We had two presentations. I especially enjoyed Jennie Lacy. She was so relatable. She said something that really stuck with me. “Everyone could use a little DBT.” Dialectical Behavior Therapy- To those who are not familiar with mental health. DBT is a cognitive-behavior therapy that strongly emphasizes the use of behavioral principles to facilitate change. This treatment blends an emphasis on acceptance (of oneself, of reality) with an emphasis on changing behavior. In other words that sometimes (if not most of the time) we need to slow down and think about how we are reacting and if this is really helping or harming. I like to think of it as being more present which is something I am continuing to work on every day.

One thing I had to laugh about was that they scheduled a snack. I was thinking “These are my kind of people.” They even made a gluten-free dessert so I could have something. I was spoiled this trip for sure.


Gluten-free cupcake and coffee.

After that the shuttle came and picked us up and took us to Nanasteak which was connected to our hotel. We had a social hour before the dinner where Teresa introduced me to Leah Graves the director of the head RD of their nutrition department. Leah reminded me so much of Amy, my favorite professor at Marshall. I joked that I thought Amy must be following me everywhere. Leah was great with answering any questions I had about their nutrition program. Fun fact she went to college in Oklahoma. Teresa had told her I lived in Oklahoma for a while so we chatted about the best coffee shops and how I got into eating disorders. Loved chatting with her! How I got into eating disorders was such a happy accident I think but in reality God had a plan all along.

We then had dinner. Dinner was awesome. I don’t eat red meat super often because of my genetic cholesterol issues but Thursday I had red meat twice in one day – YOLO. I was so hungry all day Thursday. Anyone else get like that when they fly? I ordered the ribeye with collard greens and fries and it was delicious. For dessert they had a flourless soufle. ❤



IMG_1284[1].JPGIMG_1283[1].JPGI was seated between Leah and Teresa which meant there was a TON of good conversation the rest of the evening. I had planned on possibly doing a yoga video when I got back to the room but I was so tired. I have no idea how I did it being up since 3:30 that morning. Called mom, Facetimed Matt and went to bed.


The next morning I packed because I had to check out and then we were picked up by the shuttle to go to breakfast and begin the last day of the professional visit.


On Friday we visited the children’s hospital and had presentations about pediatric psychiatry. We then breaked for lunch where they had a gluten-free sandwich just for me. I failed at taking a picture of lunch but it was so delicious. It was a chicken, mozerella, and basil sandwich. I also got a salad and some butternut squash curry soup.

I have never felt so taken care of at a conference before. Veritas is awesome. Their culinary program that they have is unbelievable. We toured the children’s hospital including the kitchen where they do all kinds of food exposures with the patients. From making home-made pasta to doing cupcake wars with their RD’s and therapists. Count me in for a taste testing!


What is really cool is that the chefs are trained by Veritas to talk/behave a certain way about food so that they don’t trigger the patients. I really think Veritas has thought of everything. With eating disorders, patients a lot of the time love to cook, but they will not eat anything that they cooked. At Veritas patients will eventually have to eat what they cook. Of course this process is handled by their multidisciplinary team. To tell someone to just eat when they have an eating disorder is a joke.


I really loved the way that Veritas did their nutrition program. Instead of having patients measuring food (which I think is not mentally healthy and have heard some of my patients first started measuring food in treatment), they utilize visual coaching. This means that patients put an amount on their plate and a team member tells them if it is enough or not. I could go on and on about the treatment at Veritas but that would probably get boring to you all.


IMG_1345[1].JPGDid I mention the place was beautiful?




They also have each patient make a piece of art upon the end of their treatment that reflects how they feel now exiting treatment. I LOVED THIS. Here are a few pictures!



IMG_1342[1].JPGIMG_1349[1].JPGI learned so much on my trip to Veritas. The learning curve is HUGE when entering an eating disorder job. I always say that I don’t think I had a clue what I was doing when I first started at DECC, but gosh I have truly learned so much. I love my job. Yes it is VERY hard and you have the days when you and your patients cry together but it is SO worth it. My heart felt so full leaving Veritas and being with all my likeminded eating disorder peeps. <333


Oh and Hi from Stella the therapy dog! 🙂

Have a great day!







Why I changed my blog name + Recap

Hey guys!

I know it has been a while. Things have been super busy lately. More on that later! So I wanted to explain why I changed my blog name. My former blog name was “RD2be2016.”

Reason #1: As of November, I passed the RD exam. No longer an RD2be! I still remember that feeling and that it was the best feeling ever to be able to introduce myself as the dietitian to my patients/clients. I was talking to my mom yesterday about this and how I think I now take it for granted which I should not do. It was a LONG path to become a RD and I feel super blessed to be where God has me right now.

Reason #2: I chose the name because tacos hold a special place in my heart LOL. No, but really I do enjoy eating tacos! I love tacos. Definitely one of my favorite foods for sure. Lately I have been seeing memes that say “If I had to choose to eat healthy or tacos, I would choose tacos.” Tacos can be a part of a healthy diet – more on that on this post about intuitive eating. It seriously grinds my gears when I see memes like that. I always tell patients/clients that my boyfriend is Guatemalan and if I could not eat tacos, he would probably break up with me LOL. All foods fit.

matt taco

Here is a picture of my wonderful boyfriend wearing a taco shirt. I love him.

A lot has happened since I last blogged!

I have started a third job as a contract dietitian working with individuals with disabilities at Hopewell Community Services. I do nutrition ed and help make their menus for the week. I really like it so far!

I have started working towards my eating disorder certification through IAEDP. I am so excited for this! 🙂 I have said before that I feel like God has called me to work in eating disorders and sports. I think my dream job would be to work with athletes who struggle with eating disorders. 🙂

Matt came in from Oklahoma and we went to the beach with my family. It went by way too fast but I am so thankful for time spent with him and my family. We will see each other again in September and I am already counting down the days.

matt beach 2

When Matt and I leave each other we both really struggle. I thought it would eventually get easier over time, but I think it has gotten harder because we grow closer the more time we spend together. I always make sure to schedule a few clients the next day after he laves to make sure I keep myself busy. That always helps.

Last week was difficult for me with Matt leaving and some other things happened that did not work out the way that I thought they should.  I won’t go into detail, but I was really upset and disappointed. I know that I need to be still and let God do what He thinks is best, but that is sometimes easier said than done.

Matt is always super helpful in these types of situations. He always reminds me of the positive things in my life. I think it is okay to be upset and really feel your emotions. I am a big believer in really feeling things. I think there’s an issue if you’re not able to feel your emotions and talk about them. However, I also don’t think you should dwell on them either. Matt always asks me to name off the positive things in my life or the things that make me the most joyful. We always pray about the situation too.

I recently read this post about stillness and it really resonated with me. Matt and I read a devotion that was what I needed to hear. Isn’t it the coolest thing that there are so many people on this earth, but God cares about us as individuals and knows what we need when we need it?

Isaiah 26: 3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in The Lord, forever, for The Lord  himself, is the rock eternal.”

Well, I am off to do a yoga video before I head to work to see some patients!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!




Healthy Eating and Movement

So I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while now and I’ve been waiting for the right time to do so and I feel like now is the time. With summer approaching and everyone trying to get their “beach body,” it seems like society is more confused about what healthy eating and movement are more than ever before. Bring your body to a beach and you got a beach body! Now I have nothing against people wanting to get more healthy. I think everyone should have some movement and get some fruit and veggies in in a way that feels good to their body.

Does anyone watch The Bachelorette? I do. Even on the bachelorette, there was a guy that said he did not eat bananas because he was on a ketogenic diet. I thought this show was about drama and romance, not diets. Come on guys. Enough is enough. Luckily he did not get a rose.

I have not always been against diets. At one time I was all about super clean ingredients and not having desserts, and not fueling correctly for my first half marathon. I talk more about that in this post. I truly believe that it was God’s grace that I did not end up in a full blown eating disorder and that this only lasted about six months. I do not think that I even realized what was going on and did not realize I had a problem until I realized I had lost weight, but I guess that is what happens with most disordered eating. It seems like the cool thing to do and that everyone is doing it. Everyone seems to be on some diet these days.  I do not remember changing what I ate or my behavior. I just remember not eating that way and not moving my body that way any more. Instead of running every day, I found other movement I enjoyed such as strength training, yoga, and some days rest days! Instead of restricting foods, I found intuitive eating and include all foods in my diet. I utilize the hunger-fullness scale and eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I started reading Kylie’s blog more and more instead of blogs that discussed diety behaviors. Now as an eating disorder dietitian, I get to help others achieve a healthy relationship with food and I think it is the most rewarding job ever.   While I still feel called to sports nutrition, I truly believe God has called me to the field of eating disorders as well. For me, my dream job would be working with athletes who suffer with eating disorders, but I am doing my best where God has me right now and loving every second of it.



For me, healthy eating is 3 meals a day, and 2-4 snacks depending on how my body feels that day. It is including a protein with a carbohydrate, and a fruit or a vegetable at each meal. It is including ALL foods and having no foods off limits. It is eating tacos, kale, pizza, drinking smoothies, and eating ice cream. It is utilizing the hunger-fullness scale- eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.


ice cream

For me, healthy movement is movement that is enjoyable. It is movement that does not feel scheduled. It is movement that feels good to your body. It is movement that you do not do if your body feels exhausted. It is movement that is not compulsatory-  as in “well I ate this so I need to run.” I think in today’s society it is honored if you work out every day for 3 hours, when really, this is an issue and not healthy at all. Movement for me right now looks like running, strength training, and yoga, all the while listening to my body and finding what feels good to my body.

Someone who is suffering with an eating disorder most of the time is fixated on food, body image, and exercise, so as an eating disorder dietitian, I often get questions from my patients about how often I work out, what I do, and what I eat. This is my explanation to them. I do not provide in depth details because what I do often changes, and I have learned that is normal. If you eat the same thing and move your body in the same way for a long period of time, you are most likely obsessed with your weight and that is not healthy at all.


Right now during my commutes to work and during runs, I have been loving podcasts. My faves right now are RD Real Talk-Registered Dietitians Keeping It Real, The Way Your Are Project, The Everyday Woman Podcast, and Food Psych. I recently listened The Everyday Woman Podcast that Kylie was on, and she discussed how for her it was so healing for her to be around her husband because he had such a great relationship with food and movement. I could totally resonate with that. I remember going to Tulsa, Oklahoma for my sports nutrition internship (almost a year ago, how crazy is that?) and being around Matt my soon to be boyfriend (little did I know). The more I was around Matt, the more I observed his great relationship with food and movement (and charming sense of humor, and good looks too.. Hi Matt!). I remember going to the gym with him to get
“swole” as he called it and being there for like 40 minutes and inside my head I was like “wow, that was it?” But it was so great for me to see that working out does not have to take 2 hours. It does not have to be this grueling process. He also had such a great relationship with food that was so great for me to see. Most of our first dates were going to get tacos and ice cream. Tacos are life, right?

Amongst all the diet info right now, I had to share with you what healthy eating and movement means to me. I hope that you found this to be helpful. As always, if you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, please seek help!


Would love to hear your feedback!






Iced coffee vs. cold brew coffee

IMG_0331[1].JPGFor a while I thought blogging was not my thing anymore or I just didn’t feel led to do it anymore. I think I was burnt out and also super busy getting used to adulating with two part time jobs. Now that things have been pretty comfortable, I have started to miss blogging. I should be waiting for God to shake things up again. That is what normally happens when we get comfortable. I’ve been LOVING Life.Church New Overcomer Series. We get comfortable and almost numb to what is going on around us when God is calling us to get UNCOMFORTABLE and I have started praying for that since listening to this message last week. He has called us to be overcomers and that is pretty awesome when you think about it.

Anyway, anyone tried cold brew coffee? I am a huge coffee drinker and if you have read my blog in the past, you know that. I go to coffee shops much less than I used to, roughly 1-2 times a week. (Shout out to Dave Ramsey, I am saving some cash!)  I love a good iced coffee drink, so since cold brew coffee was the latest thing in the coffee world I had to try it. Since cold brew coffee has a stronger taste, I loved it. I love STRONG coffee. Matt makes kind of weak coffee and I have had to train him to make stronger coffee. I love you Matt, but I also love strong coffee. 🙂

Since cold brew coffee is the latest thing, of course there are health claims around it, but are those actually true? Google cold brew and a ton of articles come up, with no science behind them of course. There are claims that it is better for the stomach since it is 1/3 less acidic than normal coffee which makes it less alkaline. While this may be true, does that mean it is any healthier? Probably not. The body knows how to process and function at a more or less alkaline state.

Obviously the brewing technique is different in cold brew coffee, but I had no idea that there was any food science differences in it, until one of my clients at IFITT24 brought it up. I would identify this client and his wife as coffee snobs like myself who love strong coffee. They crack me up. Anytime that I give them some type of oatmeal or breakfast recipe to try they say “This would be good with a cup of coffee.” Love them! 🙂 They had experienced their cholesterol slightly elevated when they got labs done and tried to get to the bottom of it before they met with me. The client found out the way he was brewing his coffee- without a filter- could slightly elevate cholesterol. I had never heard of this so I told him I would do some research.

The verdict? More research needs to be done! Go figure since cold brew coffee and French press coffee are a new thing. Coffee does not contain cholesterol. It is actually chock full of antioxidants. However, there is a compound, cafestol, found in coffee, that does elevate cholesterol. When the coffee is not filtered as in the cold brew and French press process, the compound is left in the coffee, thus possibly elevating LDL (cholesterol levels.

Since more research needs to be done, consume in moderation. Unless you are drinking several cups of unfiltered coffee every day, I don’t think there is much concern, or if you are going to your local coffee shop or Starbucks and once or twice a week getting a cold brew or French press coffee.


However, price point at the grocery store or Target (spoken in fancy French accent), purchasing iced coffee vs. cold brew is much better on your wallet. Looking to make your own iced coffee drink at home? Iced coffee instead of cold brew coffee may be your best bet. Of course you could always brew your own filtered coffee and refrigerate. 🙂


My approach to healthy eating is based on intuitive eating which is the concept that all foods fit including cold brew and French press coffee. 🙂

Looking for a simple iced coffee recipe? Check out the one below!




1 cup iced coffee

1/2 cup milk of choice

splash of coffee creamer – I’ve been really loving Natural Bliss coffee creamer when I do use creamer!


Mix! Adjust to your taste of course! 🙂

Have you had cold brew coffee? What’s your opinion of all the hype?