Starbucks in the Fall

Hey everyone! Gosh it’s been over a year–and what a year guys! My photography business is going great, I just went full time and I have transitioned from sports to doing weddings and branding photography. So totally different!!

I have other updates to make, but for the time being, I want to help everyone enjoy Starbucks without drinking all their sugar grams for the week. And it’s super easy at Starbucks to drink a crap ton of sugar!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpin spice latte

Is the PSL your jam? Am I sad that I just wrote PSL?? Yup. The pumpkin spice latte is a fall staple but it also comes with a whopping 50 grams of sugar just for the grande! 50 grams of sugar!!!! “But Christine I order it non-fat and no whipped cream, I obviously cut my sugar grams in half, right?” Wrong. Oh so wrong. In fact by going with non-fat milk you just increased your sugars by one! And by getting rid of the whipped cream you got rid of two grams of sugar.

So how do you get the joy from PSL season and not ingest a fuck ton of sugar? Obviously I will encourage you to get a tall or a short of the drink, and have it maybe once every two weeks at the most. If you want your PSL hot here is the a great recipe that will still taste like fall:


  • 2 pumps pumpkin spice
  • 1 pump sugar-free cinnamon dolce
  • ristretto shots
  • cinnamon powder steamed into the milk

So what did I just do? I cut the pumps of pumpkin spice in half. Then I added some sweetness with the cinnamon dolce syrup. Then I asked them to change the way they pull their espresso shots, so they are sweeter. Lastly, I ask for cinnamon powder, but not put on top, I want it steamed into the milk. Milk has naturally occurring sugars in it, so when you steam the milk with the cinnamon powder, it naturally sweetens the spice.

Want this iced? Just don’t do the cinnamon powder, it will get chunky in the drink and taste odd.

Salted Caramel Mocha

Salted Caramel Mocha

So there isn’t much to make this sucker ok. Guys, this drink is 59 grams of sugar!!! 59 GRAMS OF SUGAR. #dontdoit But if it is your jam them here are three small things you can do:

  • substitute the regular mocha for the skinny mocha sauce
  • a grande of this drink has 4 pumps of mocha and toffee nut syrups, that’s 8 pumps of syrup, double what goes into a traditional flavored latte. So cut it in half, ask for 2 pumps of each for a grande.
  • if you want to really watch your sugar I would honestly recommend doing doing the first two points {subbing in skinny mocha and then cutting the pumps of syrup in half}, and then asking for the vanilla powder to be steamed into the milk. Hint of sweetness, making up for the less pumps = winning!

So get out there tiger and try these recipes! And if you do, let me know how it went. The pumpkin spice one hot is my favorite, and I have gone down to two pumps in the venti, no whip. It’s ahhhhhmazing!!

Ups and Downs

I am continuing to lose the weight guys!!! I posted a status on my Facebook page {located here} about how after 6 weeks I am down 13lbs and 18lbs of fat, which is the most I have lost in that span of time in my life. I am not sure I can emphasize this enough. I am not perfect, I eat more sugar than I should still, but the increase of protein and increase in fruit in my diet is working.


Last week was a huge snag though. I got a cold, or so I thought. I was feverish for 2 days straight but never fully developed mucus or congestion–just a cough and wheezing. Those symptoms escalated fairly quickly and it turns out I have pneumonia. Crazy!! So now I am on steroids, I now own a machine so I can steam my lungs with medicine to open my airways and an antibiotic. After treatment last night and today, I am feel a lot better. I am resting. And as an entrepreneur, do you know how hard that is? Resting? I suck at it. But the Olympics have arrived and that is a wonderful distraction. Also, I watched the entire season of Stranger Things on Netflix in two days. That show is amazing!! It’s like a creepy love letter to the 80’s and Stephen King.


My eating last week also wasn’t so great, not in a binge-way, but in a I’m-not-hungry way but give-me-all-the-soup way. I am know I am not eating enough or drinking enough water but now that I am finally feeling like a person, I am rectifying that.

So yeah, with some good, comes the difficult. I now have a new breathing machine that makes me feel like I am 80 years old, but it’s getting my lungs better, and that is what matters. Hoping the next few weeks are a bit better.

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Three Weeks Later


Alright my pretties! I saw my nutritionist yesterday in a follow up appointment after my first visit. I’ve had a cold (or maybe allergies now?) for almost 2 weeks. I haven’t been active the way I wish I had been, but I still lost weight (yay!) and fat (double yay!). In total I’ve lost 6lbs and 5lbs of fat. It might not be coming off as fast as I had hoped but it’s working. Thank goodness! My body has been stubborn, so to see it give up some weight is great news.

Some hiccups happened: the shake O normally drink for 3rd breakfast changed its packaging and formula (and now tastes like ASS), so I’m changing that. I might have hypothetically had food not on program at the movie theater. And I wasn’t working out as much.

That being said, I have been RELIGIOUS in my breakfast smoothie, 2nd breakfast 5 egg whites and 1 egg scramble and afternoon snack of melon/nuts or apple/peanut butter. I also weigh all my food now. I feel like a drug dealer, using it all the time!

This week I’m going back to crossfit fo sho (finally feeling better) and I’ll be having 3rd breakfast again now that I have my alternative shake. Feeling confident in the next 3 weeks!

New Nutritionist

So I’ve been gaining weight. I know I’ve mentioned this but it got to a point where I was eating real food, limiting carbs and sugar, working out and still gaining weight. So I made appointments, got my blood tested and came away frustrated. You know, you read the blog posts. So at one of my appointments with my chiropractor I confessed to him everything that was going on, how helpless I was feeling and frustrated. He looked at what I was eating and agreed that I wasn’t doing anything that would amount to this weight gain. And he did what no one else did, not my general doctor or my gynecologist, he referred me to a nutritionist. One he was working with. Who works with the Houston Texans.

Friday was my first appointment with the nutritionist. He did body fat analysis with this pod thing, weighed me and we discussed what I eat and when. What my days look like. He laughed at my food weirdness (yogurt, avocado, sweet potatoes, unmelted cheese) but in a good way. He made me feel reassured. Explained what my blood test results mean. So all that time doing crossfit was great but I wasn’t losing weight, just getting stronger and the reason was and are my hormones. My body needs carbs for energy but these same carbs make me gain weight. Ha ha thanks a lot body! So my eating plan has to pair specific carbs with a lot of protein. Like a 5 egg white breakfast. Oh and on days I open at Starbucks? I have 3 meals before lunch at 12:30pm.

weight loss bloggerGrocery shopping was fun, I felt like I was buying their meat section! I also bought a ton of fruit but once I measured it out for my smoothies I realized I needed double I’d what I bought. Ok then!

But it’s all good really. I like that what I’m doing is tailored to me.  That what I’m eating is based off scientific fact. I’m hopeful this will work.

Today was the first full day and it has been interesting, not bad but it’s a lot of food. But peanut butter is part of my food plan so it’s all good! I also made turkey meatballs and paired it with one of the few pasta sauces that aren’t 50% fat.


turkey and pasta

Lastly, here is what my macro nutrients look like these days, which is like carbs and protein chasing each other.

macro nutrients

California Road Trip


I’m on vacation! After two weeks of having the cold from hell, I’m finally feeling human and thankfully able to travel without being miserable. That cold knocked me on my ass, I was napping at least once a day and lost my voice. Needless to say no working out occurred.


But now that I’m in California, I’m walking over 10k steps a day. Those hills in San Francisco were no joke, but I did better with them than when I was there in my 20’s with Allison and Hollie, so that’s good! We are now in Santa Barbara and going to Hollywood today! I’m so excited, it’s my mecca! I’m hopeful to molest a minimum of three celebrities 😉


I'm eating a lot of fish and chips on the coast.

Oh! We bought a treadmill! I plan on using that sucker all the time when I return. That way I’ll get to 10k steps consistently.

Meal Planning

mealprepTo be on top of my eating carb-free and sugar-free eating, I know I can’t rely on my whimsical eating patterns. Can I pause for a second and express that making all this food in advance may appear cool and put-together but kind of sucks? I am used to being fast and easy with my food, so this is annoying. But whatever, I am meal prepping and planning for the week, it is happening.

I have to think about appeasing my husband for some of these meals, which is a challenge because he has a sweet tooth and loves red meat and carbs. Red meat in moderation is cool, but if I learned anything from my nutritionist, it is that the fat content in red meat is too high for consistent consumption. Instead I am looking for chicken recipes that might help him forget he isn’t eating red meat. It’s a dream! I dare to go after it!

mealprep2So here is my plan for the week: I am working a lot of early mornings, this 4 days starting at 5am. So I need something that will be protein filled, tasty and have veggies in there as well. I am going to make prosciutto wrapped egg cups. I found a recipe at Nom Nom Paleo but I am going to tweak it because I am not Paleo. These suckers are going to have more egg whites in them, peppers, mushrooms and onion. And I am going to top them with some lower fat cheese.

Lunches are going to be a tuna casserole that doesn’t have any pasta in it. So is it more like a tuna bake? I don’t know. It’s going to be broccoli, cauliflower, tuna, canned soup and a bit of seasoning & cheese. I thinking of giving it a punch and adding dill. Dill and tuna are amazing together! I found the recipe on Spark People.

For dinners, I am doing to variants because I know Robert and I will need variety. I am making my favorite pizza spaghetti pie from PaleOMG and then I am making another recipe from that site called honey sesame wings. Only I am going to use chicken breast, not wings.

Since I open at SB tomorrow, some of the cooking will have to happen today. So now I need to get my ass off the couch, get to a grocery store and get the day started.

Figuring It Out

weight loss blogDoes it feel like I have been spinning in circles for a year? Because it has to me. It is the one-year anniversary of me quitting my full-time job and tackling doing photography 75% of the time {I moonlight at Starbucks for benefits}. Looking back, the past year has been rockier than anticipated, there were some dark moments and I don’t know if I handled it all correctly. I was under a lot of stress with a person living with us in a scenario where it was to help them get to a good place, but it turned into a life-suck situation.I was stressed out basically all the time and didn’t know when it was going to end.

Add to that the pressure I put on myself to do well in my photography business and still dealing with a body that has moments where it feels injured, and I was miserable. Turns out I was under so much stress that I have developed adrenal fatigue. I have written about the weight gain and the sadness about that this past year. I have been exhausted, but I wrote it off to super early mornings and trying to do too much. Well now my hormones are fucked up, but at least I know what is going on. The cure? Hard work. I basically need to eat paleo–limited carbs and sugar. And I need to be active 7 days a week in some capacity. I have to do this for three months and then I have a follow-up appointment to make sure what I am doing is working.

fitbit surgeConsidering what could have been wrong, this is something I can deal with. I have to say that since finding out I have been on point with my eating. My carbs and sugars are in-check {I am drinking black coffee at Starbucks instead of my usual skinny caramel macchiato}, I have been active everyday and I am making sure I am stopping my photography work at 5pm everyday. It is like a switch has gone off inside me. I know how to do this and all I needed was a reason to make it happen. If you want to follow my eating diary it is on My Fitness Pal. Oh and I have ordered the Fitbit Surge. I can’t wait for that sexy little thing to come. It will help keep me active when I have been editing for hours, it will know when I am doing different activities and it’s pretty!

So after a while of silence, there you have it. A lot of crap, finally sucking the poison out of my life, and finding out how to help myself feel better. I think it’s time to start posting some more crossfit posts, it’s time.

Week 3 of 90 Miles in 90 Days

thrustersThis week was busy, so getting the miles in was tough. I might have used the grocery store for some of it, and walked around it a few times. I got to CrossFit 2 times and did fun things like  rowing, pull-ups, kettlebell swings, thrusters and burpees. I notice that my energy is coming back, I am in a better mood for longer and I am fucking sore as shit. No mincing words here people! I did 40lbs for the thruster WOD and I am still feeling it. But I am looking forward to what this week brings. Baby steps y’all. (Yup I just said ya’ll!!!)

Food has been a little more miss than hit. A bit too much mac and cheese, not enough veggies. Already rectifying this, so no worries. I got the Thug Kitchen cookbook for Christmas, so I am making one of the recipes this week. I love that the cookbook curses at me. Makes me giggle 🙂

That’s it! One day at a time, trying to be consistent!!


wp-1452140291807.jpgHey hey! I finally stopped being scared and got my ass to CrossFit this morning! Considering I spent the fall sitting and editing pictures and not working out, my body was not used to being tested and my conditioning was hard to find. But I was there, I kept up with the others and I didn’t die!!

I have to say my eating has been a lot better this week and I am fucking proud of myself for it! There has been temptation and I have ignored it. I pre-made food for the week and I am loving it! The pre-made meals mean I have time to do my photography work and workout, which is what I wanted in the first place.

And to cap everything off, I went for my mile walk this afternoon in the rain because I didn’t want to lose a day on my 90 miles in 90 days. At the start of the walk I felt the inclination to jog, but I reigned it in because I had done crossfit this morning and I didn’t want to kill myself.

Hopefully tomorrow won’t be super sucky for my body, but uh, it probably will be.

90 Miles in 90 Days Session 8

wp-1451877994274.jpgYup, I am doing it again. I made the decision on the very last day to sign p at 11:50pm. Nothing like time running out and feeling tired of not moving my ass to make me sign up for something I thought I wouldn’t do again. This is going to be walking with the hope that by February I might take a stab of light jogging. Guys, my conditioning is nonexistent. It’s crazy!! My thighs are sore from walking! I am humbled and just moving on. Tomorrow: I return to Crossfit and I am just going to do what I can, I have no illusions of what I can do. But it’s ok. I have mini-goals. Like not being winded as much in 3 weeks.wp-1451877981903.png
Anyhoo, I have been recording what I am eating, but it hasn’t been enough and I am aware. I have gone through my new cookbook Thug Kitchen, and I plan on making some delicious food tomorrow. I might even take pictures, who knows? I might have a new recipe review? WHAT! Yup. Soak it in people, soak it in.

P.S. My name on My Fitness Pal is Xine_23 in case you want to track food with me. I am a riveting person to watch eat 😉