5×5 for Friday: A Year of 5×5!

Just a little over a year ago I started writing these Friday 5×5 posts as a type of organized list. I thought that I’d be posting them every week (or at least every month) but that didn’t really happen. Sometimes, believe it or not, I just don’t have 25 things to talk about. ;) But guess what- today I do! I’m not going to promise that all 25 things are super interesting, but hopefully a few of them will make your Friday a little bit happier, more informed or just give you a smile.



5 Thought-provoking (or just plain great) Posts I Read This Week

1. Cassie, Back to Her Roots: Recommitting To Me

Every now and then Cassie writes a personal, relatable post like this that so many of us can identify with. I found myself nodding along with much of what she write and have definitely been there many times in my life (and continue to be at times!). As always, Cassie has an organized plan on how to make life simpler and happier. :)

2. Ashley, Coffee Cake and Cardio: Has Technology Caused Us To Become Oblivious?

Ashley wrote this post after making some pretty shocking observations on her commute home from work. So many of us struggle with the issues that she addresses in this post and don’t even realize it! I wrote something related to this problem a while ago- and am still trying to lessen my own addiction!

3. Beth, Beth’s Journey: Part One: The Evolution of My Relationship with Food

Beth is one of those women that I feel like I share a brain with sometimes. We have a very similar history and relationship with food. I really, really appreciate her ability and willingness to be so honest with her readers- and this is one great example of that! I’m definitely looking forward to her follow-up of this post.

4. Annette, Enjoy Your Healthy Life: Bodypump Release 87 Review

First of all, check out how incredible this lady looks at 39 weeks pregnant! She’s still teaching a variety of group exercise classes and is in killer shape- definitely an inspiration! Since I haven’t posted a review of the latest Bodypump release, I figured I’d just share hers with you today. I agree with all of her thoughts on Bodypump 87!

5. Lee, Fit Foodie Finds: Maple Pecan Granola & A Story

The story in the second half of the post is definitely worth reading- but I’m focusing a bit more on the incredible granola recipe. I must make this asap! Just look at it…




5 Pairs of Shoes That I Wear Often

1. Brooks Pure Grit Trail Running Shoes

Brooks Pure Grit

This is my second pair of Brooks Pure Grit Trail Running shoes. I pretty much wore the tread entirely off my first pair! Even though they’re trail running shoes, I wear them for hiking and trail running. They’re minimalist, mold to my feet really well and provide support where I need it. As an added bonus, they’re pretty snazzy too.

2. Toms


Out of the five pairs of shoes in this list, I probably wear these the least. But, I still like them a lot. I find Toms to be pretty comfortable and easy to just slip on and off. And they’re red!!

3. Merrell Boots

Merrell Boots

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of winter clothing. I know that I’m in the minority here because people go nuts for jeans and sweaters and coats… but I’d prefer to live year-round in shorts and a tank top. That being said- I love boots. This is my most recent pair and I freaking love them. Not only are they ridiculously cute, they’re also super comfortable to walk around in!

4. OluKai Flip Flops


I’ve probably talked about these flip flops several times on the blog, but I just love them! OluKais are not cheap (I think I paid about $90 for these) but they are worth every single penny. I’ve had this particular pair for over four years and I’ve probably worn them at least 1,000 times. They are still in near perfect condition! I wear them around the house all the time and outside during warmer months. They have good arch support and are just so, so comfortable. I have a few other pairs (in other colors) but these are my favorite. :)

5. Pearl Izumi Cycling Shoes

Pearl Izumi    

I wear these shoes when I teach Spinning class or ride on my bike at home. I’ve been riding clipless (meaning wearing cycling shoes that clip in) for about seven years and can’t imagine doing it any other way. There have been a few occasions where I’ve forgotten my cycling shoes and have had to ride in sneakers and it is not fun. Riding clipless gives you much better control and stability and allows you to shift power by maximizing the upstroke when pedaling (allowing you to “pull up” and incorporate your hamstrings). Overall you’re going to be much more efficient. If you’re an avid indoor cyclist, clipless shoes are a must. Since I only wear these indoors, they last for a long, long time.


5 Random “Things” From the Interwebs

1. My latest article from Diets In Review: Bloggers Expose Themselves Revealing The Naked Truth

I had so much fun researching for and writing this article. It’s definitely inspired me to do my own Exposed post… stay tuned!

2. The 25 Whitest Things That Have Ever Happened

I’m such a sucker for Buzzfeed’s lists of “things” and this one had me laughing out loud the whole time. :)

3. The GABF Website

I’ll be spending a good 15-20 hours working at GABF today and tomorrow. If you plan on going (come say hello) make sure you check out the festival map first so you can go in with a game plan. There’s also a nifty app that you can download to help find your way!

4. Something I really need to do…

Yes. It will happen.

5. Why You Probably Don’t Need a Flu Shot (Thanks, Katie for sharing!)

I know that this is probably a little controversial but I have never been a fan of flu shots. Simply put, I haven’t gotten one in over 20 years (and got really sick right after I got that last one) and can count on one hand how many times I’ve been sick since then. And I’ve had the flu twice. I know certain people that swear by them… yet they’re sick all the time. I think I’ll just stick with what I’ve been doing! And if you are a fan of the flu shot- good for you! It’s just not for me.


5 of My Favorite Profiles on Instagram

It was really hard to choose just five that I enjoy, because I pretty much like to look at everyone’s photos that I follow (which is why I follow them in the first place! I had a hard time not just choosing five that post pictures of puppies because I know that not everyone is a crazy dog lady like me.

1. Immaeatthat

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Her food is always colorful and looks delicious!

2. CaitsPlate

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She makes something as simple as a sandwich look like art. Cait, you need to move here and be my personal chef!

3. NatGeo

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I’m sure you’re not shocked that National Geographic posts beautiful photos… but did you know they’re on Instagram?

4. MikeTheIronYou

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Mike is one of my favorite male bloggers for sure- but I also love his Instagram feed. He posts beautiful food photos and motivational quotes- a perfect balance!

5. Finnllow

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I had to include at least one puppy-filled profile! Nick is a friend of mine from way back and he has the two most adorable dogs, Finnegan and Willow (his name is a mash-up of theirs). They are best friends and have so much personality. I wish they could come play with Jackson and Lance!


5 Breweries I’m Looking Forward to Visiting at GABF This Weekend

Again, it was very difficult to just pick five for this list. I’ll be visiting a lot more than five!

1. 21st Amendment Brewery

2. Elysian Brewing Company

3. Ska Brewing

4. Stone Brewing Company

5. Dogfish Head Brewery


Cheers! Have a fabulous weekend!

What are some of your favorite shoes/Instagram profiles/beers, etc.?



  1. I was never a fan of the flew shot but could never really tell you WHY (except that I felt like others got sick more than me who got it) but then last year I was in a head to head battle with my parents over my choice to NOT get one. This year and since they started seeing my chiropractor, they will not be getting the flu vaccine either. Working there has taught me so much (sometimes maybe too much – lol) but reading this was just icing on the cake. Thanks for helping share and spread the word. Ultimately people can make their own decisions but they should be INFORMED. :)

  2. Elysian’s Night Owl is my favorite pumpkin beer this year – make sure you try that if it’s on tap at GABF, as well as their Jasmine IPA. And if you make it to the California area – hit Ladyface (try their Derailleur), LAB Brewing (their Schwarzbier is the best I’ve ever had) and Island Brewing (Jubilee and Starry Night Stout) and tell them hi for me as you enjoy their incredible beers.

  3. I like those brooks!! I hate like hikey-hiking looking shoes, but those aren’t so bad!! I love my toms too!

  4. Awww that is a gorgeous Brittany spaniel! I’m obviously partial to them :)

    I wear clipless shoes for spin but I’m still to scared to wear them outside. I’m going to make it a goal for next year though!

    • I don’t ride clipless outside- I’m too scared! I’ve tried on road bike several times and … fell over several times. I think I could get used to them on a road bike but NOT a mountain bike! Eek!!

  5. Awwww thanks for sharing! BP 87 is overall pretty good, but dang some of the music gets old fast-sadly.

    I DEF am NOT a fan of flu shots either. I’ve never gotten one & have never gotten the flu.

    p.s. are TOMS at all supportive? they seem cute & comfy, but I must have support in shoes….

    happy Fri!

  6. Ooh I love OluKais too! And thanks for the heads up on NatGeo’s instagram…definitely need to start following them!

    I want to make a couple of comments about the flu vaccine because I agree with Katie’s comment above that people should be able to make their own decisions regarding their healthcare, but they need to be informed. The article you linked to is very one-sided and I’m honestly surprised that an MD wrote it. Every study she cites comments on the need for further (more standardized) studies, especially regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine in young children. Flu vaccination isn’t currently approved for children under 6 months, but post-partum vaccination of mothers has been shown to significantly reduce infant illness during flu season. Now, I realize that the flu vaccine is far from infallible. Strains are chosen for the seasonal flu vaccine based on educated guesses and the vaccine will not protect you from all strains of the influenza virus. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to produce antibodies to protect you from the flu. There can be side effects from the flu vaccine (it is meant to generate an immune response, after all), but you cannot get the flu from the killed virus in the flu shot (the FluMist uses live, attenuated virus, which may be more effective in preventing illness, but also more likely to cause side effects). But the point I really want to make is that vaccination programs rely on something called herd immunity. It’s true that not everyone can/should get the flu vaccine, whether for religious or medical reasons, but by getting vaccinated, we are protecting not only ourselves, but those around us. Some people may never experience flu symptoms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t transmit the virus to others. So I highly recommend doing your research and making an informed choice, rather than one based on ignorance or selfishness. To be clear, Lauren, I’m not trying to call you or anyone else out, but as someone who works for a children’s hospital, I feel it’s my responsibility to help set the record straight about vaccination.

  7. Hey Lauren! Thanks so much for the shout out. It is crazy how similar our backgrounds/ messed up relationship with food is. Everytime you write about the subject it feels like its something I could have written!

  8. I love the boots – so cute – now I sort of want to hop online and find a pair!!!

  9. I have been dying for a pair of toms! My foot is so wide though, I’m not sure about the fit. I got the best pair of flats the other day at Target that I’ve been living in.

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!