Wait… you think I am the one with an abnormal diet???

Wait… you think I am the one with an abnormal diet???

I don’t understand. I eat food in its most natural form. The way it has been for hundreds and thousands of years. People often think I have a strict diet, or they have to make accommodations for my eating. I’ll be honest, it shocks and offends me. So because I prefer to eat fruits, vegetables, grains, organic poultry, wild fish, eggs, and all kinds of super foods & spices that have been a part of many cultures diets since the beginning, I am the strange one?? WHAT! Call me crazy, but I see it quite opposite. 

How is eating “food products” from a box, bag, tube, etc. natural or healthy? Packaged food that contains half of its ingredients that come from a LAB! Food dyes, preservatives, and lab-created flavors (aka chemicals that are not even from the real food). Not to mention the chemicals sprayed ON the foods when they are grown that study after study have shown to cause cancer, deformities, infertility, and other diseases. Foods that have been genetically altered in labs to be more uniform, respond better to pesticides, and grow faster… that may sound good, but it costs YOUR health. So while people who eat all of these things continue to get fatter, sicker, moodier, etc. and call me the crazy one… I’ll just keep eating the good stuff GOD put on the earth for me to eat. Just because you’re at a healthy/normal weight does NOT mean you are healthy. Health is so much more.

This is a moral issue. Its about what is right and wrong and what is good for the body you live in. Yes, you can eat delicious food and be healthy. You can bake bread, and desserts, and eat good fats, even dairy – if your body tolerates it (mine doesn’t). Thats not what this is about. Its not about cutting crazy calories. Its not about saying you can’t eat things you like. Its about eating real food. Not the stuff on the shelves that is created to addict you so that companies can make money off of you damaging your own body (even if its not visible to you, yet). That will in turn lead you to a doctor of some sort to pay for all kinds of treatments and medications that also do damage to your system, that would be much stronger if it got the REAL fuel it needed.

I ate the packaged, easy, tasty, deliciously FAKE crap for years. Then I decided to care. My life is changed. I am happier, healthier, a gazillion times better in ALL areas of life.

One last point. I know many health-consious people who still feed their kids the fake crap, or take them to get fast food, or give them soft drinks. HUH!? So you know its bad, but you are going to teach your kids to damage their bodies with it anyway? So you’re saying fulfilling desires or curiosity is MORE important than taking CARE of yourself? I’ll leave that one there for you to think about. If you still think soft drinks are ok, either you have missed several years of public research, or you are looking forward to (or already enjoying) obesity, diabetes, and cancer/other diseases linked to sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, and chemical flavors.

This is NOT about judgement. Its about education. Its about explaining to you that what OUR WORLD tells us is “food” actually is not. I don’t tell people “you shouldn’t be eating that” when I am around them. Ever. Unless they are my paying client. Or my boyfriend (sorry lol). But people constantly roll their eyes, or tell me I am crazy for what I choose to eat or not eat. I want to help those who want to be helped or care about their health. The better care you take of yourself, the better you can fulfill your purposes. What can you do with your life if you are not cared for first?

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:29-31


Health Tips to Get You Out of a Rut & I’m a Bad Blogger.

I got this picture from the source: http://greatist.com/happiness/health-fitness-inspiration-posters/

Its been MONTHS since I posted last. sorry!! I am so bad at these. Its been on my to-do list for at least 6 weeks haha! I will post again soon about recipes & such.

I get multiple questions each week from friends who need motivation or advice or don’t know where to start. I LOVE helping, so bring on the questions! I decided to go ahead and write up a list of what helped me. Keep in mind, we are all different. We don’t all have to go gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, or run marathons. I pretty much do a combination of a lot of “diets” and exercise styles. When I say diet I don’t mean depriving myself, or doing atkins, etc. I mean the way I FUEL my body. Enough blabbing, here it is in no special order:

1. Start a routine. Map out your week’s exercise times & plan what you will eat at each big meal. Don’t bail on your planned workouts! For me to make it a habit, I had to get myself to the gym 7 days a week just to keep from getting off track. 1 or 2 days off would turn into 6 months. You can still have a rest day but be at the gym. Go to the sauna. Walk. Take a yoga class (which is still a good workout! but it can help you recover from days of training).

2. The bottom line for losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. This does not mean starve yourself. But even if you do an intense workout but then eat bad, it won’t work. Cut out the empty calories that you are adding on to what you really need. ALL cokes/sodas (even diet) have to go! I don’t have time to list all of the reasons, thats another blog post in itself! Stick to only drinking WATER, tea, and home-pressed juices. By tea, I do not mean lipton citrus iced green tea or similar products… read the ingredients. Its NOT good for you. I don’t judge you though, I was hooked on that for months!

3. Lift weights!!! It speeds up fat burning SO much. Women especially don’t lift enough! Quit wasting your money going to the gym to walk on the treadmill for an hour! Try increasing weight every couple weeks in your strength routine. You will be amazed at the way you will progress in strength and endurance!

4. Use intervals for Cardio. If you are on the treadmill, don’t stay on flat surface the whole time, mix up the incline. Change speeds every 1-2 minutes. I NEVER ran before I started my health journey. I was scared of looking like the fat girl running on the treadmill over there, but you know – &*$# that! This is about enjoying life, letting go of fear, and feeling good! Its not about what people think. I don’t care if you haven’t run in 20 years, or ever. Jog 1 minute, then walk for 1 minute. Gradually increase your speeds and in a few months you will be sprinting!

5. Eat more whole foods & cook at home. Buy whole fruits & veggies rather than premade meals. Don’t use butter or salt. Reduce dairy & meat consumption. When you eat meat, go with lean meats – chicken or turkey. Beans, fish, whole grains, etc. are packed with protein. Bulk up every meal with veggies. If you make spaghetti, add carrots and broccoli (or anything) to add volume but not calories. Don’t consume white flour products! Switch to all whole grain breads, pastas, etc. Quinoa is AMAZING. and Ezekiel 4:9 brand has tons of healthy tortillas, sandwich bread, pasta, etc.

6. Try new fitness classes. They help you from getting bored, meeting people makes it more fun, and you may find something you love that would have never tried before! Shameless plug: Results Fitness helped me stay consistent because the small boutique style fitness classes help you get to know people, they have fun music, and the homey, fun, family-like environment makes you keep coming back. Also, for me, the act of signing up for the class helped keep me from bailing or putting off my workout! Check them out: http://resultsfitness.me  ** The first class is FREE. Call or message me and I will take a class with you if you want! **

7. I also constantly read up on foods to FUEL my body. What has the most nutrients, speed up metabolism, balance blood sugar, help joints, muscle repair, etc. It keeps me more more aware of what I put in my body and now I’m passionate about treating it well.

8. Drink a gallon of water a day! SO important! At least 3 liters, but a gallon is better. It makes a difference. More if you are trying to lose weight or are training hard.

9. Moderation & Balance. Healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats are all GREAT and necessary for weightloss, strength, endurance, good hair & skin, etc… but too much of anything can mess you up. If you think you consume too many carbs, try cutting out some from dinner. Stick with a healthy salad, or lean meat and low carb veggies!

10. Sleep 7-9 hours! Its a must if you want to enjoy great health.

Call, email, text, comment with any questions! I love to help.


This week in my kitchen…

This week I tried a bunch of new recipes at home! I love trying things I find on Pinterest & tweaking them to make them healthier. I rarely measure out or write down my recipes, so I am vaguely sharing. A lot of times I just see a picture of food and it helps me come up with something from what I already have at home. I always have tons of produce so that helps.

If you are needing some ideas for breakfast here are a few that I like:

Nature’s Path Organic Waffles (choose any of their varieties – chia, honey/whole grain, flax, etc). I like to top the waffle with Peanut or Almond butter (read labels! The ONLY ingredient should be the nut itself. look in the natural/organic section of your grocery. Second best option is one with the nuts + salt only) I also often add a tiny bit of raw honey because it can’t help fight off germs in your system. Another option is topping your waffle with Ricotta cheese. Then you can also add fruit or a salt free spice mix on top of the ricotta. **Don’t put syrup on your waffles! They are already made with (healthy) carbs, lets not ruin it but soaking it in sugar!


Loaded up scrambled eggs. I usually crack 2 eggs in a bowl (lightly coated in olive oil) and add whatever veggies I want, scramble them up, and then microwave until cooked through. So easy. I often add: spinach, tomato, jalapeños, onion, avocado, etc. Make it however you like!


Oatmeal Smoothie. I tried this recipe for the first time today actually. It was like dessert. I’m not a huge oatmeal fan, so this was a way for me to get in some oats. I may only do this one once a week or so. The carbs can add up so be careful, it would be good on a day when you have an intense workout day.

Here is the original recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/851771/oatmeal-smoothies

I omitted the ice. I used oikos organic plain fat free greek yogurt. I used unsweetened Almond milk, instead of coconut water (I only added a small amount that was needed, not a whole cup). I also added a few dark chocolate chips 🙂 Ok. So maybe it was dessert. But it is Sunday!!


Here are some other things I made this week:

Salmon Salad. I buy a big bag of frozen WILD caught Salmon. Cook it as directed. I usually wrap it in aluminum foil to cook and sprinkle a salt free spice mix on top + red pepper. I like spicy 🙂 I put the cooked salmon in a bowl and stir with a fork to get it broken up (like shredded chicken). Then I add greek yogurt, fresh or frozen dill, about 2 teaspoons of mustard, a little chopped onion, some chopped tomato & avocado, and a splash of lime juice. I LOVE this recipe. Sorry I don’t have measurements, but play around with it. You can always add more if needed. I often eat it plain, or on a slice of Eziekiel 4:9 bread, or in a wheat pita.

P.S. If you are not a fan of salmon, or any fish, this is a GOOD recipe to sneak some healthy fish in your life! Also, try making tacos with tilapia!


Egg/Asparagus dish. This is SO good and SO easy to make. Just eggs, asparagus, pepper, olive oil, and parmesan cheese (although I left out the cheese and it was still amazing!) Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/asparagus-recipes-easy-ways-cook-asparagus


Turkey Burgers. Super simple. I just added chopped onion and spinach to ground turkey meat along with my salt free spice mix. Then patted out and cooked in a skillet. I served it with purple sweet potato chunks that I tossed in olive oil + tiny bit of salt + pepper. Bake at 430-440 degrees for 15 min on each side (On a baking sheet lined in aluminum foil).


Stuffed Bell Peppers. Here is the link that I used for general cooking info to cook the peppers: http://greaterdc.wholefoodsmarketcooking.com/recipes/11795_roasted_bell_peppers_stuffed_with_quinoa

I just used ingredients that I had on hand. I first cooked ground turkey in a skillet then mixed with chopped onion, parsley, carrot, jalapeño, tomato, spinach, and shredded mozzarella. Then cooked as directed. Use whatever you want!


Hope these recipes help anyone who is stuck in a food rut! Let me know if you ever have questions about certain dishes, recipes, or anything! Play around in the kitchen. Also read up on what foods do what for your body! A lot of my weight loss involved getting in foods that my body NEEDED to burn fat, build muscle, protect joints, recover, build immune system, and keep in balance.

Happy Sunday! I took my first REAL yoga class today. It was a 2 hour class!! I was kinda nervous, but actually did really well for a first timer apparently! My teacher (she’s legit & learned from a hindu woman who was very immersed in the yoga world), even asked if I was a dancer/gymnast. I have kept so much flexibility from gymnastics when I was little. And I dance around my apartment on a daily basis 🙂 I even got a few of the arm stands/crows position/handstand/whatever you call those crazy balance things. NEVER let fear hold you back from trying things! I am now making this yoga class a part of my regular Sunday routine! Perfect workout for a Sabbath day. 

It’s never too late, or too early, to be whoever you want to be.

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Happy (almost) New Year! I have never been one to set goals or make “resolutions” for the new year, or at any point at all, until now. 2012 taught me the importance of goals and I have seen so many great results!! I think what held me back before was fear of failure. I mentioned before that letting go of fears was one life-changing thing that I did this year. I cannot stress it enough… It has rocked my world. The less room that fear takes up in your life, the more room for pure joy and excitement.

Now that I set goals in my life, all those things I wished would happen for years, are actually happening. Challenge yourself! I was never competitive with myself until this year. Now I know what a strength it is!!

I have goals in all areas of my life for 2013. I encourage you to make some of your own. I am working on generosity. It is something I have struggled with in many areas. I also have big and small fitness goals.. from increasing muscle endurance for pushups (they’re not easy for me!) to lowering my body fat by another 5-7%. I am constantly learning to embrace who God made me to be rather than to try to be anyone else! This media filled, superficially focused world is tough. I have a passion for ALL things beautiful… not only the breath-taking things God made, but also fashion & trends & all things expensive! I am working on self control and moderation 🙂 God wants us to have all kinds of blessings in our life, but we must also reflect wisdom with what we are given!

I am also buckling down for the next 2 months to finish up my studies and get my PT certification and nutrition specialization. I am so excited for this part of my life and can’t wait to share more of the journey in hopes that it will inspire you!

I am never good at keeping up with blogs often.. but mainly because I only write when I am really inspired to. So bear with me on that! May you all grasp on to the strength to become who you always desired to be. Happy 2013!! Let’s kill it!

Tips for 2013:

Ladies: Do NOT be afraid to train like the men! You won’t bulk up from lifting weights.  It will actually help you burn way more fat!

Guys: Read “Wild at Heart” an inspiring book that will teach you so much about yourself that you didn’t even realize was true. It will impact all aspects of your life!

Ladies: Read “Captivating” It changed my life!  It affected my confidence, my beauty, my relationships, and my passion!

Everybody: Read “Mastering Your Metabolism”  to learn more about Nutrition and the false advertising of “health” food in the world today.

If you are looking for inspiration, a new gym, workout buddies, stress relief, or a place to socialize… Come visit Results Fitness! I promise, you’ll love it. The first class is free! 



My Journey to Health

I am a little buzzed off of this endorphin-high right now, so pardon my enthusiasm. I just took a kick-ass spin/core/stretch class at Results Fitness Nashville (only THE best).

On the way home I was realizing how it is officially holiday season already. Which makes everyone all sentimental and all that ooey-gooey stuff that I totally feel too. I was thinking about how the best gift I am going to have this holiday season is health.

A year ago I moved into my current apartment, began learning a lot about nutrition, and began “training” myself. I was greatly encouraged by a friend who was studying personal training. I worked out for hours a day. I started eating strategic meals, focusing on what specific foods and nutrients my body NEEDED to recover and perform. I then found a gym that has inspired me 10 times more. They have kicked my butt, changed my body, & encouraged my passion.

One extremely important point is that I was never aiming for skinny or a certain weight. My goal is health. I  was careful along the way to never starve my body or over-work it. That wont give you health. My favorite foods are chocolate & tex-mex/southwestern. I still eat those all of the time! But I cook at home with whole, organic foods and just have about 1 oz of dark chocolate. 🙂

A year ago, I was at my heaviest weight of my life, that I can recall. I felt beautiful, and I was beautiful. I have always loved having curves and have no desire to be thin, but I knew I wasn’t my healthiest. Now, I am an ATHLETE. I was the girl who skipped PE in high school & wore very unflattering clothes haha. Now, fitness is fun for me. Before, I was scared to run, honestly, but now its therapeutic! I am constantly challenging myself, which was never part of my personality before.

I decided that in 2012 I was not going to let fear have any hold on my life. THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE in my 24 years (Ok, following Jesus as the ultimate best!). At this point, I am nearly fearless. Which makes life so much more peaceful & joyful. It is easier to discover new passions!

I also made this a year of “self-care” in ALL aspects of health. I make sure I get great rest. I take time for ME. That has become a necessity. I can’t tell you how important it is to sloowww down your schedule. I am putting my Trust in Jesus & my spiritual growth is a top priority. I am learning new things. I spend time with friends & family. My family has been so greatly blessed this year. We have never been closer. I am so grateful for the things we have learned this year. Most importantly that family is there to support you.

I hope that others can be inspired to pursue things that they have wanted to do for years. I prayed for probably 10 years that God would be my strength & teach me the discipline to get healthy. His timing has been PERFECT. His blessings have been unbelievable. I have been gifted with so many wonderful people and things in my life that got me here. I am so grateful!


….Now I will got rinse off this sweat I’ve been sitting in. ew. 🙂

Healthified Broccoli Slaw

I had broccoli slaw for the first time a couple weeks ago at my cousins bridal shower. I DO NOT normally like raw broccoli. It’s one of the few foods I can’t handle (raw at least), but this stuff is amazing!! I love to edit recipes to make them actually GOOD for you so that you can enjoy them often. I focus on proteins, healthy fats, and good-for-you carbs. The original recipe says to serve it immediately, but I prefer it the next day when the broccoli softens a little and the flavors are more united. I encourage the use of organic food items, but do as you wish! I will warn you now, I kind of “wing” recipes, I rarely measure when I make my own stuff and I don’t really get as detailed as some. Sorry 🙂 Feel free to make your own changes and let me know what you like! Here is the link of the original recipe I used:


Here is my Version:

  • 8 slices turkey bacon (I like Applegate Farms)
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 1 small red onion, minced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (golden or regular)
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Stoneyfield)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook turkey bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Cut into small pieces.
  2. Cut florets from broccoli stems and chop into small pieces. I cut them pretty small.
  3. In a bowl, mix greek yogurt, honey, and vinegar until evenly mixed. (I actually bought regular balsamic vinegar instead of WHITE as the original recipe called for, but it still tasted great!) Add broccoli, bacon,  raisins, and onion. Mix well. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Pardon my iPhone picture 🙂

I get most of my original recipes from Pinterest (I am slightly obsessed. ok, extremely). Follow me on Pinterest to see my health, food, drinks, fashion, and inspirational pins! http://pinterest.com/leighminnigan/

Side note: I started a program to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist about 3 weeks ago. I am LOVING it! I hope to take the Exam by January. I am doing it with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am so excited about this new part of my journey, that I have quickly become so passionate about.

Meet Me.


My name is Leigh. This is what I currently look like. I say currently because I have changed a lot over the past 6 months to a year. I lost about 30 pounds, went from very dark brown hair that I had all through college, back to my natural dirty blonde, then cut off 8 inches of hair!

I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee (Go VOLS), but due to my indecisiveness and pickiness about jobs, I currently work as a nanny & part-time in a gym daycare nearby. Obviously I love kids. I interact with mommies & kiddos more than people my age. They teach me a lot! I actually got into Social Work because of the beauty I found in adoption.

My plans for this blog are to document so many of the beauties I am discovering. I am constantly discovering new passions. The biggest one I have discovered this year is health. I have become so passionate about nutrition and exercise, that I am now looking into becoming a certified trainer and nutrition specialist. I will update you on that journey along the way!

I am also very passionate about culture – I love learning new things, tasting new foods, and experiencing the art of cultures around the world. I love fashion. I am a shopaholic. I think beauty can be expressed in your home, your clothes, your food, and anywhere imaginable. I love to cook. I love to explore. I love being active. I love wine.

This year I decided to let go of fear. It has been the best decision of my life! I am loving all of the new things I am learning and can’t wait to start sharing more! I plan to alternate between topics of health/fitness, recipes, life lessons, good finds, and whatever inspires me at the time! I would love to hear feedback if you have questions, or have any topics you ever want me to talk about. That is, if anyone ever reads this 🙂

“Sometimes the most ordinary things can be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” -The Lucky One (Nicholas Sparks)

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