Run 2 Your Own Beat

Run 2 Your Own Beat

A Health & Happiness Blog

Day 4 & 5 Food Recap

Soon these are a little bit delayed..I feel like I just haven’t had time to sit down and re-group the past two days! So, here we go:

Thursday (Day 4):

Breakfast before my workout: My shake was so good and filled with nutritious foods – I think I found a new favorite! It had apple, beets, kale, cucumber, and a few sliced peaches and flax seeds & whey pro. The cucumber makes it so refreshing :) In regards to workouts, I’ve finally gotten to a place where I feel able to get 4 workouts in a week. The type of workouts I do are typically intense, and work multiple muscle groups using compound movements (functional training) as opposed to isolation exercises (body building style of training). My resistance training almost doubles as cardiovascular exercise as well because of the level of intensity. 

I prepped my post-workout shake before I left – frozen blueberries, chia seeds, frozen peaches, kale, and whey pro. 

After the gym, I had a doctor’s appointment and had to run an errand. After I came home, it was a little early for me to eat lunch so I had a snack of apples with homemade sunflower seed butter.


Still a tad hungry after that, I made myself some sautéed zucchini. I prefer to at a later lunch because I work in the evening, and I don’t like to go into work hungry. I go in at 3:15, so I’ll usually have my late lunch shortly before 3.

The snacks I packed for the evening at work included roasted chickpeas and cucumber slices with chimi sauce (olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, a dot of cilantro, salt, & lemon/lime juice)

The much awaited lunch..big surprise – quinoa with black bean & avocado salad! 

Dinner was a quinoa stuffed pepper, sweet potato with butter & onions, and broccoli. Sweet potato with butter & onions is such a comforting food to me and really satisfies me!

ER MAH GERD. I was bad and had “dessert”. BUT WAIT. It’s cleanse-approved! YES! My co-worker also on the cleanse with me gave me this recipe  she found online. All that’s in it is mashed banana, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and for the ‘flour’, I used 2 scoops of whey pro complete and used this as my third ‘shake’ of the day. You can also make this recipe with 1 tbsp of coconut flour instead of whey pro :) Microwave for 2-3 minutes. 


Friday (Day 5):


Breakfast was a red shake – I told you, I found a new favorite!!

I prepped my post-workout shake and took it with me because I had to go grocery shopping after the gym. I kept it simple with frozen peaches, banana, flax, kale, and whey pro.

When I got to the gym to workout and put my stuff in the office, all my co-workers were drinking ALLLL the coffee! :( #torture!


The snacks I brought were apples and celery with sunbutter and carrots, although I only ended up eating the apples, and left the rest in the fridge at work for saturday morning’s shift.

I went into work early and so I took my lunch on the go. The presentation is a bit different, but still same ol’ black bean & avo salad with quinoa! :P


After work, I had to pick up a burrito from Moe’s for Matt since he realized the chicken breast in the fridge wasn’t good anymore. Talk about temptation!! I was meeting a friend for dinner at Tapas on Main, so I had a quick bowl of broccoli to hold me over after work. 

Tapas was incredibly accommodating. I had a quinoa paella without the brown rice and pine nuts – unfortunately they still had to cook it in an olive oil/canola blend, but I just had to make the sacrifice. It’s all about finding balance between a social life and a healthy lifestyle! In this paella, there’s spinach, beets, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and tomatoes. 


My friend and I headed back to mine & Matt’s place to watch Another Period on Hulu (seriously, check it out if you haven’t already. It is HILARIOUS) And I made my banana muffin with whey pro :D

Phew! Oh, one last thing – I am starting to feel less bloated. Partially because my body is adjusting to all the roughage and also because I’m making sure to drink tons of water :)

Day 3 Food Recap: I’m SO Full!


Morning ya’ll! When people first hear the stipulations of this purification program, especially not having meat for the first 10 days, the next words out of their mouth are, “What can you even eat!?” The answer is EVERYTHING! Well, everything that grows from the ground or a tree that is ;) By the end of the day, I almost don’t want to have my third shake because I feel satiated! But I have it anyway, I just make it a smaller one because I know my body still needs the protein.

Anyhow, here’s what I ate yesterday:
First things first, I don’t think my produce basket has ever been so full!!

Breakfast consisted of a kale & kiwi smoothie with ginger. I’m not usually a ginger person, so I only added a little. I ended up having to add 1/2 a banana because the kale taste was a bit strong for me!


Gotta get those supplements in!^^

After physical therapy, I made some green chimi sauce for my lunch and for dipping veggies in!

I started off with an apple and homemade sunbutter. I was still cooking at this point, and I was still hungry, so I had another apple..the ones you buy in a bag are so tiny!

Lunch….ohhh lunch. It was SO good. I had quinoa with a black bean and avocado salad with chimi sauce! Definitely will be making this one again!

This is the shake I made to take to work with me – blueberries, bananas, peaches, kale, and flax. I also snacked on some sunflower seeds and unsweetened raisins at work.

I didn’t feel like I was starving after work, so I just had sweet potato with butter and onions and some broccoli – trying to save room for my last shake of the day!

My favorite night time shake has become strawberry, banana, and peach – but I forgot to get more strawberries! So I just had a small banana & peach smoothie with whey pro & flax. I went to bed full and satisfied!

Day 2 Food Recap + Why I’m Cleansing

Good morning! I was exhausted last night so blogging would have to wait. I found myself scrambling for lunch yesterday because anything substantial would have been a 45 minute long cooking process. 

Before I get to the food, I want to talk a little bit about why I’m doing the Standard Process 21 Day Purification program. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. We’re both active individuals and enjoy eating healthy, but we also enjoy going out to dinner & having a few drinks on the weekend. Especially after having lymphoma twice & my stem cell transplant, I love to be able to enjoy myself and make the most of my free time. 

With that said, I still want to feel good about myself. I’ve also been breaking out a lot on my face, and I have an inkling that it might be because I’d been eating a lot of dairy – cottage cheese in particular. Before I go to a dermatologist and have them throw a medication at me, I want to figure out if my diet has been the main reason for my skin troubles. I also want to reduce some bloating. My stomach distends really easily. I’m known for my infamous food baby!  I think it’s hereditary because my dad can do the same thing. But I’d like to get rid of the inflammatory foods to hopefully reduce bloat! And of course I’d like to reduce body fat, and this is a great jump start to that!

So, enter purification program.

Let’s get one thing straight. I am totally against all those ‘weight loss tea detox’ products or any thermogenic supplements. No wraps, no quick fixes. I digress…

We offer this program at my work, Liven Up Health & Fitness, and I’ve seen my coworkers, bosses, and our members have amazing success with this program. My coworkers will do it once or twice a year.

The program focuses on replacing bad food habits with good food habits to reduce the amount of environmental toxins you’re exposed to. For 21 days, it eliminates some of the inflammatory foods that may be associated with bloating, fatigue, indigestion, skin problems, and of course encourages a healthy weight goal through nutrition and activity. The dietary constraints are as follows:

  • No dairy
  • No grains
  • No nuts
  • No meat for the first 10 days 
  • No sugar (except naturally occurring)
  • No caffeine
  • No alcohol 

It does have a pretty lengthy list of whole-food based supplements. Unfortunately, my oncologist does not recommend me taking some of the supplements being a post-transplant patient. I am able to take the tuna omega and green food supplements, and am using the whey pro complete instead of the SP complete for my shakes. 

So anyhow, here’s what I ate yesterday:

Caught red handed!

Breakfast was a red shake with kale, apple, beets, flax, and coconut oil!

I had this shake a little earlier than I’d like since it was my post workout protein. I kept it simple with strawberries, banana, frozen peaches, and flax

Homemade sunflower seed butter! Check out the evolution:

Snacks for my day on the go included carrots, a banana, celery & sunbutter, and some roasted chickpeas (see below)

Dinner consisted of a quinoa stuffed pepper, broccoli, & sweet potsto with butter and onions

Aaaand last shake of the day was a repeat of my post workout shake..I think its my new favorite!

Day 1 Food Recap

So it’s 10 o’clock at night and I’m writing this on my phone again. Needless to say, this is mostly going to be photos! Here’s what I ate today: 

Breakfast: Strawberry cucumber shake

Prepping this week’s dinner: quinoa stuffed peppers

Leftover quinoa filling for lunch

Lunch: quinoa filling and a banana

Soo I was still hungry so i ate the rest of the plain quinoa

Mid-day shake: strawberri, cucumber, mint, limr, kale, coconut oil, chia & whey pro

Dinner: quinoa stuffed pepper, parsnip fries, and broccoli

Post-dinner shake: coconut milk, whey pro complete, strawbetroes, banana, frozen peaches, and flax seeds

Pre-Purification Thoughts

Hey y’all! This post is going to be pretty short and sweet since its 10 pm, and I’m laying in bed writing this on my phone. Here’s a brief update:

1. Health is good. I’m just dealing with some peripheral neuropathy as a side effect of the chemo I was on for a year post-transplant. It’s supposed to go away, but I’ve been having a lot of weakness in my ankles and feet and very poor balance as well. The good news is I started physical therapy, so I get to see my future profession in action first hand!

2. I’ve been working back at Liven Up for the summer (which I LOVE)

And 3. I’ve also been taking summer classes.

So now to what I really want to talk about – I’m going to be starting the Standard Process 21 Day Purification Program tomorrow! Two other ladies I work with at Liven Up are also doing it as well.

I had wanted to do it for a long time, but last summer I wasn’t really able to especially with the supplements involved since I was still immunocompromised. Even now, I can only take a few of the supplements in the program as per the recommendation of my oncologist. There are some ingredients that, with my significant medical history and treatments, I should avoid in unknown quantities and with unknown impurities (since some supplements aren’t FDA regulates).

Anyhow, here’s what the program entails:

  • No dairy
  • No grains
  • No added/refined sugars
  • No nuts – only seeds
  • No caffeine 
  • No alcohol
  • No meat for the first 10 days

Now, I love my iced coffee and an ice cold cocktail at the end of the week, so this is definitely going to be rough. I’ll explain more about the cleanse and why I decided to do it in later posts. I have a nasty habit of getting very busy and then being too burnt out to blog at the end of the day, so at the very least, I’ll try to do a daily food photo blog.

If I don’t post on here, you can also keep up with me on Instagram! @run2yourownbeat
It’s off to dreamland for me now, for tomorrow, WE CLEANSE!

Spring Cleaning! [Pun Intended!]


Howdy folks! I finished up my spring semester and made my way through finals week. I’m pretty satisfied overall with my performance this semester. I’ve been enjoying a nice 2 week break from classes until I start my summer courses on Monday! 

The Franco Fam has also been busy lately – we just had my brother’s Bar Mitzvah this past Saturday. Mazel Tov Ben! Matt, myself, and everyone else there had a great time. It was wonderful to see close friends and family who I don’t get to see very often, but have known since I was a little girl. I could not have been more proud of my younger brother. 


So much hard work by my lovely mother, family, and close friends to make this party happen!


Matt looks so handsome in his yamaka


I really like you say..break-it-down.


Beautiful cousin!


Cousin on the left, boyfriend on the right! Dapper AF.


Beautiful best friend!

For the past few weeks while I’ve been able to adhere to my ideal gym schedule, Matt and I have been working on our barbell cleans lately. It’s been a long time since I incorporated barbell cleans into a workout, as I usually will do KB or DB cleans. 

I love cleans because in my opinion, I feel like they can help to easily identify where muscle weaknesses may lie. They are one of the most functional movements and involve nearly every body segment. 

While barbell cleans are functional and fantastic, they are not for everybody. They are not for beginners, individuals with chronic joint issues/pain, certain types of arthritis, and some older individuals. With that said, it can be something that you can work up to. 

This is what the progression to a barbell clean can look like:

  1. KB/DB deadlift
  2. KB swing (traditional – not american swing)
  3. Single arm DB clean
  4. KB clean (sorta optional)
  5. Barbell deadlift
  6. Barbell clean

If you’ve seen any videos from the CrossFit Games or in any CrossFit youtube videos, usually you’ll see people repping out cleans and totally killing it. DO NOT let this intimidate you! Of course they look like rock stars doing those cleans, making it look unattainable to the average human being. Folks, practice makes perfect. Their cleans may look perfect in a video, but I almost guarantee you they did not start off that way!

Everybody has a jumping off point, and they are all at different heights. All that matters is that once you jump off, you will FLY!!!

Also: this was my 100th post! Yaaay Blogging!!

Where Oh Where Have I Been? [+ Fried Zucchini!]


Where in the heck have I been??

Okay folks, I’m going to be completely transparent with you here. Since the last time I’ve posted, I’ve just been living my life – literally. That’s all. Once I was finally able to go into public places without a mask and gloves on and was able to get back into the gym, I’ve mostly just been focusing on getting myself back to where I was, and I’m still working on that. 

I started back up with school at East Stroudsburg, and over winter break, while working on a coaching internship at Liven Up, I decided that I wanted to change my concentration to pre-professional therapeutic sciences (basically pre-physical therapy) instead of exercise physiology. This entails an additional 3 years of graduate school to eventually become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. 

I haven’t had time to blog as much as I’d ideally like to because my primary focus must be school. I would love to spend my time creating recipes in the kitchen and creating cool infographics of workouts, but after working on lab reports and studying for classes, I have a hard time forcing myself to sit down at my computer and do it. In addition to that, I want to share high-quality, scientifically accurate information with you, and so to do that, I want to be as educated as I possibly can be. As a result, I spend a lot of my time studying and reading my text books and learning how to apply all of that knowledge.

In light of this, I’ve been doing more ‘micro-blogging’ on my instagram (@run2yourownbeat), where I’ll share more of my kitchen endeavors and what not and such which. 

What can you expect to see here in the future?

Here it is – in writing. I’m setting a goal to write 2-4 posts per month (start small, right?) with quality information about fitness-related topics that will hopefully leave you with some little nuggets of information that you can (hopefully) incorporate into your life somehow. I’ll still probably include little tidbits about my life here and there – like the killer fried zucchini I’m about to show you – but the primary focus for now will be on fitness. If you have any questions or suggestions for my next post, shoot me an email at Don’t be shy! :)


This. Was. Delicious. And it was so very easy to make. I got the recipe from this nice lady here, but I made a few modifications. I used brown rice flour instead of all purpose, I used gluten free panko, and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Boy were they delicious..and addicting! But I’s vegetables, right? ;) That’s about all I’ve got for now. Bye!

You Can Never Have Too Much Avocado [WIAW + Home Workout #3]

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HUMP DAYYYY! Happy hump day everyone. I hope your week is going smoothly, and I hope you’re enjoying some beautiful weather as we are here in eastern PA!

For a while before I went in for chemo and my transplant, I hadn’t eating very much avocado as a source of healthy fat. I usually got my healthy fats from nut butters and olive oils. What I’m realizing now is that avocado adds an amazing amount of variety to my diet! This week, I’ve been having avocado toast or avocado in my salad at least once a day.

Monday night's dinner - steak caesar salad!

Monday night’s dinner – steak caesar salad!

My favorite breakfast at the moment is avocado toast with some diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt. It really makes the avo the star of this simple dish – the crunch of the toast combined with the creamy texture of the avocado, and the salt brings out the nuttiness, while the tomatoes add just enough savory-sweetness. I’ve already eaten this morning, but just writing about it has me craving more! :)


It also works wonderfully as a light lunch with grilled chicken and salsa on top!


Paired with some greek yogurt for protein, this gave me so much energy for my workout on Monday!












Getting into a habit with a fitness routine can be tough, but I’m starting to feel myself get used to it – I’ve exercised the past three days and am going to exercise again today! With this wonderful weather, how could I not go outside? 

Collapsing in the grass, but all smiles after some sprints on Sunday!

Collapsing in the grass, but all smiles after some sprints on Sunday!

I want to share with you my upper body burnout workout I did on Monday. I hope you get a chance to try it and that you find it enjoyable! 


 Exercise Tips & Tutorials:

1A:  Be careful not to lift your butt up! Here’s a good demo:

1B: Anchor your band to a sturdy post. The knee that is on the ground is the same side as your working arm.  Be careful not to raise your elbow above shoulder height! This exercise is going to work your rotator cuff stabilizers, chest, as well as your core. In the resting position, your arm should be at a 45 degree angle from your body. Make sure your hips are facing front at all times. This gentleman here provides an excellent demonstration:

2A: This is a power movement. Don’t think of it as two exercises combined – it is not just a squat + overhead press. Hold the dumbbells in front of your deltoid (shoulder) with a neutral grip (palms facing in), making sure that you are not simply resting the dumbbells on your shoulders. Squat down, and as you come up from your squat, use the momentum to press the dumbbells overhead, maintaining your neutral grip. Here is a good demo: (Side note: You don’t have to squat below parallel – it depends on your range of motion!)

2B: This superset is meant to burnout those shoulders! Don’t take any rest time after the thrusters. For this bent over dumbbell row, bend at the hips and slightly bend the knees- eyes towards the ground. Pull the weights from the inside of your knees to the outside of your hips. Here’s a great demo:

3A: These SB scorpions are tough, but great for your obliques and lower abs. If you are unable to fully draw your leg across your body, bring your knee to the opposite elbow will do just fine. Here’s a good demo:

3B: Push ups – These are pretty straight forward. At this point, your arms are going to be fatiguing but don’t give up! Your body will thank you tomorrow. Some modifications of the traditional push up include doing the push up on your knees & hands, keeping the body in a straight line, or doing the push ups with your hands against the wall or on an elevated surface about 1 1/2 to 2 feet above the ground. The greater your incline, the easier the movement will be. Don’t forget to keep your arms at a 45 degree angle from your body!

And Suddenly..SALAD. [Home Workout #2]

Happy Saturday! *dances the weekend dance* ;)

This week ended up going by much quicker than I anticipated. I kept myself busy with several doctors appointments, and lots of cooking! Tuesday was my appointment with my transplant doctor, and he lifted two more of my restrictions – I don’t have to wear a mask and gloves anymore in public and I can have salads/raw fruits/veggies!! SWEET FREEDOM!!  On Wednesday, I did a total of three miles – running the 1st and 3rd miles! I followed that up with some core work. I also had my first salad in almost 5 months!! 


I had to go with chicken caesar salad, since I’ve been craving it for so long! I love the deep green color of the kale, spinach, and chard mix. Instead of using a heavy, cream-based caesar dressing, I used Cardini’s Light Caesar vinaigrette..It’s delicious! During my grocery shopping adventures, I stumbled upon this gem..spoiler alert – it’s fantastic!! 


Thursday morning I had an interview, and later on, I had a salad with peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken, avocado, and cranberries..and homemade croutons with sprouted grain bread! I’ll post the recipe for those next week :)

IMG_9267       IMG_9269 2


Friday, I spent some time with family for brunch, but didn’t feel well for the rest of the day so I just rested on the couch. I hate when I feel like that, because there’s always things I could be getting done, but my body holds me back. I just have to keep reminding myself – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

 As promised, here is Home Workout #2! 



How do you stay motivated with your fitness routine? If you would like any tutorials for these workouts or have any questions, contact me at :)

Home Workout #1: 45 Minutes or Less!

Howdy folks, and happy Monday! This past weekend was beautiful here in Eastern PA! My boyfriend and I enjoyed some wine on the Level3 Rooftop of Melt on Friday, and on Saturday we swam in his parents backyard pool and grilled chicken, corn, and veggies for dinner.


Friday Evening enjoying beautiful weather and wine!

It was definitely a great weekend together before he left on vacation!

Unfortunately, because I am still within the first 100 days since my stem cell transplant, I’m not allowed to travel on planes or out of a certain radius from my doctor, and I’m not allowed to go to the beach. I’m having some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) right now – Kayla is in California for BlogFest, boyfriend is on vacation, and some of my other friends seem to be out of town too! It’s killing me! 

The best thing I can do, however, is to continue to use this time to focus on me. Last week I did some great home workouts, since I’m not allowed to go to the gym yet either! My only equipment used is a 20 lb kettle bell, a set of 10 lb and 15 lb dumbbells, a resistance band w/ handles, and a stability ball. If you possess some or all of these items, you can give yourself a great muscle-building, calorie-burning workout! I used to lift a lot heavier before my transplant, so having lighter weight forces me to find creative ways to challenge myself. I’ll be posting them throughout this week!