My Friend is Kicking Cancer in the Butt

My friend Elyse came along for some of my workouts this past weekend!  It was nice to have a buddy to workout with for a change! 🙂  I think she will be joining me more often from now on.  I mentioned Elyse in a post a while ago.  If you didn’t happen to see that post, Elyse was diagnosed with Lymphoma in December 2012 and began chemotherapy treatment in January 2013.  Now, as the end of her chemo treatment nears, she wants to start getting back in shape!  As she says, I have motivated her!  That is such a great thing to hear. I am so grateful to be able to motivate someone else, even if it’s just one other person, to create a healthier life for themselves 🙂


Elyse came over this past weekend, the night before our first workout together.  She asked for all of my tips, particularly in healthy eating.  I told her to first of all, cut out all of the processed foods.  I introduced her to the term ‘clean eating.’  I pretty much gave her a sample meal plan of what I typically eat in a day for her to follow.  And it looked like this:

Morning:  Usually oatmeal with some kind of fruit and nuts/nut butter (& egg whites w/ veggies too, if I’m still hungry and need the extra protein for a hard workout that day)

Mid-morning:  Egg whites, fruit, or greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit.

Lunch:  Usually salad (base of spinach,spring mix, kale,or arugala) with a mix of different veggies, and some kind of protein, whether that’s my current favorite sonoma chicken salad, tuna salad, a hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or leftover chicken from dinner the night before. For dressing, I always use olive oil and either balsamic, red wine, or rice vinegar – and sometimes a honey or dijon mustard mixed in.

Mid-Afternoon:  Carrots or celery with hummus, hard-boiled egg, fruit, or greek yogurt with fruit (always different from my mid-morning snack)

Dinner:  Lean protein (salmon, tilapia, chicken, pork, or lean turkey) and the rest of my plate is usually filled with vegetables.

Dessert:  I like to have a piece or two of dark chocolate, or a raw brownie ball, a bowl of berries, carrots/celery with hummus, or my skinny PB Pudding.

One of the things that I firmly believe in is the low-carb diet for weight loss.  I fully agree that carbs are needed though.  They are not all bad.  However, when carbs are eaten, they should be eaten in the form of whole grains.  I personally find I had the best results once I lowered my carb consumption to breakfast and cut out all pastas, rice, and breads.  If I have a hard or long run, I make sure to have another source of carbs at lunch that day to refuel, like a sweet potato, quinoa, wheat berry, or sometimes a slice of whole wheat bread.  Other than that, my carbs are limited to oatmeal at breakfast for the most part.  Keep in mind carbohydrates are also found in some veggies and fruits as well, so you’re still getting carbs that way.

The next morning Elyse and I went to the gym early (Elyse is not a morning person at all, so props to her on that), did our leg workout followed by some cardio.  I ran and she went on the arc trainer for about 30 minutes.  Afterwards she went to the grocery store and took a picture of her groceries and sent it to me…I was shocked at how similar it looked to my groceries when I go shopping.

elyse's groceries

I was so proud! 🙂


and then I got this picture, of all of her foods prepped!  She even made the raw brownie balls!


d’awww! 🙂

The next workout she joined me for we did back, biceps, abs, and cardio. And this time I got her to run with me!  One of the tips I gave her the night she came over is that you really have to push yourself during cardio – probably more than you’d think.  When I first started working out and doing cardio, I’d get out of breath or my legs would start to hurt from running and I’d think I was working too hard, and be done. But eventually I learned that feeling uncomfortable, tired, and out of breath is what creates the change.  You have to push yourself.  And let me tell you this girl was running right next to me, and she pushed herself hard!  Since I’ve been back in NY for classes since Monday, she has been sending me pictures and updates on her workouts and things she has been eating.


a little oblique work!


I look so focused hahah

Keep in mind this chick is in chemo right now and she’s still rockin’ it in the gym…if that’s not motivation to you, I don’t know what is.  I look forward to keeping you updated on her story and improvements!


I love getting these texts haha


3 thoughts on “My Friend is Kicking Cancer in the Butt

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