Fabulous Healthy Dinners

I don’t have to cook much so I can’t take credit for these amazing dishes.  Follow my instagram @Dawn_Melissa for more healthy dishes.


Salmon, Pak choy, Kale, avocado

grilled chicken

Grilled chicken & roasted veggies

stir fry

Steak stir fry


Mackerel, Sweet potatoes, Kale

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.  I recently had a delicious homemade brunch of toast, beans, avocado, scrambled egg whites and – get this- meatfree sausage.  I didn’t get to take any pics but trust me it was delicious.  So yum.  Sooooo yum!!!

I think I’m starting to love food again.

Waking Up Grumpy | Work It Out

You’d think with a name like ‘Dawn’ I’d be a morning person.


Actually, I’m a night owl.  And I’m a total grumpster when I wake up.    I used to be pretty good about at least being cordial to my roommates or boyfriends or family (whomever I happen to be living with at whatever point in time) but lately, as I creep into my 30s (at a snail’s pace, ya’ll.  At a snail’s pace) I’m having a harder time just saying “Good morning” without snarling.


It’s not until I splash water on my face and take that first sip of coffee that I can even carry on a halfway decent conversation.

Today was no exception.  I woke up early, made a kale-apple-pineapple smoothie, watched the news, made my fusion waters (lemon,mint,cucumber and lemon,mint,cucumber and ginger) and after doing all that was still super grumpy.


Fusion Water (Cucumber/Lemon/Mint) and Pineapple/Kale/Apple Smoothie

I finally decided to go to the gym.

There’s something about putting on my workout clothes and picking up my Ipod that flips a switch in mind.  I can plan to workout, I can look at my dumbbells or watch a Blogilates video and tell myself, “I’m going to work out today” but it’s not until I actually put on those clothes and lace up those sneakers (Dear God I need new sneakers!!!) that I suddenly turn into this super motivated Amazon woman who thinks she’s going to run a marathon.

There’s nothing wrong with Delusions of Grandeur.

Can I just say I had a really good workout today.  I chose a treadmill next to two people (a fit Black woman and a cute boy) and used them as my motivation (“competition) and I ran 5 miles.  Then I did another half hour of pilates.  I was sweating and gasping and I felt like crying at end (as usual) but I burned off over 600 calories today.


And you know what?  When I was finished I was no longer grumpy.  I felt exhilarated actually.  I felt really friggin’ amazing.

On the drive home I blasted Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and Thirty Seconds to Mars’s “City of Angels” (I Love You, Jared Leto!) and I sang at the top of my lungs.

It didn’t bother me that other drivers were staring at me.  It didn’t bother me when some entitled driver leaned on his horn after I cut him off – yeah, I cut you off sucka because I was merging and you saw me and you sped up like a jerk so go for it, lean on your horn I’m still singing!!!

The second you start to feel joy the vultures will pounce.  But you can’t let them steal your day, your moment, your happiness.

Point of this post is – when you’re feeling grumpy or blue or anxious – go workout.  It really helps.  And I know it feels impossible to go from zero energy to suddenly running 5 miles but take baby steps.  Push yourself to do the thing that flips the switch in your brain.  For me, it’s putting on my gym clothes, lacing up those sneakers (old as dirt sneakers, I seriously need to go shopping) and grabbing my Ipod.

Once I do that I’m good to go.

I’m going to post pics soon – my body is toning up.  I’m starting to see some definition again and I’ve lost 10lbs since May.  I’m very happy.  I still have a long way to go but I’m doing this No Soda/Candy/Fast Food Challenge with Healthy Hair Journey and even though there’s suddenly CANDY EVERYWHERE I’m still going strong.  I’m also blogging about my fitness journey (plus Movie Reviews) over at Trials N Tresses!  Check ’em out!

Now I get to celebrate with coffee.


Post Workout Sweat (And Tears)

wpid-img_20140521_123354.jpgI’m slowly getting back into working out regularly and eating right.  My ongoing weight-loss journey continues…

I know I’m always starting my weight-loss blog entries with “I’m getting back into this.”  It’s a bummer that I keep letting myself down when I fall off the wagon but at least I do get back on that horse and I try again, right?  (I know I’m combining different analogies here but you get what I’m saying) 

I did four Cassey Ho Blogilates videos in lieu of running at the gym.  I worked on my abs, legs, arms & back and butt (tee hee) and it hurt the entire time.

A funny thing happens when you’re pushing yourself through a tough workout.  Your thoughts start to wander, you sweat profusely and, if you’re a sensitive little thing like me, you may start to cry.

To be clear, when I say “cry” I don’t mean break down into hysterical tears in the middle of my workout like a crazy person.  I mean, cry like in that way you do when you’re pushing through something and no matter what you’re going to get through it.  Like childbirth.  Or a hotdog eating contest.  Or life, in general.  I wasn’t in tremendous pain – I could definitely feel the burn but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle physically.  I just needed to cry my way through it a little bit.  And you know what?  I got through the damn workout.

Oh it’s such a simple metaphor for life.  I may have some tough, tear-filled nights that I’ll have to continue to sweat through but come hell or high water I will get through them.  (Yay! Breakthrough!)

(In my defense, I really must say that Cassey Ho’s workouts are ridiculously hard so I’m sure a lot of people have cried through them.  Confess your tears in the comments below!)


Hitting My Stride

Last night I ran 5 miles at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

I was only going to run 4 miles but then something happened at around mile 2 – I hit my stride.

And I just kept running.

It was a nice feeling.  Running in between pockets of light and shadow.  Kanye West’s “Power” blasting in my ears.  The cool night air on my face.

I think I’m starting to prefer outdoor night runs to running on the treadmills first thing in the morning.  Maybe I’m just feeling good about myself because I got through those five miles.  Maybe I’m just in the mood to change things up a bit while I continue on this fitness journey.  Whose to say.

Anyway, it’s a little less than a month before my birthday.  I’m trying to reach a specific goal and come May 14th I will let you know if I reached it.  Right now I’m excited because I’m starting a 10 Day Gluten Free Challenge.  Today is officially Day 1.  If all goes well I may extend it to 30 Days.  Which means no beer for 30 Days…Eep!

But I’m excited.  I had fun today shopping for gluten free food products.  I tried Gluten Free pasta tonight for the first time and I really liked it.  So..yeah…let’s see how this goes.

Fingers Crossed.

Back On The Treadmill

The plan was to ease myself back into my workout routine.  

I didn’t want to do too much too fast too soon and end up hurting myself.  So last night was  supposed to be weights, abs and pushups.  But I couldn’t resist a quick  run on the treadmill, my first run in three weeks.

So I’m a little sore today…but the ache in my muscles and especially my abs is well worth it.

And it’s nice to get back to an old routine.

I was next to a girl on the treadmills and we literally did the same stretches at the same time right before we both started our run.  I’m sure she didn’t notice because not everyone is acutely aware of every little thing happening around them like me.  We were unintentionally in sync, which was kind of cool because it felt like I was being welcomed back into the running circle.  The prodigal daughter returneth…or something…

Whatever, maybe it means my three week hiatus didn’t put me that far behind.  I was walking everywhere while I was in London…

Maybe I will still do this 10K after all…


Current Favorite Hair Products

I have a new routine when it comes to my hair and I think it’s working.  I’m seeing some growth and it’s healthier than it’s been in a long time.

First of all, I finally started using a diffuser with my blow dryer.  It’s so much better for my hair.  I’m really able to get it dry without damaging it with too much heat.  And I’m seeing more of a definition in my curls.

I’m also all about the Shea Butter and Hair Milk.


When I’m putting my hair in twists or a protective style I use one of these two products.  The curly curl cream on the left is my favorite.  It’s not flaky at all and really gets those curls defined.  I found both products at Sally Beauty Supply.


I mix a little grapeseed oil with coconut oil and use that for my scalp.  Usually I do this after I put my hair in a protective style and before I wrap it up for the night.


And of course you can’t go wrong with a wide tooth comb and a spray bottle.  I like to mix a little water and oil together and spray it on my hair after washing it or when it’s feeling a dry.


I’m still figuring out my routine.  So far this is working for me and I’m loving these current products.

What are some of your favorite hair products?

Week Three!! Overcome Laziness…

I’m halfway through week 3 and I’ve realized two things.

1) I have to fight my lazy side. If I don’t get up in the morning and immediately get to my workout I will either skip it or half ass it when I do get to it. Unacceptable.

So from now on when I roll out of bed I’m jumping right into workout clothes and hightailing it to the gym.

2) I’m not losing the 2 lbs a week I’d  hoped to shed. 

My eating habits are stellar. So it’s not that. I don’t think the training schedule that I’m following is pushing me hard enough. Not that it’s not challenging. But it’s not getting me the results I want.   
So I’ve decided to step it up a notch. Instead of taking one Body Pump class a week as I have been doing I will do two.  In addition to the rest of the training.  Let’s see how that works.

I’m pretty sure I will (at the very least) be able to get through this 10k. Its a matter of getting through it under an hour and losing 20 lbs during training.

Fingers crossed.

I’m excited. I ran 5 miles in 59 minutes this week.