1. Tell us about yourself.
Hi there! I’m Colleen and I’m a 26 year old healthcare professional living in Philadelphia. I moved to Philadelphia in 2012 to pursue a job and totally fell in love with the city. I love everything living in the city has to offer, such as group runs, bootcamps, festivals and a great happy hour ;-) but you can also find me cooking up something in the kitchen, or spending time at home with my fiancé .
I started Keep it Real Clean as a way to share my journey to a happy, healthier me and to connect with other like minded ladies (and gents!) to figure out the best ways to balance it all. I was (and am!) extremely fortunate to have been offered an amazing opportunity, but the journey of starting a new, stressful job while balancing adjusting to a new city, a relationship and trying to fit in a healthy lifestyle was definitely a challenge. I share my ways to fit in cooking healthy meals, completing effective workouts, while still finding a balance for a happy, healthy life.
3. Why were you inspired to start your blog?
Okay...to be honest….I started Keep it Real Clean from a semi “selfish” spot. I always loved to read others blogs and loved to be able to connect with others over blogs. About 2 years ago, I started thinking, you know what? I could totally do this! Even if no one reads it, it would be a good way for me to have a creative outlet for writing, versus my day to day medical documentation. Since then, its totally morphed into more of community and I hope it can keep growing!
It can be so tough to balance it all and to honest, lately I’ve gotten a major wake up call! Previously, I was adamant about posting 4 days per week, but I was starting to feel like I was missing out on things (UMM, like sleep!) and I started to feel less inspired. I realized that instead of trying to crank out postings I should take a break and only write when it was something I was enjoying, because after all, I started it as a hobby so might as well keep up with the fun! I also realized that I really enjoyed Instagram and even though it doesn’t churn out a bunch of traffic I really enjoying connecting with others there so I decided to keep up with that and put aside things like Facebook. All about balance and finding the fun!
5. What about working out? How do you fit in your workouts? Whats your typical workout schedule like?
Each week, I sit down on Sundays and make fill out my calendar with anything vital that needs to happen, like work or doctors appointments, then I fit in any social plans that I have already, then I add in my workouts. Each week I aim to do cardio 2-3 times weekly and weight training 2-3 times weekly. I will figure out what times I’ll do it workout and add it to the calendar, rather than just having a weekly goal I like to pick an exact time so I have a plan. Sometimes I try to incorporate social things with workouts so that I can enjoy time with friends without feeling guilty about it. Instead of a happy hour, how about hitting up a Cycling class together? Perfect!
I am all about balance. I totally don't have the mindset that eveything needs to be UBER clean and perfect, because honestly? What fun is that! I like to consider all the decisions I make in my day as a step towards or away from my health and fitness goals. No, that doesn't mean that enjoying a slice or pizza or a glass of champagne is a huge leap backwards from your health goals, but downing an entire pizza may be! Instead, I prefer to seek balance in my life and incorporate "treats" daily so that I don't end up getting frustrated and just binge on a bunch of crap. I try to always have a healthy stock of food at home that is easy to throw together or some prepped elements, such as chopped veggies or cooked lean meats, so I can grab and go in a hurry if needed! But, then again if one night I decide to forgo my dinner plans and grab a slice of pizza with my friend, that's okay too!
I'm all about a recipe I can toss together! My fiancé is a HUGE fan of tacos and honestly, so I am from a meal prep perspective! I love to get creative with different kinds of tacos. I love that I can mix up the proteins, veggies, or toppings! I also love that if I want something a little lighter I can swap out the tortilla for a lettuce wrap. Talk about compromise ;-)
Here are a few of my favorite recipes!
I am trying to learn how to do this! I honestly am not a good "low key" kind of gal when it comes to just relaxing. I love spending time with my fiancé, cooking a good meal at home, and just listening to some mellow music. Someday I'll learn how to chill out!
9. If so, whats your traveling philosophy? Do you let yourself just go wild and have a break or are you still strict on vacation? Incorporate workouts and health snacks and meals?
I LOVE to travel! I am all about going somewhere different, seeing new things and trying a variety of foods. I definitely loosen a little more on vacation, but for the most part my lifestyle is all about balancing out everyday indulgences so even on vacation when I have a piña colada (or 2!) I'm okay just letting it be part of the experience. I love to incorporate a little sweat throughout the trip, maybe that's walking, or going for a run on the beach...whatever it may be I love to just live in the moment and experience it without regret...hey wait, a minute! Maybe I am starting to get this whole "relaxation" thing! ;-)