Featured Slider


Getting sick is the worst. What stinks even more is that now that flu season is over, you can still catch a nasty "summer cold". I started caring about boosting my immunity a couple of years ago, and while it's not always possible to avoid the sniffles, I've definitely noticed a huge decrease in how often I feel sick. So here are my tried and true tips on how to avoid getting sick like it's the plague (ha).

As if I don't talk about the benefits of water enough, you should really drink more, especially when you're starting to feel less-than-great. Water will help your immune system stay in tip-top shape, and it'll give your body one less thing to worry about. I aim for almost a gallon every day, although I usually land somewhere between that and the recommended minimum of 1/2 ounce per pounds bodyweight (for me that's 68 ounces). For reference, a gallon is 128 fluid ounces.

Certain teas are also great for boosting immunity. My personal favorites include Throat Coat and Echinacea Plus from Traditional Medicinals. Add some raw honey for brownie points!

Whether you're feeling on top of the world or under the weather, certain foods can really make a difference! Some of my favorites include honey (anti-bacterial), ginger (anti-inflammatory/nausea), crushed garlic (anti-bacterial/viral/fungal), bananas (anti-nausea and full of nutrients), all-natural yogurt (high in protein and probiotics), salmon (super high in protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3's), and unprocessed coconut oil (mix it in your tea! it's high in lauric acid).

I know that some people don't like sleeping as much as I do, but I love it because it makes me feel so great! It just stinks when you wake up and you already feel tired. Believe me, your body doesn't like it either, and while it's busy keeping you awake, it's not doing so well fighting off bugs. Your body does its best healing while you're asleep—let it do its job! The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep every night for adults between 18-65 years old, and for most people, sleep cycles last roughly 90 minutes. So to feel as rested as possible aim for 7.5 hours or 9 hours. If you're feeling sick, try to get an extra hour in.

Feeling sleepy? The National Sleep Foundation can help.

I know keeping your hands off of your face can be hard, but it makes a massive difference in how often you get sick. Your hands touch a lot of things throughout the day—things other people have touched. The last place you want those germs in around your face. Steer clear from your mouth, nose, and eyes until you've washed your hands!

Speaking of that, everyone and everything is always telling you to wash your hands. Well that's for a reason. Good ol' soap and water gets rid of all the dirt and bacteria on your hands before it gets somewhere that could make you sick. Try to scrub for 20 seconds and remember to get under fingernails! Ps- Hand sanitizer doesn't wash off the germs, but it does kill most of them. It's still a great thing to have in a pinch.

Exercise doesn't just make you look good, it gives your immune system a boost too! Even something as small as walking for 20-30 minutes each day may improve your cardiovascular health and keep the extra fat off, which in turn decreases your chances of many illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression (just to name a few).

If you're already sick, light exercise may help you get better more quickly by raising your body temperature and acting as a pseudo-fever. But make sure to listen to your body!! Don't exercise if you're taking medication that is already raising your heart rate or if you already have a fever, and talk to your doctor before working out if you have asthma or similar breathing problem.

While these are all tried and true ways to prevent sickness, sometimes it still happens. The most important tip that I could ever give you is to listen to your body! Feeling tired and sluggish? Starting to sniffle? Have a sore throat? Do everything you can to make it disappear before it puts you down for a week! I promise you that acting quickly will make your life so much easier. Have a great week, y'all, and stay healthy out there!

Have a remedy or trick that works for you? Tell me about it in the comments!

x Cait


Have you ever been frantically trying to pull everything together before a trip? Or been horribly unprepared for a long flight? Even if you've never travelled via airplane, if it's been awhile, or if you've never flown for longer than 4 hours, you'll be ready after this post.

No matter how long my flight is, I always make sure to adequately stock my carry-on bag. I have what's basically a giant purse that fits my laptop, a book, and everything else I need. I make sure to include...

  • my laptop—I would never in a million years put my laptop in anything but my carry-on. It's my baby
  • a book—or sudoku/crosswords/etc. if you're into that
  • a reusable water bottle—this is essential. It can come with you up until security checks, and afterwards you don't have to pay $5 for a water. Nowadays, most airports have water bottle refill stations!
  • a hoard of snacks—include some protein to keep you full. I've made the mistake of only brining carbs... it wasn't fun. And yes, you can totally bring your own baggies of fruit, crackers, whatever!
  • hand sanitizer and Wet Ones anti-bacterial wipes—for your hands, the seats, evvverything
  • Emergen-C tablets to put in your water
  • flip-flops or slippers to wear on long flights
  • a good pair of headphones—PRO TIP: download some podcasts or videos to watch!
  • if you can sleep on a plane, bringing your own neck pillow is a great idea since a lot of the on-flight pillows are reused
  • face moisturizer, hand cream, and chapstick—the air on planes tends to dry you out, so come prepared!
  • facial wipes—I don't know about you, but my face can feel pretty gross after traveling, and facial wipes make me feel like I'm not a complete mess

Planes circulate some pretty dry air, and they can also raise your chances of getting a cold, so I always, always, always drink a lot of water and take extra vitamin C the day before and the day of my flight. I also make sure to eat a filling, nutritious breakfast. If I'm cutting it close on making it to my gate in time, I don't want to have to worry about a growling stomach.

If you have time before your flight boards, I highly recommend making the most out of your terminal. I mean, you're going to be sitting down for awhile, so take a walk!

One word, layers. Some planes are freezing cold, and some are warm. Make sure they're loose, or comfy clothes too. I always go for a tshirt, leggings, and a jacket or cardigan with sneakers. If I'm gonna be running around airports, I want to be able to run!

You've boarded and you've got everything you need. Sitting for hours isn't nice to your body, so try to walk around the cabin once every hour or two (aisle seats are best), and do little stretches in your seat as frequently as you can. These can include lifting your legs up, foot pumps, ankle circles, and forward folds. Click here for some simple stretches!

Don't forget about your water! Keep drinking it. Seriously.

This may be a little TMI, but it's important: if and when you go to the restroom, line the seat with toilet paper (ladies) and make sure to wash your hands AND sanitize when you're done.


  • If it's daylight outside, stay awake. If it's night time, try to sleep. This will help keep your circadian rhythm from getting too out of whack.
  • Set a clock to your destination's time, and try to stick to it.
  • If the time change is a big jump, start adjusting your sleeping patterns a few days before you leave by going to bed and getting up earlier/later.
  • To make sure you don't get dehydrated, don't drink soda or eat salty foods.
  • Invest in a portable phone charger.

It's definitely taken me awhile to figure out what works for me, and that's being super prepared. Hopefully this post gave you some insight into the crazy world of plane travel. Let me know where your next flight is going in the comments!

x Cait


I'll start off by saying that this will probably be a slightly controversial post, but hear me out.

There are certain exercises that are obviously better than others. However, some of the not-so-good ones are still heavily circulated on social media and used by even certified personal trainers. Now I'm not trying to discredit those guys because most of them are awesome at what they do, but there is science behind why these five exercises shouldn't be your first, second, or third choice.

I'm knocking this one out early because it's easily one of the biggest misconceptions in the fitness industry. The smith machine can be found in almost any gym, and can be used for tons of different exercises: squats, bench, Romanian deadlift, rows, just to name a few. Personally, I see it being used for squats the most, which happen to be the worst movement you could do with it.

Think of it this way: when you squat, does your body move on a perfectly linear path? No, of course it doesn't...but the smith forces it too. While it works the largest muscles in your legs, it completely neglects the stabilizing muscles and tendons. You don't want to neglect those, trust me. Proper foot placement is difficult because either your knees are being over stressed or your lower back can't follow its natural curve. The same issues arise with your shoulders and elbows too.

Disclaimer: there are a couple of things that you can safely do on a squat machine: standing calf raises and very short range of motion exercises (quarter repping for strength gains).

If you prefer the smith because you feel safer, here's my advice: stop. Stop being robbed of your hard work. Work up to free weight squats with your body weight, light barbells, hack squats, or just find a squat rack with guards on the sides.

See why a conditioning specialist with a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science agrees!

I found out about these machines pretty recently and I'm so glad I did. I have a slight knee injury that always starting bothering me when I used these machines, which was confusing because it wasn't like I was putting stress on my knee cap (the source of my injury). But surprise! I actually was. It's just a weird, unnatural movement, and the machine puts so much stress on your IT band that it can literally pull your knee cap out of place. Yeah, no thanks.

This bad boy is another heavily used machine in gyms everywhere, but I always steered clear after I hurt my knee because it gives me the heebie-jeebies. Your quadricep muscle never moves in isolation in the real world, even when you kick a ball. Isolating your quads while also pulling your shins in places a huge amount of torque and shearing force on your knees. If the word "shearing" isn't bad enough, it also stresses your ACL.

Upright rows are performed by standing upright, holding two dumbbells or a barbell, and raising it up parallel to your torso. This movement is one of the worst for your shoulders because it causes internal rotation. To show you what that feels like, hold your arms straight out to the sides with your palms down, then rotate your hands forward as if you were pouring out a glass of water in each. To do an upright row, the arms are bent at the elbow before being internally rotated. Try pulling your arms towards your body from here—it's uncomfortable for good reason. When you add resistance to this movement, a little tendon in your shoulder gets pinched by the bones around it. Over time you probably won't know it's wearing down, until it snaps.

These two exercises pose the opposite problem as upright rows: externally rotating your shoulders. Over rotating your shoulders puts the joints in a position where the rotator cuff can no longer stabilize the shoulder anymore, increasing risk of injury. On top of that, most people just don't have a lot of shoulder flexibility so they bend their necks forward which can also result in strain.

Look, I know I can't tell people what to do in the gym—it's their body. But the way I see it, you're in the gym to get stronger, lose fat, feel good, and better yourself. Why would you risk easy injury? I'm not saying that you won't get injured if you stay away from these movements, because shit happens (looking at you knee cap), but if there's a larger risk than other exercises, it seems like a pretty easy choice for me.

No matter what you're doing in the gym, though, always use caution. Push yourself, but learn to understand when your body needs to stop. Respect that boundary. Oh, and whatever you do, don't make someone laugh in the middle of a set...

Happy lifting!

x Cait


Breakfast really is an important meal—it kick starts your metabolism, gives you much needed morning energy, can help you concentrate, and gives you a chance to get some extra vitamins.

Between school and work, I'm usually hard-pressed for time in the mornings, unless I want to wake up super early (no thank you). Breakfast should be enjoyed, not rushed. I also need a solid dose of protein and fat in my breakfast or I'll get hungry within the next hour.


Photo by Alison Marras

Eggs on Toast
Eggs are a breakfast staple for me. They're great because they have a good bit of protein, some fat, and are easy to pair with a lot of things. Have some hard boiled eggs on hand? Slice 'em up and put them on a slice of toast. Add a smashed avocado if you feel like treating yourself.

If you don't have any hard boiled eggs, let me tell you how to make some. I swear on my life this method gives you perfect eggs every time (thanks mom).

  1. Place eggs in a pot of room temperature water and place it on the stove. Make sure the eggs are completely under water.
  2. Turn the stove on high heat and wait until it starts boiling.
  3. When it does, set a timer for thirteen minutes. Yes, thirteen exactly.
  4. When the timer goes off, gently scoop the eggs out with a ladle and place them in an ice bath.
  5. Once they've cooled off, keep them in the fridge until you're ready to eat!

Approximate macros for two eggs and two slices of whole grain bread: 
300 cal, 36g carbs, 10g fat, 15g protein

Photo by Carlos T. on Unsplash

Oatmeal is my go to easy breakfast, especially on cold mornings. Just grab a big tub of quick rolled oats, add water or milk, and pop that bowl in the microwave. If you're not crazy and don't want plain oatmeal, you can add fresh fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or honey, or all of the above. If you want that protein, add a scoop of your favorite powder after the oats are cooked. I have some salted caramel powder that is sooo good with cinnamon and blueberries!

Approximate macros for 0.5 cup uncooked oats with protein powder: 
240 cal, 29 carb, 3g fat, 25-30g protein

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Like I said, eggs are a staple! Omelettes are a perfect breakfast because they're pretty quick and so customizable. If you like meat, add in some sausage or ham. If you like veggies, load it up! Add a sprinkle of cheese on there and you're good to go.

Approximate macros for 2 large eggs, 2 oz. cooked Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat Sausage, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese:
335 cals, 3g carbs, 25g fat, 25g protein

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

And finally, the Breakfast Smoothie
Smoothies are perfect for when you're really in a time crunch. They're super quick, good for on-the-go, and have endless combinations.

  1. Add your liquid first. I like to use unsweetened almond milk, but regular milk, juice, or water is fine too. I also add greek yogurt at this point if I'm not using protein powder.
  2. Then add leafy greens like kale or spinach for a nutrient boost.
  3. Frozen fruit goes in next. Mixed berries, bananas, cherries, pineapple, and mangoes are all great choices.
  4. Add your dry ingredients last so that they don't get stuck in the bottom of the blender. Oats, chia seeds, peanut butter, and protein powder are my favorites. Pro tip: whey protein is great for mixing and is also a complete protein, giving you all of the amino acids your body needs. Just watch out for added sweeteners!
  5. Blend, sip, smile.

Approximate macros for 0.5 cup unsweetened almond milk, one banana, one serving frozen berries, a handful of kale, 0.5 cup quick oats, and one scoop of protein powder:
315 cals, 69g carbs, 4g fat, 27g protein

Taking a tip from one of my professors, KISS (keep it simple, stupid) is a good rule for cooking. Your meals don't have to be fancy to be effective and delicious!

If you try one of these ideas, or have one of your own, let me know in the comments!

x Cait


Hey y’all, my name is Cait, it’s so nice to meet you! Before I get into my first blog post I’d like to thank you for reading it. I would assume there’s a solid chance that you don’t know me well personally, or at all, but I’m going to fix that right here, right now. Behold the 50 Things About Me post! Let’s jump in, shall we?

1. My first name is Caitlin, but my family calls me Cait, and it’s a little easier to spell. Fun fact: this spelling is a version of the Gaelic name Caitr√ćona, or Catherine.
2. I’m 23 years old—‘94 was a good year.
3. I live in Louisville, Kentucky. We take horses and bourbon very seriously around here.
4. I’m a graphic design student and I’ll be graduating this May! My design Instagram is @caitbenderdesign if you’re interested in that kinda thing.
5. My passion for fitness turned into a passion for a healthy lifestyle within the past year. That’s why I started this blog.
6. My favorite kinds of exercises are weightlifting, hiking, and the occasional yoga class.
7. I honestly couldn’t choose a favorite food—it’s all good!
8. Similarly, I don’t have a favorite movie. I love everything from Marvel, to comedy, Disney, and historical films.
9. I took Tae Kwon Do from 8-11 years old and I have a black belt.
10. Like most kids, I played a lot of sports during my childhood—soccer, softball, field hockey, and even took equestrian classes.
11. I don’t have any fitness certifications, but I’ve learned a lot from friends in nutritional and biomedical fields. If I want to know the answer to something, I research the crap out of it.
12. I do not sing in the shower.
13. I prefer Apple products over Google/Samsung/PC (typical design student). Although I love Google's technological advancements.
14. My favorite TV show is Supernatural.
15. Jensen Ackles is my celebrity crush...obviously.
16. I recently studied abroad, mainly in the beautiful little town of Bregenz, Austria for 5 weeks.
17. My favorite U.S. state is Arizona. Dry heat is pretty amazing when you live in the Ohio Valley.

18. My favorite animal used to always be tigers, but now I’m obsessed with raccoons.
19. My first concert was Fall Out Boy.
20. It’s rare that I show excitement by jumping around and screaming. It’s more of a calm excitement, if that’s a thing?
21. I’ve taken the full Myers Briggs and the 16personalities.com quiz—I’m an ENFJ every time.
22. On that note, I’m a Hufflepuff and proud!
23. I love puns.
24. I have an Aussie mix named Mozart. He has way too many nicknames—Mo, Momo, Mojo, The Floof, Fluffball, Bubby.
25. I have freckles on my cheeks that come out on sunny days.
26. I was born without wisdom teeth. Yay evolution!
27. I also still have my tonsils.
28. My natural hair color is a very dirty blonde and I get auburn highlights in the summer.
29. Snow is pretty and all, but I don’t like cold weather.
30. I write with my left hand, but I do basically everything else with my right.
31. I looooove cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is probably my favorite.
32. My friends say that if my personality was a color, it’d be a light blue.
33. Scary movies don’t entertain me, I scare easily.
34. I have glasses, but they’re pre-bifocals for when I stare at a computer for too long.
35. I currently have one tattoo on my right wrist—four small CMYK dots symbolizing the color printing spectrum. I plan on getting a matching RGB tattoo on my other wrist and a purple aster flower on my ankle.
36. My ears are pierced with triples, but I can’t use the middle holes because the lady made them way too close.
37. I have very fair eyebrows, so they don’t show in photos if I’m not wearing makeup.
38. I’m trying to finish The Lord of the Rings. It’s so long…
39. I have a small red dot birthmark on my upper lip.
40. I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. It’s ok, you can hate me for it.

41. Snakes are one of my biggest fears. I’ve actually thrown my phone across a table when I scrolled past a picture of one.
42. I’ve never broken any bones, not even when a horse stepped on my foot.
43. I start celebrating Christmas once Halloween is over because I love it so much, but that doesn't mean I skip Thanksgiving.
44. I’m very organized and I keep a bullet journal so I don’t go insane.
45. I can’t swim underwater without holding my nose for more than 3 seconds.
46. I cry easily.
47. I think cooking and baking is really fun. I can’t wait until I have my own kitchen!
48. I love giving compliments and giving gifts.
49. I think skipping breakfast is a sin.
50. A friend called me a “walking encyclopedia” because I have a wealth of random knowledge. Did you know that a butt-breathing turtle is a thing?

Phew, well there ya go! Hopefully you enjoyed learning a little about me, and hopefully you’ll stick around for more of my posts! I’m so excited to start spreading my knowledge and maybe even help a few of you along the way.

If you want to know more about why I started this blog, check out my Behind The Blog page.
Have a fantastic Sunday!

x Cait