Blend Retreat Day 1

Hi all! I am so excited to share my weekend in Park City, Utah at the 2013 Blend Retreat! First of all, I need to shout THANK YOU!!! at the top of my lungs to Janetha, Lindsay, and Katie (and their friends and fam) for all of their ridiculously hard work. Without them busting their booties, Blend never would have been so amazing! Anyway, I am going to do this in 3 posts so it’s not so long. Plus I have a very small attention span, so yea.

Amber and I woke up at like 3 something to catch our 6am flight out of Omaha! We drove to Omaha the night before and stayed at our friend’s house so we didn’t have to leave at like 1am. When we got to the airport, we met up with Amanda who lives in Lincoln!

Amber and I excited to leave Omaha

Amber and I excited to leave Omaha

We landed in Salt Lake City around 7:30am (they’re an hour behind us) picked up our bags and then went to go get our rental car. I ended up getting a Nissan Rogue. It wasn’t too bad, but the non-tinted windows drove me nuts 😉

Our ride for the weekend

Our ride for the weekend

We were all starving so I took to my Urbanspoon App on my phone and the first thing that popped up was Penny Ann’s Cafe! We thought the menu looked good and it was super close to the airport, so we headed that way. When we pulled up, we saw that it was in an apartment building, but the entryway was cute, so we went on in!

Penny Ann's

We were greeted by a SUPER friendly waiter and some coffee right away. We all looked over the menu and I decided to go with an omelet. There is not a single restaurant in Grand Island that serves avocado with their omelets. I was seriously in heaven! I’ve also gotten dirty looks when I ask for egg whites. The server didn’t think two things of it! It was awesome!

Egg white veggie omelet

Egg white veggie omelet

I got to choose 5 different toppings to put in my omelet. I don’t remember what I all chose, but the combo was perfect! The potato things on the other hand were not very good. They had like no flavor! I was bummed!

After we ate, I called Candice (after creepin on the Blend fb page for her number) and we met up with her and Meg to go get pedicures!

Our pretty toes!

Our pretty toes!

(Candice’s pic)

After we got our toes done, it was GPP time! I can’t even describe how excited I was to FINALLY get to go to the GPP gym! I have been following (sort of) their workouts for a long time! On the agenda for the day was the BAT Medley. Crazy because I actually did this workout last fall when they posted it on Halloween!



Inside the gym

Inside the gym

We started the workout promptly at noon and Neil Anderson, the owner, led the class. I was so excited to finally meet him! I seriously felt like I already knew him since I’ve watched so many of their demonstration videos and seen him on Janetha’s blog so much!


After the workout, we headed to Park City to the Hyatt Escala Lodge to check in! And wow, is this place amazing!

Hyatt Escala Lodge

Hyatt Escala Lodge

(Hyatt’s facebook picture)

They were having a happy hour sponsored by Attune Foods and some Justin’s Nut Butter to top on our amazing graham crackers from Attune so we went and checked in super quick and then came back down to meet some chicks! From the second I walked in, I was lookin for my girl Janetha! Finally when we got back down I spotted her! I wish I could have had a picture because I think it was the biggest hug I’ve ever had in my life! I was SO SO SO excited to meet Janetha finally in person! She has been SUCH an inspiration to me over the past 3+ years! Everything I know about healthy living is because of her…seriously.

Janetha and me!!!

Janetha and me!!!

Ahhh so happy 🙂 After the snack break, we went upstairs and got ready for the cocktail hour. Amber and I both brought super dressy clothes and I was so excited to get all dazzled up since we don’t really get to do that EVER in GI!

Amber and me

Amber and me

The cocktail hour was hosted by Silk! They made some awesome cocktails (so I heard) but since there was cab, I was all over that! I can’t help my wine addiction 😉 Amber and I hooked up with our new friend Paula! She is a total Cali (Valley) girl that has the biggest heart! Love this girl times a million!! xoxo Can’t wait til Amber and I can go visit her!!

Amber, Paula, and me

Amber, Paula, and me

(Paula’s pic)

They had tons of veggies, spring rolls, blackbean burgers (the bomb) and peanut sauce! I loved it all

My appetizers and of course wine

My appetizers and of course wine

After the cocktail hour, we headed to the Blend Dinner! The hotel served us a buffet of all sorts of goodies! There was halibut, chicken, quinoa burgers with mushrooms and sauce, bulgur wheat salad, lettuce salad, etc.

Neil, the owner of GPP, and me!

The buffet line

But the best part was of course the dessert!! I knew it all had dairy in it and I was SO incredibly full, but I had to try the tarts!

Our dessert options

Our dessert options

(Paula’s picture)

After dessert and being uncomfortably full, Amber and I headed back up to our room to check out our swag!! We didn’t really have time to go through it before, so instead of going to bed like we should have, we stayed up and went through all of it. I seriously felt SO spoiled! I cannot believe how many amazing companies supported the blend retreat! The picture below is seriously only half of it!


We finally hit the beds about 10 pm (11 our time). We had to get a good night’s sleep before our 7 am bootcamp!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

xoxo, Maren


Update and a Recipe

Hi all and Happy Friday!! The sun is FINALLY shining here after an entire week of clouds and rain. At least it hasn’t been too cold. It’s finally nice today and I plan to spend the afternoon/evening outside! I just wanted to send a quick update on how my week off from working out has been going. I kept really busy all week outside of work so I really didn’t miss working out. But today when I was preparing for my cycling class tomorrow morning, I really wanted to work out. I think it’s because I know I will work out again tomorrow, but I really miss it! I needed this week off and (shocker!!) I didn’t gain 10 pounds! I learned to listen to my hunger cues more and not worry about whether or not I needed to eat before and after my workout (I probably don’t need to most days). Hopefully I can remind myself to think back to this week off when I am struggling with eating/working out. I also really enjoyed spending the extra time with Nate. I feel like we don’t spend enough time together and it was so nice to be with him all night during the week!

Anyway, today, I went to lunch with my old gf Christine and her baby Zoey! Isn’t she a doll?!


Zoey and I at Hunan’s

We went to Hunan’s which is where Christine worked in high school! She wouldn’t let me take a picture of her. She is getting married in July in Florida and since it’s the same day as Tana’s and I’m in Tana’s, I won’t be able to make it. 😦 Bummer, but she is having a reception in August back here! This summer is going to be crazy with weddings!

So, I do have a super easy recipe for a nice detox drink that I have every morning. I stole this recipe from Kasey at Powercakes and it’s now a staple in my diet! I’ve got my roomie Amber and my friend Susan hooked on it too!

ACV Morning Mixer


  • 8-16oz water
  • 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 10-14 drops vanilla liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals)
Ingredients minus lemon

Ingredients minus lemon

Mix in a container, add ice and drink 30 minutes before breakfast!

photo (79)

Enjoy! I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m out!


Focus: Body, Mind, & Spirit

First I want to recap the weekend. GRIT on Thursday was awesome! We had a pretty good turnout and everyone got a GREAT workout in! Saturday morning, we did the Mud Factor out at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna. Let’s start at the beginning. Jack woke us up at like 6:30 so I was already SO tired. It was 37, raining, and 15-20mph winds from the North. We were all secretly trying to talk each other out of it! It had snowed and rained pretty much all week, so we knew it was going to be EXTRA muddy…and it was. When we got to Vala’s, we went to register and realized it was even colder than we had thought. We again tried talking each other out of it, but just decide to hell with it. We started pretty much right at 10 and I immediately forgot how freaking cold it was outside! I was having SUCH a good time! The obstacles started out easy: jumping over huge holes in the ground or over big cylinder containers. Then came the tough ones. We had to go over tall ladder type things. We had ones at angles, ones straight up and down where you used a rope to get over, we had a skate ramp we had to run up. And remember it was muddy as shit! Oh it was SO fun. I can’t wait to do it again. I’m a little sore in my hip flexors and the muscles in my foot, but it reminded me that I am NOT broken anymore and I can do this!

Back up to Friday, I was talking to my girlfriend Tana and she was asking me how I possibly fit in work, teaching classes, doing my own workouts, cooking, cleaning, AND actually spending time with my husband. I really didn’t even have an answer. It made me stop and think about how much time I actually do spend at the gym and not at home with Nate. That’s what prompted me to take the ENTIRE WEEK OFF from the gym. Last time I did this? Who even knows. This week I am focusing on my mind, body, and spirit. I want to love myself without spending all those hours in the gym. I’m not going to gain 10 pounds. It’s going to be difficult because I LOVE working out, but I just think my body needs the break. Plus, this is going to be a great week to get some quality time spent with Nate. Yesterday was day one of not working out and Nate and I got SO much done in our yard! I will have to post some pics. Then he grilled dinner for us and we watched Silver Linings Playbook. I am so glad he talked me into staying up until 10:15 because the movie was amazing. The rest of the week is supposed to be rainy, so I’m hoping we can have more chill nights together. Tonight, I am going to make him spaghetti and then we’re going to Ironman 3!

How I’m feeling:

Since it’s only been really one day, I’m doing pretty well. I am not worrying about getting enough to eat before or after my classes/workouts and that’s what I want. I usually don’t like working out on Mondays anyway, so it was easy to say no to the gym. I’ll keep track of how I feel these next few days to see if I am succeeding at focusing on “body, mind, and spirit”.

I’ll keep you posted. I’ll be back tomorrow with some pictures!


Tabatas and a New Challenge

Hey! So this week has already been crazy busy and it’s only going to get crazier! I have lunch with a friend for her 29th birthday (not sure how many 29th’s she’s had already…15 maybe? ha) and then meeting with a couple girls to go over boot camp plans for this summer! Tomorrow is FINALLY the first day of GRIT launch! I am SO excited for it to finally be here! I am teaching GRIT Strength at 5:15am tomorrow morning (yikes) and then helping with GRIT Plyometric tomorrow evening and Friday morning. Friday after work, we are heading to Omaha so I can get ready for the Mud Factor on Saturday morning. Not sure what I signed up for…I’m a little nervous! Especially since I haven’t run three miles in almost two years. Anyway, I will post about GRIT launch and my race when it happens!

Monday, I was really in the mood to work hard in the gym and even though I teach a Tabata class every week, I don’t do it full-out myself since I have to watch form/technique during class. So I made up an AWESOME cardio and strength tabata that had me completely drenched.

First of all, Tabata is a high intensity interval training workout where you do 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest following for 8 cycles for a total of 4 minutes. I rested 30 seconds in between each Tabata and I did 7 total Tabatas. Here’s my workout:

Cardio and Strength TABATA

Warm-up: 10 min on Stair Stepper

Tabata 1 Cardio:

(alternate between moves)

Burpees & Jumping Jacks

Tabata 2 Strength:

Push-ups & Walking lunges

Tabata 3 Cardio:

High Knees & Side to Side Leaps

Tabata 4 Strength:

Dumbbell Rows (15#) & Squat w/ OH Press (10# ea hand)

Tabata 5 Cardio:

Jump Squats & Mountain Climbers

Tabata 6 Strength:

Reverse Lunges & One-legged pull-ins

Tabata 7 Abs:

Full Sit-ups & Side plank w/ pulse (Alt. sides)

Cooldown: stretch


So I have no idea how to get there to not be spaces in between each line. I even did it in word and copy/pasted it and it still ended up like this. Oh well no one reads this anyway ha!

I am also doing a plank challenge for the month of May!


I saw this on Instagram last night and jumped all over it! I really hope I can hold a 5 min plank by the end of the month. I will check in on my progress!

That’s all for now since I am annoyed with my lack of technology skills.