Healthy Body and Mind = Healthy Relationship

Hi Coffee Cardio and Cake readers! I’m Lynne and I blog at I first want to say CONGRATULATIONS! to Ashley and Neal on their wedding and marriage! I can’t wait to read all about it when she’s back in the blogging swing!

Ashley and I were Foodie Pen Pals a while back and I immediately identified with her blog – we were both planning weddings, striving to eat healthy and keep up with a fitness routine! When she asked me to guest post, I immediately said YES!

Today, I want to share with you a few changes I made when my fiance, Alex, moved in to stay healthy and happy.

1. Cooking Dinners and Packing Lunches. Alex moved in with me in September 2011. We spent the previous 2+ years in long distance relationship – I was in Denver, he lived in Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Fort Myers (FL). While we were apart, we’d see each other for long weekends or, if we were lucky, a week at a time.

(Kayaking in Tampa, FL!)

Because we didn’t see each other very often, we made sure to maximize our time together – and this meant eating out! Trying the restaurants and bars we’d be waiting to try with the other person. Unfortunately, when Alex moved in, the all-the-time eating out didn’t stop; it had become our ‘norm’ to eat out together. Too much eating out is not good for the body and mind. So in January, we committed to cutting back on our eating out and gave the Paleo method of eating a try. (Paleo is eating as a cave(wo)man would eat – fresh veggies, fruit, lean meats).

We saw immediate benefits to our bodies (goodbye bloat!) and mind (hello energy!). Cooking our own meals and loosely following Paleo worked for us and we shifted from eating meals out to grilling chicken, fish and veggies. We’re learning it’s easy to make food at home that’s healthy AND tasty!

2. Healthy Food Swaps. With the shift to eating at home, we knew we had to make some simple dietary changes as well. It’s great to eat at home and pack lunches but not if we’re still eating garbage food choices!

Just a few small changes in what we buy goes a long way to keeping us healthy and happy. Some simple swaps we made:

  • Greek yogurt for sour cream. I’ve been loving on Greek yogurt for a while but Alex resisted. One night,I made tacos and gave him plain Chobani to use instead of real sour cream…and that is the moment he converted. There are myriad of ways to swap Greek yogurt – check out Chobani Kitchen for reciepes!
  • Veggie ‘spaghetti’. This winter, my friend Lauren turned me on to spaghetti squash – it was a revelation! ‘Pasta’ that is actually a veggie! Recently, I made cucumber ‘linguine’ (below). I’ve also read about Cauliflower ‘rice’ – next on our list to try!
  • Potato chips for popchips. Popchips are the bomb – they contain all natural ingredients, are popped not fried and taste great! The individual bags are 100 calories but actually leave you feeling satisfied. I love the Original flavor – salt and crunch!
  • Full fat ice cream. Yep, you read that right! Let’s face it – we all need a sweet treat every once in a while. I started buying ‘diet’ or sugar-free ice cream, thinking it was better for us. Did you know that ON THE LABEL of sugar free ice cream, there’s a warning that ‘too much consumption can cause anal leakage’? Gross but true. We threw that ice cream out and bought the full fat ice cream (Graeters, from our hometown!). It’s higher in calories so we eat smaller portions but it has all-natural, all-pronoucable ingredients. And no anal leakage.

(Paleo Clam ‘Linguine’)

3. Get Active. The week after Alex moved in, I had back-to-back knee surgeries. We spent a lot of the winter holed up on the couch because I was on crutches and it was pretty hard to get around.

Once I got off my crutches, though, we ramped up our exercise. Exercising is much more fun with someone else and can even bring couple closer together! (Source) Instead of hitting the gym together, we’ll go for a bike ride to the park, take our dog on a long walk or hike in the mountains. Alex even signed up to run/walk my first post-surgery 5k with me!

It doesn’t matter what you do – just get active! Walk, run, bike, hike, swim, kayak, climb, whatever! If you or your partner are just getting into fitness, maybe find something that’s new to both of you (broomball, anyone?) and learn together!

(Hiking St. Mary’s Glacier in March)

Not all exercise has to be together, though. It’s also important to support the other person’s active interests – Alex loves to play basketball and I love yoga. Neither of us want to participate in the other’s sport but we support and encourage each other’s ‘work out’ time. Healthy body = healthy mind = healthy relationship!

Living with someone means big changes to just about every facet of both of your lives. With a few small tweaks, it’s easy to keep the food healthy and life active. Healthy body & mind = healthy relationship!


  1. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinining says

    Yay it’s Lynne! I totally agree about the full fat ice cream- I’d much rather have a little bit of the REAL thing than some chemical imitation!

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