Healthy Lifestyle Changes and SmartyPants Vitamins Giveaway!

Enter my SpartyPants Vitamins giveaway and have the best of healthy living and satisfying your sweet tooth! Over the past few months, there have been some sizable changes in how I go about living as healthfully as possible. I thought I would share some of those healthy living changes and decisions that I have made and give you a chance to win your own healthy living change in the form of SmartyPants gummy vitamins!

I was given the opportunity to review and giveaway Smartypants Vitamins through my association with Sweat Pink. All opinions are my own!

Have you entered to win a Moto 360 Sport Watch yet? What are you waiting for? This is for way more than just fitness and running! I am linking up with Jill for Fitness, Healthy, and Happiness as well as Gretchen and Kristen for What’s New with You? A brand new link up (that goes up on Thursday, but I am now cohosting Running Coaches’ Corner, so coming a bit late!

Recent reality checks have meant making Healthy Lifestyle Changes. Find out how and enter to the Smartypants Vitamins Giveaway! @suzlyfe

Health Concerns Over the Past 6 Months

Since breaking my back in the fall, meeting with a clinical nutritionist in December, and having my colonoscopy and first fertility appointment in February, I have been through a number of major reality checks with regards to my healthy living strategies and my health in general. During the summer, I pretty much just let the focus of my lifestyle be running and marathon training, but I knew that major changes were coming immediately after the marathon.

Banana Holster in a Flip Belt Runner

My Flipbelt Banana Holster

Status of my Crohn’s Disease?

Only a few days after the Chicago Marathon, I met with my Gastrointerologist and we took labs and made the decision to take me to a mono-therapy, rather than the dual therapy that I had been on: I stopped doing my weekly shots of Methotrexate (which I have to be off of to get pregnant) and am now just on Remicade, my infusion that I have been on for 14 years). We scheduled a colonoscopy for mid-February (about 3 months after I went off the Methotrexate) in order to check if my body could handle being off of the drug. 

Bone Health?

When we discovered in December that I had a sacral stress fracture, the first thought (taking into account the fact that I had a stress reaction in my tibia in the spring) was that my bone health had further degraded. I had been diagnosed as osteopenic several years ago, so we scheduled a DEXA Bone Density Scan to see where I was/am at currently, and if this was the reason for my injuries.

Nutrient Absorption?

Beyond, but taking into account concerns for, my bone health, we had new concerns for my ability to absorb nutrients. I was still rating as rather anemic (low blood iron), and we wanted to check on my other levels. Thus, after consulting with the clinical nutritionist, I did a Thyroid test and Nutrient Panel to see how well my tissue rather than my blood nutrients rated (see that post for greater explanation as to why this test is important). 


Another stress-related injury, how did it happen? Where was I going wrong? I am still not getting a period, why is this happening?

OMG YAY not meme grumpy cat


The biggie. A priority of mine for this year is to work hard on starting a family. Now that the Boston Marathon is off the table, we are moving up our timeline to get started. We needed the results of all of the tests that I have taken over the past few months as well as taking a step back from training to see if I would get a period (I didn’t) to know what steps to take next.

Healthy Living Assessment and Healthy Lifestyle Changes

So, what did we find, what decisions did we make, and how are we changing things going forward?

Crohn’s Disease

I am so freaking happy to announce that I am in remission! That doesn’t mean that my Crohn’s Disease is gone–biopsies still show low grade Crohn’s, I could flare at any time, and I will continue to be on my medications (Prevacid, Remicade). But I am in the best possible position that I could hope to be for a person with my type of Crohn’s (one that cannot be surgically solved).

Bone Health

Turns out, I have the healthiest bones I’ve had in years! Through my healthy living, eating, my marathon training, and diligent work at gaining weight and working on my overall health, I have reversed the deteriorated state of my bone and am now at normal bone health!

hooray cat meme

And it turns out, I just ran the marathon too hard. RUN THE RACE YOU TRAIN FOR!

Nutrient Absorption

The nutrient panel was stunning: I am the picture of health. I am a bit low on a few things, but the markers that we were really worried about (calcium and bone health nutrients) were spot on. Still, the clinical nutritionist recommended a few new supplements for me, which I will talk about in a minute.


To go from running 30-40 (or more) miles a week to NONE has been quite a change. After a month of biking, we put me on no impact at all, and I lifted only for several weeks, then added in the hand bike (which does basically nothing, but at least you feel like you are doing something). Since I have returned to activity that engages my pelvis and sacro-iliac joint, I have reintroduced exercise biking and elliptical, and most recently, the Alter-G has brought running back into my life! I have also started walking again. I am going to Physical Therapy 2x a week and doing my exercises on my own as well as doing 45 minutes -1 hour of elliptical or city walking throughout the week, but not at an aggressive pace for either. 

Get #MOTOvated with this Hill Walking Workout that is perfect for coming back from injury or taking a day off of running during marathon training #CoachSuz @suzlyfe |


We have started the fertility journey! Regardless of the changes in activity and the weight that I have (consciously) put on since the start of last summer (I have talked before about how I use marathon training to help me gain weight), I still have not regained my period (TMI, but deal with it). After blood tests and talking with my doctor, who is a endocrinology and fertility specialist in gynecology (basically, smartypants is RIGHT), we have concluded that the likelihood of me getting back my period on my own is very low–my brain simply doesn’t produce and receive the necessary hormonal triggers properly. Believe me, if it was as easy as eating more and doing less, I would! But we have tried, and it hasn’t happened, even after months. We are trying one more cycle before going to Clomid.

Trying out a New Vitamin Regimen (Smartypants Vitamins)

When I met with the nutritionist, we assessed that I was in great standing, but that I could do a few things better, namely, Vitamin C and a better Multivitamin. So I have started taking a new high potency Vitamin C (trust me, Emer-gen-C wasn’t going to cut it. I asked). She also put me on a new comprehensive multivitamin pack, one which focused on Omega-3’s and prenatal vitamins (I was already on folic acid, but this was a bit different). That was all fine and great, until I lost my job and realized that there is a limit, even for me, to the number and size of pills that I can take. It takes me 3 gulps to get everything down. #aintgonnahappen

Office No Meme

Thankfully, that was right around the time of my colonoscopy, aka perfect time to change up my pills, and right when I received my package of Smartypants Vitamins

Smartypants Vitamins Womens Complete gummies are a delicious source of complete nutrition! Find out more at

Let me just say, the fact that I can get all of the Vitamins of the other pack (including Omega 3s and Vitamin D3!) in 6 GUMMIES (noms) vs 3 CHOKES of pills (blegh), that makes this whole process so very much easier. I am going through a lot right now: looking for a permanent job, preparing myself to start a family, and working hard to get back to running (for pleasure, not for training at the moment!), that I seriously couldn’t deal with the prospect of those pills. 

You could choke on regular giant vitamins or chew on delicious Smartypants vitamin gummies! I think the choice is clear! @suzlyfe

I think the choice is clear! Also, I love that they have no aftertaste, there is a men’s complete, kid options, and even a prenatal (which I am totally getting next). Remember how you used to eat Flintstone’s Vitamins as a kid? Smartypants vitamins put those to shame.

Health + Fun (and tasty candy goodness!) in one? Sounds like a perfect marriage to me!

Get up to date on @suzlyfe's #healthy lifestyle changes and win @smartyhealth vitamins! #thegoodgummy Click To Tweet

Win your own! Smartypants, Sweat Pink, and I are giving away Smartypants vitamins to a lucky reader! Enter below, Giveaway closes in one week (ends midnight of March 11th).

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Tell me: what healthy lifestyle changes are on your radar?

Chew delicious vitamins or swallow horse pills?

  1. I do not knock up very easily either, troubles with every time. I guess that was good for high school, but was stressful when I wanted to start a family — bwhahahhahha I JOKE about high school I won’t give you any cliche advice . . but jsut glad to hear other body parts are getting healthier 🙂 and soon everything should fall into place

  2. Congrats on the healthy bones and yay for your Chron’s being in remission. I do hope the fertility process goes well and a bun is in the oven soon. I went through infertility many many years ago and I remember it is such an emotional roller coaster. I’m praying for you

  3. congrats on such good news for your chrons and bones! that is awesome. i was sick when i was (much) younger and lost my period for about a year or so. it was definitely as simple as gaining weight for me, but i certainly know that is not the case for everyone. i hope you are able to get your period back soon, naturally or not. i am not a fan of taking any kind of vitamin or tablet if i can help it haha. the gummies seem like a great alternative! thanks for linking up with Gretch and I!

  4. Last night I had a private consult with an athlete with chrons- it was my first time working with someone with IBD and it made me think of you- so glad you have great news to report on that front. Vitamin pills always make me sick but I can tolerate the gummy ones much more, plus they’re delicious!

    • I hope that they are doing well! Let me know if you have any questions about how to help them–sometimes we can be a “special breed” lol

  5. I’m glad to hear that your bone health and nutrient panel are both strong! The road to fertility sounds like it will be an adventure, I hope all goes well! And yes, having vitamins that you can chew vs. swallow is always a good thing!

  6. Man girl talk about a complete and total flip for you in regards to health! Congrats on Chrons being in remission, the healthy bones and incredible healthy body in general. You really are the best example of what a patience, faith and a healthy lifestyle can do. The fact that you have totally reversed and flipped your body around to its healthier self is such an incredible testament to who you are!!

    • Thank you thank you! It’s been quite a journey, and a lot of hard work. But I am so glad that I have gone through it, in many ways–I now feel truly ready for whatever comes next.

  7. So many changes! So many good changes! I’m so happy to hear that your so healthy and all is pretty much good with you. I haven’t heard of this brand of vitamins before, thanks for sharing.

  8. Sounds like you are completely winning! Remission is one of those hard to understand things because people do not understand. I’m on Enbrel for life (or until it stops working) and it pushed my disease into remission. A lot of people don’t understand how scary it still is, the disease went nowhere, it’s just sleeping. Sometimes it still grumbles, but in general it is no longer actively killing me, still doesn’t mean I’m normal.
    My health, I guess I have a couple areas I could improve. In general, I kind of want to not take it so seriously for a while. As an engineer I like to run with numbers and see the most efficient way to do everything. My diligence led to my last weight loss. It also has led to me hitting my training milestones. However, it is a double edged sword. I’ve had to track every aspect of everything having to do with my body for most of my life, I want to keep my eyes peeled for problems, but for a little bit maybe I can let down my guard and relax. Part of that goes to my weight, I haven’t gained any fat in problem areas but I’ve put on 5 pounds since I stopped weighing myself in January. However, I’ve been eating more and my performance is going through the roof. I’m taking it as that and not paying it any mind. Right now, I just need to focus on my race and enjoying myself.

    • Yes, yes, yes. We understand each other perfectly.
      And on the weight–carbs and fluid and muscle will do that. It will even out.

  9. Getting all those positive markers must be a load off your back! I know it feels great to be told you’re in great health, but also frustrating if you still cannot conceive on your own. All things considered, there are worse things and you seem to be in great spirits 🙂 Hopefully you’ll be back to running soon!

  10. I first found the fertility journey to be so scary and overwhelming, and then one day I looked around at the literally hundreds of women coming in and out during the time I was there. I realized I wasn’t alone. And soon I started finding out so many people I know had similar and yet different paths. Best of luck in your journey.

  11. Suz I love this update! I’m so glad you have options to help you with regaining your period and can work on the family stuff now. Your pregnancy posts are going to be hilarious, I can already tell! These gummies sound AMAZING! Going to tell my clients about them too!

    • OMG, I’m going to be the most ridiculous pregnant person. EVER. There may not even be any gummies left for your clients because I might just eat all of them.

  12. I’m glad to hear that you’re bones and Crohns are in such good health! I emphasize so much with you on the no period despite overall health aspect. It’s frustrating enough and I can’t imagine how hard it is when you want a baby. Praying and sending you hugs that you get one or that Clomid goes well.

  13. Once again, so very happy to hear that your health seems to be in a good place. Now hopefully the docs can get your fertility issues in hand so you can make the behbehs! I personally love gummy vitamins, but have a hard time remembering to take any kind of vitamin, be it gummy or pill. I’ve started keeping a bottle of multivitamins in my desk at work because I usually remember some time in the middle of the day that I didn’t take anything in the morning. It’s quite helpful.

    • Thank you, Rae. That’s a good idea, actually–especially because it doesn’t really matter all too much when you take a multi.

  14. Glad your bones and health are doing great. Good luck on the fertility journey! I love taking gummy vitamins-it makes it so I never forget them!

  15. Well this may sound dumb and obvious to most people but the hugest change I have made as of late is adding in core work. I started doing planks and bridges after I had that brutal back injury. That injury taught me that my body can run 100 miles (so my legs and heart must be in amazing shape) but since I can’t even bend over to pick up my baby who is only 23 lb, then I’ve got a lot of core work to do.

    I took Clomid! I just remember really feeeeeeling ovulation. I felt like I was super-ovulating.

      • I was giving Callum a bath when I read your response and laughed out loud SO HARD. You’re actually hilarious. Most people think they’re funny when they’re dull as fuck, but Susie, you kill me. I want to see you in that cape SO BAD. And dip it in chocolate so that if it doesn’t work, at least you’ll have a snack.

    • Thank you so much! I eat so many vitamins and nutritious foods, it is amazing that I could get or need any more, but there are some complex vitamins that you just can’t get in!

    • Thanks girl 😀 You know I never review something that doesn’t fit into my life! I am over gummy bears after eating 2 bags of them during colonoscopy prep. And these are far more delicious.

  16. Congrats on your improvements. These sound so helpful. I can’t swallow pills.. I have too many issues to count.

  17. Oooh, I got a sample of these once and they taste like candy which is fabulous (says the girl who is currently stuffing face with skittles that she liberated from her boss’s office when they weren’t looking). I too hate swallowing things and the gummy option is perfect.

  18. Gummy vitamins for the win! So much great news in here 🙂
    I had a sigmoidoscopy and ct scan and learned that my Crohn’s butt is being kicked by Remicade. But, that I have IBS. So yay and blah. It is what it is though.

      • I agree but at the same time I am really not THAT stressed. I had a few months warning and will be paid several months severance so on one hand, yes the whole – what is my next step part is stressful – but on the other…I have a LOT of time before I will be in panic mode.
        I had similar issues for years prior to my diagnosis it is just so hard to determine Crohn’s vs IBS. Silly gut stuff.

  19. Such great news to hear regarding your health!!! And *Praise* for your remission. I know this upcoming adventure will be amazing for you. One day at a time. Thank you for sharing! By the way, I love SmartyPants vitamins!

  20. For me, the big things seem to always be stress, anxiety and sleep. Trying for less of the first two and more of the last, but of course not easy! I am actually excited to run Boston and REST from running for at least a month afterwards, I think I’ve been mentally burned out on it for awhile.

  21. I’d send you all my fertility vibes, but I don’t actually have any, so I’ll just send you positive thoughts for a smooth and short journey.

    And I obviously need those vitamins. I need to up my B-12 and I suck at taking vitamins. I like gummies though…

  22. You know I love these gummy vitamins! 😛 (Yay for “candy!” :P)

    My biggest struggle right now is with consistency. Thanks, med school! 😛

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts! <3

  23. I only take vitamins if they are gummy (but then I only need vitamin D, which is thankfully easy to find in gummy form!)

  24. I need to try these vitamins – I am all about the gummies!
    Congrats on all the positive health news you’ve received! I hope it continues to get better for you especially as you try to start a family! <3

  25. girl, you know i can relate TO ALL! hormones, i run to GAIN weight, nutrient absorption, bones health, etc. SO SO important to track. And um, EAT SMART —SMARTY PANTS> GOsh I love those

  26. Yay for chron’s remission and better health overall!

    I only take a few supplements but luckily they’re small pills, haha! I HATE the huge horse pills that always feel like they get stuck in your throat – yuck!

  27. I am so happy for you with the news of your Crohn’s and bone health!! I’m sure your body will catch up as well when it comes to fertility. And I am ALL about taking gummies as your multivitamin (this from the woman who does gummi Bears as running fuel!! Ha ha)

  28. Wow, Suz, I’m finding this all very interesting. Whenever I get blood work taken, I also show up nearly completely healthy. Everything – except my hormones – are on spot (though I am upping vitamin D for my worrisome bone health) and so this gets a little frustrating in regards to wanting answers for some health concerns. I always assume the only option to regain my period is gain weight/do less, but I suppose there can always be other factors at play. Not sure if that makes me more worried or less, but still, really helpful to hear of someone else’s journey with bone health and loss of menstruation and fertility etc etc etc. Thanks for opening up about where you are with everything.

    • I would definitely go and talk to an endocrinologist, not just a gyn (extra bonus if you get an endo-gyn). There might be something beyond your control.

  29. I love Costco gummy vitamins. I’m always wondering if they’re actually vitamins. God is a mighty healer and Master of our bodies! I’ll be praying for your fertility journey and other health issues. <3

  30. Do you know if the vitamins contain gelatin? That is the bummer of “gummies” for us vegetarians :/

  31. Hey! So many great things and a great giveaway!! I understand your fertility struggles. I have been through it all. I’m blessed with three amazing kiddos, but I know the pain of infertility and still suffer from the loss of three sweet babies. Please be sure to do your research on Clomid before trying it. There were many things my doctor didn’t tell me, and while it worked amazing for me once…it was the reason for a TON of heartache and physical pain a second time. With my third baby I had to gain 10 lbs and I only did light exercising (no running). I used an herb called vitex along with evening primrose oil and after not having a period for 18 months I ovulated and got pregnant in 10 days after starting those two supplements. I have had other friends who’ve had success using them too. Might be a great natural thing to try before you take clomid and all the associated hormones that go along with it. Just some thoughts from someone who definitely understands what your’e going through! If you have any questions I’m totally an open book!

    • Thank you so much, Laura. I will definitely speak with my doctor about these options. I really appreciate your comment and concern!

  32. Gummy vitamins are my fav! Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m only allowed 2 😐

  33. I have been struggling with finding a way to eat healthier with my job, I go to lots of breakfast, lunches, and dinners where I dont have a choice on what to eat so its hard to get healthy options!

    • That is always so hard–I am right there with (as evident from my post today!). These will help fill in any nutrition gaps.

  34. My husband and I are working on changing our diet and we’ve got him on a heavy vitamin/supplement routine. We’re hoping to take improve some of his health issues through natural means.

  35. I love these vitamins and would definitely like to win some. I’m trying to lose weight and eat/be healthier this year. I’ve cut back on my breads and am eating smaller portions.

    • Good luck! I think we all have issues with portion sizes–figuring out what keeps you satiated without going overboard is important.