If you’re new to Strong Like My Coffee, this is a good place to start! I’m Kenzie, a 23 year-old personal trainer with a passion for creativity, photography, cooking and baking, fitness, long-distance running, reading blogs, & country music. And COFFEE, which goes without saying.

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In May, I graduated from Northern Arizona University where I competed for its NCAA D1 Track & Cross Country team and earned my degree in Marketing with an emphasis in Communications. Post-grad life (moving, job searching, working full-time, and finding balance) has turned my world upside down. But it also strengthened my belief that health & fitness will always be at the center of my life. I was offered a position after graduation with an international food manufacturing company at its corporate headquarters in Southern California. A combination of the standard computer/desk job, the 2 hours I spent commuting each day, and the negative office atmosphere drove me to pursue my personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.


Personally, my happiness is cultivated through interaction and sharing with others – not through the size of my paycheck. Exercise has helped improve my self-confidence, body image, and overall mental and physical strength more than anyone will know, and I hope to share that amazing feeling with others.


The blog Strong Like My Coffee was created in 2012. The summer after my freshman year of college, I was recovering from a major facial surgery that left me temporarily paralyzed on the left side of my face and unable to train for my upcoming cross country season. Anyone who has participated in any athletic program knows how frustrating it can be to be side-lined for an extended period of time. I decided to put my energy into creating a blog where I could share my healthy recipes and workout motivation with other like-minded college girls. Thanks to the power of Pinterest, thousands of readers found my little blog and allowed me to collaborate with national companies like Quest Nutrition, Chobani, BetterBody Foods, and more.

Amazing Healthy Pineapple Boats with Fried Quinoa Recipe on Strong Like My Coffee blog  Stronglikemycoffee.com

Four years later, here we are! What started as a “healthy college girl blog” has evolved, just like everything in life does. I’ve graduated college, I’ve finished my collegiate athletic career and begun my new career, I’ve undergone 7 more surgeries and I’ve learned about finding balance in our busy lives. Strong Like My Coffee will always stay mostly centered around health, fitness, nutrition and travel; I’m not one broadcast my love life (or lack thereof), my work life or any family drama on the internet. But as a marketing student, I love having a platform to engage, interact and share what I’m passionate about. It is 2016 and we millennials have an innate need to publicly document our lives more than ever. ;) IMG_8443

I’m not trying to convert anyone into a long distance runner, a body builder, or a strict “clean eater.” Fitness includes such a variety of activities, which are constantly changing and evolving. It’s about finding something you enjoy and making time for yourself, working towards your own goals, whether they are weight-related or not, and making your day a little brighter!

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I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to leave me any comments below or follow me on instagram.

XOXO Kenz.


  1. Susan Campbell

    You are such an inspiration for those people wanting to live active and healthy lives. I can see why your parents are so proud of you. I see nothing but success in your future.

  2. Your story is so interesting! I can’t wait to stay updated with your workouts and health progress.

  3. Haleigh Anderson

    Kenzie this blog is great! You have always been so passionate about everything you do and even in our Gage days you had a desire for life that couldn’t be satisfied. I am so happy to see you’ve been doing so great in college and I wish you a great year and speedy recovery, not that it should be hard for the fastest girl I know! :D

  4. Kenzie, this is amazing! I already bookmarked it :)

  5. Jillian Donahue

    I’m not sure if your mom has ever spoken about me, but my dad and your dad used to work together years and years ago, and your mom was my babysitter at some point. She probably has a better memory of ages and stuff for back during that time, but I remember meeting you for the first time during a beach trip. You were a tiny little toddler running around in the sand. I was probably around 12 at the time. You have grown into such a beautiful soul, and I am so happy that you are making and will continue to make excellent choices in your life. Your blog is incredible. You are truly the product of a very strong upbringing. I have always loved your parents, and I can’t wait to continue to watch you develop throughout your college journey. Congrats on all your accomplishments.

    • Hi Jill, yes my mom has mentioned you after you guys connected on facebook :) Thank you so much for the compliments, and for reading my posts! I appreciate it :) (I think I had pretty great upbringing too!) I will have more exciting things to blog about once I start school again in a week :)

  6. Granbdma Estes

    Not only am I your Grandma, I am a great admirer of yours. Hopefully we can get together for coffee & some of your homemade goodies, when you come back to So.Cal for winter break.
    Take care and don’t over do it. Love ya

  7. Wow love your blog, and hope you’re back running faster than ever! :-)

  8. I ran across your blog somewhere out there in the blogosphere. :) I really like it. Great blog! :)

  9. Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award :). Check it out here: http://inspireandindulge.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/humble-beginnings-my-1st-award/

  10. I just wanted you to know that I really enjoy reading your blog and it is very inspiring. Sooooo.. I have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blogger Award”. You can check out the rules on my current post http://lizforaday.com/2012/09/18/fantabulous-day-146-and-the-award-goes-to-omg/

    Congratulations! :)

  11. Just stopped by to tell you how much you ROCK!!! I’ll be sticking around for a bit … ;) Keep up all of your great work!

  12. I have nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” You can get details from http://www.lizforaday.com/award-very-inspiring-blogger-award/. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to respond. I know it is like doing homework. :)

  13. Love your blog! And I hope everything goes well with your surgeries and you look beautiful in all your pictures! Xx

  14. Heyya. I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award, check it out here: http://hazelawkitreviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/the-versatile-blogger-award/. Good day! c”,

  15. Hey Kenzie, you are such an inspiration to me and others, so I wanted to nominate you for The Versatile Blogger award! Thanks for sharing your story and motivating others.

  16. hey! so I found your “college grocery list” on pinterest months ago, and finally took a look at your blog today.. instant inspiration. I made your blog my homepage (is that creepy? sorry) and i just started my own wordpress blog. i definitely will be going through your blog again and making notes, taking tips, and inspiring myself to become healthier. just wanted to let you know that you’re really helping me kickstart my healthy life, and to thank you!

    • Wow thank you! I would say that is more “flattering” than “creepy” ;) I will definitely check out your blog. Congrats on deciding to healthify your lifestyle, I am always so happy to hear people becoming inspired to prioritize their health!

  17. You are seriously so inspirational!! I love your blog! Thanks so much for your effort and passion about health

  18. I have a Maltese too! Sooooo cute!

  19. you are beautiful and so is your blog! Thanks for the inspiration =)

  20. I loved this, hope the surgeries went well after all it is 2014 now.

  21. Kenzie,

    Love your blog AND your story. How can I email you about maybe working with you?

  22. I am so glad to have come across this blog! I’m a new college student-athlete (track) so this blog is very inspirational to me. Thanks so much, God bless :)

  23. Have you tried the weekly box called Graze? if so, have you any thoughts on it?

    – Michelle

  24. I just found your blog, and I love it !!!!!! You’re truly an inspiration. I’m a dancer, but I’d like to consider myself an athlete, and your grocery lists and recipes have been so helpful. I’ve been really trying hard to be healthier, and your blog has been helping so much.

  25. I’ve never been much of a blog reader… but I came across your blog this morning, and I love it! I’m also a collegiate track athlete, and am going into my junior year. This will be my first year not in the dorms and living in an apartment, and I’m super excited to try out some of your recipes! :) Thanks for all your tips!

  26. just found your blog! i also am a california native, obsessed with coffee and country music.

    keep it up! xoxo

  27. Your blog popped up as second choice on google when I typed in Healthy meal plans for college students, and I have to say I am very impressed by your blog. Don’t know why I haven’t found it sooner! I’m mostly impressed my your College Girl’s Meal Plan and will definitely be using it. I’m not very active, because I’m an extremely busy college student living in the city, but your blog makes me feel inspired to start. Your new blogger fan from Toronto, Canada. :)

  28. As always Kenzie, I love reading your Blogs…. You are a true inspiration and look forward to seeing you visit here in Boise again, soon! :)

    Take care.

  29. Help Kenzi, this my first experience with a blog! Good to find out how life is going for you, and I like the recipes. I hope all is well for you.

  30. Welcome back Kenzie! I’ve missed you….. Oh, and after 5 more days —– Welcome to Idaho and Welcome Home! See you soon, Gay

  31. Hi Kenzie,
    I’ve been reading your blog for probably a year or so and I love all of your posts. We have a lot of the same interests especially coffee and fitness.
    I’m actually currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda and have been thinking about getting my personal trainer certification when I get back to the US. I wanted to hear what you thought of going through NASM. Also I was wondering if you had any good reads around the topics of personal training, firness, etc.
    Well I’m glad you’re posting again!

    ~Erika :)

    • Hi Erika! My favorite part of blogging is connecting with people who share the same interests! :) I think I will write and full NASM review and recommendations post for the end of this week. Thank you!

  32. Great blog, my college son was asking me for some healthy snack suggestions and I came upon your blog….Nice work, lots of good suggestions.

  33. Girl I love your blog! I just found it yesterday and it’s a wealth of valuable information. Thanks for the great posts. Where have you been? Come back and blog more!!

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