Friday faves 16: Whole30 edition

September 23, 2016

Heyyyy! Friday is here! Get excited!


I’ve got some fun things planned for the weekend, including my very first Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. It’s a 5k, 2,000 meter row, and 300 rep weight challenge. I’m oddly excited about it. Oh, and it starts at 6 AM on Saturday! Yikes.


Today’s post is inspired by all things Whole30. I’d love to know what you are loving lately.


Friday faves 16: Whole30 edition

SuperSeedz gourmet pumpkin seeds – loving these right now. The “somewhat spicy” ones definitely have a kick, but they are great mixed in with other nuts. Note: not every kind is Whole30 approved so make sure you read the ingredients!

super seeds

Shredded coconut – I love the big flakes of coconut, but can never seem to find them unsweetened. I spotted these on a markdown shelf at The Fresh Market and scooped them up. I’ve been topping my chia pudding with these and tossing them with some nuts to make trail mix.

coconut flakes

Coconut aminos – what Paleo dreams are made of. Coconut aminos are a soy-free alternative to soy sauce. I use it for sauces and dressings. I also use it for dipping sushi.

Plantain chips – this is my go-to W30 snack now.

A Fit Mess

Kombucha – seriously refreshing and a great way to improve your good gut bacteria! Just sayin’ :).

A Fit Mess

Nello’s red sauce – you’d be surprised how many marinara sauces have sugar in them. I like Nello’s because it’s W30 approved and has only a few ingredients. Plus it tastes amazing!

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Apple season = the best.


Chia seeds – obviously, great for chia pudding, but I also add them to my meals and dressings for some added omega-3s and fiber.

Coconut milk – I’ve been using it in my coffee and to make sauces. Super duper tasty.


Mantova olive oil spray – I LOVE this spray. It doesn’t contain any harmful propellants or soy (hard to find in a cooking spray). I use it all.the.time.

Cashew butter – I’ve been going a bit overboard on this nut butter. I think I just need to finish it to get it out of the house. Yes, totally.


Cacao nibs – Cacao nibs provide a good dose of flavonoids, magnesium, calcium, and other fatty acids. They have a chocolately taste and provide a bit of crunch.


Whole30 approved cupcakes.…………just kidding. I wish these existed! I want to shove one in my face right now.

A Fit Mess


The end. What are you loving lately? Have a great weekend, folks!

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We need to start somewhere

September 22, 2016

I was finishing up at the gym the other day and two men came up next to meet and started to prepare for their workout. One guy was a total newbie and the other was coaching him through his program. I was on the floor stretching so I ended up watching them for a bit. The new guy didn’t have any experience at the gym. He seemed slightly uncomfortable and he was struggling with the workout, but he kept at it. It took everything in me not to high-five him and tell him he’s doing awesome. I was really impressed that he was putting himself out there, allowing himself to be vulnerable, pushing through for change. Essentially he was taking his first step towards better health and a longer life.


I bet we all know what it’s like to be in his position – maybe beginning something for the first time or maybe starting over again. Making the choice to change is difficult. It’s not easy to commit to changing something – whether it’s your appearance, health, relationships, or job. And taking that first step or two can be HARD.



Seeing this guy in the gym made me realize that we are all in his place at some point. We have a goal. We have a need. And yet we can’t start. Maybe it will hurt, maybe it will be uncomfortable, or maybe we don’t think we can. What if we fail? The negative self talk can bring us down. It can give us one million reasons why we shouldn’t do something. Maybe that’s why we can’t begin.


But we all have to start somewhere. We just need to start.


Taking one small step in the right direction can bring about so many positive things. I can recall several times in the last few years when I started something new in order to accomplish a goal or fill a need:


  • Training and running my first marathon.
  • Taking my first Orangetheory class.
  • Teaching myself how to knit by watching YouTube videos.
  • Learning about the Paleo diet and how to prepare/cook my own meals.
  • Finally making the choice to start a blog and share my life and thoughts with others.
  • Completing my first Whole30.


I love this article by Becoming Minimalist because it really encompasses how I feel. We can start big. We can start small. Just start somewhere.


Because even if we fail, we are making progress. Let’s give ourselves permission to start again. To start over as many times as needed. This is our journey.





“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

Walt Disney


“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

JK Rowling


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20 things you might not know about me

September 20, 2016
A Fit Mess

We’re still in the getting-to-know-you stage, right? Well, today I wanted to share a fun post that might help you get to know me better. I’d love to know some things about you, too, so play along below. Ready?


20 things you might not know about me


1.  I somehow managed to have two extra adult teeth in my mouth when I was younger. I had those – along with four additional teeth – pulled. No pain like teeth pulling pain.


2.  I am terrified of clowns. I blame this on my parents for letting me watch IT when I was a 8! #badparenting


3.  I won a regional storytelling contest when I was in middle school. It was kind of a big deal (for me). The story I told was “Wicked John and the Devil.” I can still recall parts of it! Ha Ha


4.  I was a french major in college for a hot minute before switching to business and then to law and finally to political science. I thought my advisor was going to kill me. I ended up minoring in business and then got my MBA.


5.  My favorite foods include: sushi, carrot cake, peanut butter, coffee, and wine (drinks can be food, right?)

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6.  When I was a toddler I bit into a tube of superglue and had to be taken to the ER to have my mouth pried open (I believe the doctors used a spoon). I’m not going to point fingers, but my dad was supposed to be watching me.


7.  99% of the time that I worry it’s about my kids.


8.  My idea of a perfect morning is to wake up early, drink coffee in a quiet house while I write, spend some time with my family having breakfast, and then get in a hard workout.

A Fit Mess

9.  My happy place is definitely the beach. I love the salty air. I visualize being at the beach when I need to relax.


10.  I’m not a natural blonde <— you didn’t know that, DID you?! 🙂


11.  Things I hate: balancing my checkbook, getting my oil changed, snow, and anything involving the DMV.


12.  My parents named all three of their children with an “A.” And our last name starts with an “A”. Real funny, mom and dad.


13.  I am technically from Niagara Falls, but I lived in Buffalo for several years before moving to NC. Yes, chicken wings and pizza are awesome in Buffalo. No, I don’t love snow (see #11).

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14.  I can make some really amazing Paleo desserts. My favorite is a chocolate peanut butter fudge tart.


15.  I have a problem spending money on workout clothes, sneakers, coffee, and Orangetheory.


16.  I once had to defend my thesis in college to three (male) political scientist professors, including the department chair. My topic? The Gender Gap in the House of Representatives – Why Women Don’t Have a Place at the Table. Talk about nervous.


17.  I still get carded for alcohol (Ok, I secretly love it).


18.  I could run all day on the treadmill, but put me in a pool and I can barely move. Swimming is HARD!


19.  My favorite places to kill an hour of time: Target, Nordstrom Rack, Starbucks, the gym!


20.  I love being a mom to two girls. Our house is 75% female. Oh, yeah!

A Fit Mess

Okay, now it;s your turn. Share one thing about yourself below. C’mon it’s fun!



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Whole30 update + last week’s workouts

September 19, 2016

Heyyyyy. Yep. It’s Monday. The weekend goes so fast, doesn’t it? Ours was pretty low key. Lots of time outside. Some workouts, including Orangetheory, plus lots of meal prep. One thing about Whole30 is you really need to be ready to spend lots of time in the kitchen prepping food. This isn’t as easy for me to do with two littles under foot. But I do what I can!


I’m feeling pretty great on Whole30. I’m now at the half way point *insert hallelujah hands emoji* and I’m starting the countdown. I recently gave an update on my first week so I thought I’d share how I felt in my second week. Days 8 – 10 were the toughest for me from a physical stand point. I felt really low energy, especially mid afternoon. I usually perk up after I get my lunchtime workout in, but I felt myself crashing around 3 pm. And the tendonitis in my foot also flared up which was bothersome. Luckily, it has since calmed down. I also had some annoying breakouts on my chest and back which I NEVER have, but it could have been due to the heat and humidity around here.


Fortunately, I feel like I’m over the hump now and I’m back to high energy and a good spirit.


Here are some of the positive things I’ve noticed:

  • I feel much less bloated and uncomfortable after my meals.
  • Sleep. has. been. awesome. Hit the pillow and sleep around 8 hours per night.
  • My mood has been great. I’ve been able to focus and feel fresh at work.
  • Around day 11 my energy picked up again and I am feeling great.


Things I miss:

Wine. WINE. I’m not sure if this is a parent thing or a just a life thing, but I really look forward to a glass of wine at the end of the day. It helps me relax and close out the day. I’m not gonna lie, I miss having wine the most. Ha Ha!


Dessert. I enjoy having something sweet and settling in with Netflix after the girls have gone to bed. Dark chocolate, a handful of trail mix, or some Paleo-ish sweet. I guess it’s good to break that routine of always wanting a sweet, but I still find myself having fruit and nut butter most nights.


Peanut butter. Because peanut butter.


Recent Whole30 eats:

My meals in week two were really tasty. Most mornings I had either eggs or chia pudding. Lunches were usually a salad with protein, and my dinners were a mixed bag. All really good.



Chia pudding mixed with 1/2 sweet potato and crushed raspberries, topped with coconut and almond butter.

A Fit Mess

Fried eggs with sauteed asparagus and peppers on the side.

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More eggs. These were topped with sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Sweet potato, tomatoes, and raspberries on the side. I ate eggs A LOT last week. We went through three cartons in our house. OOPS.




Chicken thighs made in the crockpot plus steamed broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Strawberries on the side.

chicken thighs

Leftover salad from lunch meeting out, topped with chicken thighs, cooked veggies, and nuts. I also added avocado after this photo was taken.

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Turkey chili mixed with spinach and served over roasted spaghetti squash. Apple on the side.

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Paleo turkey meatballs over zucchini noodles. OH MY SO GOOD.

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Baked chicken sausage over greens.

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Turkey burger with roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus on the side. I also had a slice of the almond flour crust pizza that Matt made. It was okay, but not as good as his usual batch. It was made with W30 approved ingredients, however, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to eat replacement items like pizza. 🙂

A Fit Mess



Last week’s workouts


Monday – upper body

2 rounds – triple sets

  • 15 reverse bicep curls
  • 15 standing tricep extensions
  • 15 upright rows


3 rounds – triple sets

  • 15 rope hammer curls (cable should be level with your feet/shins)
  • 15 tricep extensions with rope (cable should be up high)
  • 15 rope face pulls (cable level with face)


3 rounds – triple sets

  • 15 alternative bicep curls
  • 15 overhead tricep extensions
  • 15 lateral raises


3 rounds – triple sets

  • 15 plate hammer curls (I used a 25 lb. plate for all three movements)
  • 15 plate overhead extensions
  • 15 plate front raises



3 mile run


1 hour walk with girls (@ a toddler’s pace)



Friday – upper body

incline dumbbell press 3 x 12

standing shoulder press 3 x 12

Then complete 3 rounds of each super and giant set with no rest in between


  • 12 one arm overhead press (other hand on wall)
  • 15 kettle bell swings (I used a 30 lb. KB, but could have gone heavier)
  • 20 lying leg raises


  • 15 lateral raises
  • 15 upright rows
  • 15 v-ups


  • 12 overhead tricep pullover
  • 12 push ups
  • 24 dead bugs





Hot yoga 90 minutes


How was your weekend? Any September Whole30’ers out there?

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