5 ways motherhood has changed my views towards health and fitness

afitmess
March 2, 2017

 

Becoming a mom shifted my perspective about a lot of things. Like other parents, my views evolved and I gained new insight into many areas of my life. In particular, my views toward health and fitness changed quite a bit when I entered parenthood. Today I thought I’d share some of the ways my outlook on exercise and health has evolved and what I’ve learned along the way.  

 

1.  It’s about quality over quantity.

I used to spend over an hour at the gym most days (much of that time doing cardio). I thought more time spent working out meant better results. And I felt that if I couldn’t dedicate at least a full hour of time then it wasn’t really worth it.

 

After the girls were born, my time became limited. My workouts needed to be short and smart. Because I didn’t have a whole lot of time, I needed to be more thoughtful and focused with my exercise. I soon realized it’s more important what you do than how long you spend doing it. A twenty-minute workout can be just as effective – if not more – as an hour spent in the gym if you know how to properly structure your workout. I’m learning this right now with CrossFit. An eight-minute workout can seem like an eternity!

2.  Strength training yields faster results.

When I started to consistently strength train, I couldn’t believe the change in my body. It’s absolutely true that increasing your muscle mass will give you the lean, toned look you desire. Strength training increasing your metabolism, burns fat, and improves bone density. Using free weights or even your own bodyweight are great ways to achieve results. HIIT and Tabata workouts can be short and effective. Plus, they are easy to squeeze in during naps or when you only have a small amount of time to spare.

 

3.  Maintaining my health has new meaning. 

Now that I have children I am motivated even more to stay in good health. I’m not just exercising for my own benefit—I’m doing it for my family. Growing up without a mother was really difficult for me and it’s something I never want my kids to experience. Maintaining my health will help ensure I get to be there for the girls’ future and watch them grow up. I never want to miss a moment!

 

4.  Exercise makes me a better parent and person.

Unquestionably, exercise makes me a happier, more focused, and relaxed person. As someone who has struggled with anxiety my whole life, I’m certain that exercising has been key to maintaining my emotional health. Working out helps me balance stress and gives me an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety. I have also noticed that I’m able to process and work through issues during a run or workout. All of this translates into being a better mom, wife, friend, and person.

 

5.  It’s not a big deal to miss a day or two.

As a parent you can never anticipate the random things that will come up during your day. Your child gets sick or has to go to the doctor. A nap is missed or your sleep was horrible the night before. Sometimes you have to miss your workout and that’s okay. Obviously, my family is my first priority so if I need to skip a day or two then it’s no big deal. That’s life and you just have to roll with it.

 

I would love to know how your views towards health and fitness have changed over the years. Share below. 

 

 

 

{Recipe}: Baked honey garlic chicken wings

afitmess
March 1, 2017
A Fit Mess

Hey, there. I have a delicious and simple recipe to share with you guys this evening. It’s a variation of the Buffalo chicken wing recipe I posted last year, but…I must confess…I love this one way more! The combination of the sweet honey with the savory garlic is a match made in Heaven.

 

If you follow my weekend recaps then you know that most weekends include chicken wings, wine, and occasionally GF pizza. Unlike traditional chicken wings, these are oven-baked and marinated in a coconut oil base. The result is crispy, crunchy, and perfectly cooked wings. It’s definitely a step above your average chicken wing, yet so easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

A Fit Mess

 

Ingredients:

  • 24 chicken wings
  • 1 batch of garlic honey sauce (see below)
  • salt and pepper (for seasoning)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees and place baking rack at the top of the oven so it’s right below the heat.
  2. Remove wings from packaging and season with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until wings are crispy and a golden color.
  4. While the wings are baking, prepare the honey-garlic sauce.
  5. After the wings are finished cooking, remove from the oven and toss in the sauce.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

 

Garlic honey sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

 

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over low-medium heat until all the ingredients have been combined.

 

Stitch Fix #22: May finds

afitmess
May 11, 2016
May Stitch Fix

You guys. I’m very excited to share the details of my latest fix. It’s always fun to see this little box on my doorstep. My items arrived on Saturday (Happy Mother’s Day to me!), but I knew what to expect since I recently downloaded the Stitch Fix app. The app is great because it makes communicating with your stylist and checking out that much easier. But it also gives you the ability to view your items once they have shipped. I may try to resist the urge to peak next time since I think it takes some of the fun away from the service. Anyone else feel like this?

A Fit Mess

If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s an online shopping service that pairs you with a personal stylist who selects 5 items specifically for you based on your style profile, Pinterest Style Board (if you create one), and special requests. You keep what you want and return what you don’t. The cost is $20 per shipment and that gets credited toward any purchases you make. You can decide on your shipment frequency (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and the price ranges you’d like to stay within.

For more tips on how to make the most out of your fixes (and spend wisely), check out my recent post. And, if you want to review my past fixes, I’ve listed all my reviews at the end.

Interested in trying Stitch Fix? I would love you forever if you could use my affiliate link. Thank you so much for your support!

Ok, let’s review! My stylist Katie came through with some great items this month. I couldn’t wait to share them with you guys. Remember, if you see anything you like, you can always pin it to your Style Board or request it with your next shipment.

Myriam lace knit dress (by Skies are Blue)

Miriam skies are blue knit dress

This dress is darling! I love the casual cotton blend and the pretty lace detail on top. The fabric was really soft and light. This could easily be worn with flip-flops or fancied up with some wedges. My espadrilles shown above are a really old pair from Banana Republic. Similar ones from GAP found here.

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Here’s a closeup of the top. I wish I had taken a picture of the back. It buttons at the neck and forms a keyhole around your shoulders. So cute! Ultimately, I decided to send this dress back because I now have FOUR navy and white striped dresses. I was actually wearing one when I opened the package. Ha! I would have definitely kept this dress in a solid color.

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My flats shown above are from Banana Republic circa 2007!

Kaiden distressed frayed cuff denim short (by Liverpool)

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Let’s take a moment to talk about shorts. I love ’em, but rarely on me. I tend to wear dresses in the summer simply because I can never find shorts that fit me well and that I feel comfortable wearing. Every summer I set out with the best intentions to find shorts and I usually leave the store frustrated and defeated. Why are shorts so short these days?

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But these shorts from Liverpool. They are perfect for me. They’re slim fitting, an adequate length, and slightly stretchy (<–I know, enough said). You can also make them shorter by rolling the bottoms up (a tip from my stylist). My racerback tank is from Old Navy.

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Seriously, these shorts will be a staple in the summer for me. I’m obviously very happy!

Jared pre-layered necklace (by Bancroft)

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This necklace by Bancroft is totally my style. I love the layered look. As I may have mentioned before, I am a bit hopeless when it comes to picking out jewelry. I love the simple detail and that the necklace is just one piece and clasps in the back.

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The gold is perfect for summer and would add a little something extra to a cotton tee or tank. Pretty, right?

Christiana textured pencil skirt (by Margaret M)

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My stylist added this textured pencil skirt after a previous request I made for a navy skirt. The one in my last fix wasn’t exactly my style. Overall, I really liked this skirt. I thought it was a great length and very flattering.

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The skirt is navy with a faint diamond pattern on it which gives it a unique look. It has a thick, high waist (LOVE) and just slips on (no zippers or buttons). This would be a nice compliment to any work attire.

Also pictured: Blue ribbon top from H&M, black two-toned pumps from Banana Republic (similar pair).

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Raimond embroidered detail tank (by THML)

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Apologies for the pixely picture, but for some reason it didn’t turn out well. This embroidered tank from THML was really cute, but completely see through. It was also really tight in the chest (something I have never said before) so I wouldn’t be able to fit a tank underneath. My sandals are from Piperlime, which sadly has closed.

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I really liked the coral and gold embroidery on the neck, but I didn’t think the beige color was right for me. Side note: my only other pair of jean shorts (received from Stitch Fix last year!) by Kut from the Kloth.

Feel free to add your comments or links to your Stitch Fix review below. I love hearing about what others received. And, please take a look at my Style Board if you want ideas for your next fix. I hope you’ll follow me there.

Want to see what I received in my previous Stitch Fix shipments? Take a look at the links below.

Stitch Fix #21 – April finds

Stitch Fix #20 – March finds

Stitch Fix #19 – February finds

7 ways to save time in the morning and get out the door faster

afitmess
March 30, 2016
7 ways to save time in the morning

Getting out the door on time can be quite challenging for a lot of people, particularly those of us who have children. This isn’t surprising considering women spend roughly 2.6 hours a day doing household activities, like cooking and cleaning, according to a 2014 American Time Use survey. Add working outside of the home or a full day of taking care of your child(ren) and you can see why we often feel so rushed! There aren’t enough hours in the day, right?

 

I’ve learned a few strategies that have helped me better manage my time in the morning and get out the door quickly. Some of these require a bit of planning in advance, however, once you get into a routine you’ll start to do these without even thinking.

crockpot

1. Prep dinner the night before

I use my crockpot a lot. To save time in the morning, I wash and chop my veggies the night before. I also put my crockpot on the counter and lay out all of the seasonings I plan to use. When I come downstairs in the morning I can just throw it all in the pot and add my protein. Here are some of my favorite (and simple) weeknight crockpot meals.

 

2.  Pack your lunch in the evening

Since I workout at lunch most days I usually bring my lunch and eat it at my desk. I pack everything the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning to find something. I typically have leftovers from dinner or a salad with protein. I also pack a lot of snacks like nuts, apples, and dried fruit. As you know, I’m a snacker.

7 ways to save time in the morning

3.  Organize gym clothes the night before

Pack your gym bag with everything you need for your workout and leave it in a place where you will remember to grab it. The last thing I do before I go to sleep is throw my workout clothes, sneakers, and training notebook in my gym bag and leave it downstairs next to the door. That way I can just grab it on my way out. I also fill my water bottle up and leave that in the fridge to save me a step in the morning.

chocolate chia pudding

4.  Prep breakfast the night before

It’s simple to throw together chia seed pudding, overnight oats, or cook some hard boiled eggs before you go to bed. These make for quick and easy breakfasts on-the-go.

Alternatively, try using smoothie freezer packs for a delicious drink that is ready in minutes.

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5.  Set your coffeemaker the night before

We always prep our coffee at the end of the day. I couldn’t imagine measuring out coffee first thing out of bed. If you have an automatic timer, try setting it to start brewing 10 minutes before your alarm goes off. That will definitely get you out of bed!

 

6.  Shower in the evening

If I plan on washing my hair I usually shower in the evening, let my hair air dry, and then I style it in the morning. Plus, having a warm shower is a nice way to wind down in the evening.

 

7.  Lay your clothes out the night before

I usually have two different outfits in mind and then I select something completely different in the morning. Obviously, I need to get a bit better about this!  😊

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In the end,  it just comes down to doing a bit of planning. It will be a lot of trial and error to begin with, but once you get into a groove it is so worth it. I can’t always predict how the girls are going to behave in the morning. Will they fight me on getting dressed? Will there be a morning meltdown? How about accidents? But if I can take steps to ensure that I have my things taken care of, I will be better able to manage my kids’ needs.

 

Want more time saving tips?

Multi-tasking your morning

8 recipes to make ahead for breakfast on the run

 

Do you have any tips for saving time in the morning? What do you do to get your kids ready and out the door faster?