Friday faves 24 + Postmates giveaway!

afitmess
March 25, 2017

Hey there. Happy weekend! I’m a bit late getting my Friday Favorites post to you (that seems to be the trend lately). I’m sipping on some coffee while the girls play and soon we are headed out to see Beauty and the Beast with my girlfriend. Hoping it’s not too dark and scary for them. Also hoping they share their popcorn with me. ūüôā Okay, let’s get into it!

 

Friday faves 24

 

Dermalogica total eye care –¬†I have been using this eye cream for years and I loooovve it. It works really well to hide under eye circles and diminish¬†fine lines. I wear it everyday and I can’t say enough about it. It’s a bit pricey, but you can usually find discounts if you shop around. Amazon carries it fairly cheap.

A Fit Mess

Trader Joe’s GF buttermilk pancake and waffle mix –¬†I bought this the other day to make drop biscuits for the girls’ class. It worked really well and the biscuits turned out great. I haven’t tried to make pancakes or waffles with it yet, but I’m sure they’re delicious.

TJ’s single serving packages of guacamole – I love these! They are so easy to toss into your lunch bag or purse. They are the perfect portion size, too.

D3 Excellence by Poliquin Group –¬†Vitamin D is essential¬†for bone and immune health and blood sugar regulation. I take one soft gel daily (5,000 IU) during the colder months. It’s currently on sale ($21.50) through March 31!

This total medicine ball workout – I made a few modifications (I’m not coordinated enough to do figure eights with a ball), but kept the workout basically the same. It was quick and dirty and one I will definitely do again.

A Fit Mess

KT tape – One month into CrossFit and my body is feeling a bit banged up. My hands and wrists, in particular, are feeling sore and achy. I’ve started wrapping my hands a bit with KT tape and it has really improved my grip. I’m hoping that this will provide a bit more support through my workouts.

And now an awesome Postmates giveaway!

Here’s a BIG offer from Postmates for anyone looking to try the service. Use my code 9ktcg and get $100 in delivery fee credit to use on your first few orders! Limited time offer.¬†

Have a great weekend, friends!

5 Trader Joe’s personal care products you should add to your cart

afitmess
April 5, 2016
Trader Joes personal care products

Trader Joe’s is widely known for its great products and bargain prices. We are obviously big fans since we get the majority of our groceries there. TJ’s also has some pretty stellar beauty products on their shelves. In fact, some of my favorite personal care items come directly from the value chain store.

Here are the 5 items I use on the regular including two from the baking aisle!

 joJoba oil

1.  Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is a great moisturizer. Similar to sweet almond oil, it provides a natural and nourishing oil for your skin and won’t clog your pores. I have many uses for it, but my favorites are to remove eye makeup (just add a few drops to a cotton ball and gently swipe) and to moisturize my hands. It’s great for your cuticles and nail beds and absorbs rather quickly.

A Fit Mess

2.  Tea Tree Tingle shampoo

Technically, this is Matt’s shampoo, but I use it occasionally. It works really well and I especially love the feeling it gives my scalp. The peppermint is very refreshing and the eucalyptus is a nice touch, too. I think it’s probably gentle enough for the kiddos as well.

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3.  Face wash with tea tree oil

I previously mentioned that I don’t use many products on my face. That being said, TJ’s tea tree face wash has remained one of my staples. I’ve been using it for several years and it still works really well. It’s a great cleanser and especially helpful for oily skin. I don’t find that it dries out my face, but I use only one pump and mix it with water prior to applying it to my face. I think they may sell this wash as facial cleansing pads, but I have not tried them.

A Fit Mess

4.  Organic virgin cold-pressed & unrefined coconut oil

I told you there are a million and one uses for coconut oil, didn’t I? Folks, it’s not just for cooking. It’s a great moisturizer for your skin and lips. I also like to add it to my hair before I workout. It sounds odd, I know, but it acts like a deep conditioning treatment. TJ’s coconut oil is organic and cold-pressed (which means it’s pressed in a way to preserve its health benefits and is unrefined). Plus, it’s less than $6/jar!

trader-joes-apple-cider-vinegar-haute-healthy

5.  Organic apple cider vinegar

Not just for salad dressing or cooking, apple cider vinegar is known for having many skin care benefits. I have been using this as a toner for a few years and it has worked really well for me. I usually mix two tablespoons of ACV with a small amount of filtered water and keep that in a container in my bathroom. After cleansing,¬†I will dip a cotton ball in the vinegar/water mixture and spread it across my neck and face. Don’t worry – the smell dissipates quickly.

So there you have it! I would love to know if any of these are your favorites or if you have other products at TJ’s you’d recommend.

 

3 easy ways to prepare kale

afitmess
February 19, 2016
massaged kale with avacado

Today I consider kale to be one of my favorite greens, but it took me awhile to get there. I was intimidated by how to cook it, I didn’t really like the taste, and I thought it was more trouble than it was worth.¬†Turns out that kale is actually pretty simple to make and tastes delicious when properly prepared.

 

Here are my three favorite ways to prepare kale:

kale in steamer basket

Steamed and sauteed

  1. Place a steamer basket in a pot filled with ¬ľ – ¬Ĺ cup of water, depending on the size of your pot.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add a few cups of chopped kale to the pot and cover. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the kale from the steamer basket and place in a separate bowl.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic. Throw in the kale and sauteed for a few minutes.
  6. Remove kale and season with salt and pepper. I usually squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top. Optional: add some sunflower or sesame seeds for crunch.

steamed kale_finished

kale chips prep

Roasted (aka kale chips)

These are a delicious alternative to chips. My kids really enjoy them as well. You could try experimenting with spices to make different flavor combos, too.

  1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread a few cups of chopped kale over the sheet.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the kale and toss with your hands until the oil is distributed evenly.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and then bake for 5 -10 minutes – WATCH CLOSELY so the kale doesn’t burn.
  6. Let cool before eating.

kale chips_final

Massaged

What? You didn’t know you should massage your kale. This is my favorite way to prepare kale. And, it’s the simplest.

  1. Place a few cups of chopped kale in a large bowl.
  2. Squeeze a little lemon over the kale.
  3. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Now it’s time to get messy. Using your hands massage the kale leaves for several minutes (around 3-4) working the lemon and olive oil into the leaves. The kale will become vibrant green and will wilt slightly.
  5. Toss some chopped walnuts and avocado over the kale and enjoy.

IMG_6568

What are your favorite ways to prepare kale?

The many benefits of sweet almond oil

afitmess
February 9, 2016

Do you have one of those products that you just couldn’t imagine life without? That’s the way I feel about sweet almond oil. Today’s post highlights the many benefits of sweet almond oil and how I incorporate it into my daily routine.

 

I was first introduced to sweet almond oil a few year ago during a massage. I loved the smell right away and when I found out what it was I hurried home to buy it online. After doing a bit more research, I discovered that sweet almond oil¬†is loaded with vitamin E. Unlike a lot of moisturizers that have vitamin E added to them, sweet almond oil¬†contains a purely natural form of the vitamin. Plus,¬†it’s full of monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc (and other minerals and vitamins).

 

Sweet almond oil has many benefits, but it’s primarily used to enhance and rejuvenate skin and hair. Here are my personal favorite uses:

 

Moisturizer (face and body): I have a pretty minimal skin care regime. I typically stick with two things: tea tree oil face wash and sweet almond oil. I have sensitive skin so I am always careful with what I choose to put on my face. I use almond oil¬†to remove eye makeup (place a few drops on a cotton ball and gently wipe around eyes) and after I cleanse for a moisturizer. Even though it’s an oil, it’s not greasy in the way that you’d think. It gets absorbed quickly and I don’t even notice it after I rub it in. And, if you have oily skin it will actually help balance your skin tone since the fatty acids in almond oil loosens clogged pores. I have also noticed it helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles under my eyes (a lifelong curse).

It’s great for an all-over body moisturizer or to following your¬†dry brushing routine. I feel good knowing that I’m putting something completely natural on my skin.

 

Relieve sore muscles: I’ve been trying this for only a few months, but I have noticed a subtle difference in my recovery. I massage the oil into whatever spot is sore (99% of the time my shins and calves) and work it in until the oil is gone. Typically, I do this after I have showered so that the oil gets absorbed even faster into my skin. I think the combo of the massage and the oil has really improved my tight muscles.

 

Got super achy muscles? Here’s an even better technique: warm the almond oil in the microwave until it gets really hot. Apply the hot oil to the troublesome muscles and massage in well. Take a wet, hot wash cloth or towel, wring it out, and cover the massaged area for around 30 minutes. This treatment works by drawing the toxins out.

 

For shiny, happy hair: Love this one. After washing my hair, I will apply one to two drops to my ends. I often warm it up first by rubbing the oil between my hands. Next, I comb my hair straight and let it air dry. This works better for me in the evening when I have the time to let my hair dry on its own. Boom! Shiny and beautiful hair. It doesn’t leave my hair greasy or with a heavy feeling. Plus, I think it kind of acts as a detangler, but that could be in my mind.

 

Know what else you could use sweet almond oil for?

  • To strengthen nails
  • To relieve dry or itchy scalp
  • Aid with eczema or excessively dry skin
  • Heal minor irritations

 

I believe if the sweet almond oil is listed as “food grade” then you can eat it, but I haven’t tried that personally. I would urge you to check your labels carefully. This is the only kind I ever use and I have found the best price on Amazon. You can also find it at Whole Foods, but it’s more expensive. Be sure to stay away from bitter almond oil. More risk than it’s worth.