Friday faves 22

afitmess
February 24, 2017

Happy Friday! Yay – we made it. How did the week turn out for you? Please tell me it was good! I’m diving in with some Friday favorites and fun things to share.

 

Friday faves 22

 

Jojoba oil – I have been using this a lot as a moisturizer for my face and hands. I love the slightly nutty smell and it feels great on my skin. I also use it to remove eye makeup (add a small amount to a cotton ball). Trader Joe’s carries it on the cheap, but you can find it just about anywhere.

A Fit Mess

This “papa” shirt my sister gifted to the girls. Madison is modeling her blue steel look below. This girl kills me.

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All the 4T clothes ever made (courtesy of my sister). She’s the best. Seriously, this picture is only about half of the clothes she brought. It took us forever to sort through it all. No lie.

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Nail Stop: My sister and I took her girls to have mani-pedis done while they were here visiting. This place is so neat that I had to share for any local friends. First of all, it’s huge! There is a separate kid’s area as well as a private room for groups. There’s also an espresso/coffee bar and cocktail bar for adults. Perfect, right? Highly recommend!

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Here’s the darling kid’s section.

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This giant Mama NEEDS SOME coffee mug. #truth

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I had some photos taken with Amelya Jayne Photography and I am super happy with how they turned out. I’ve added them to my Workouts and About Me pages. Is there anything more awkward than having your picture taken?

Location: Carpe Diem Personal Training

The pizza Matt makes is honestly the best! We had it last week, but I’m still dreaming about it. The crust is from Julie Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook, but he does his own sauce and toppings. This one had a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and roasted broccoli.

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Cousin love! <3 Such cuties!

Warm weather treats. The girls have been asking for “ice cream” a lot lately. I think we are all looking forward to spring!

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Fun/interesting links:

Want to try CrossFit? Here’s what you need to know.

Women like to compete against themselves: I found this NYT article interesting from a professional standpoint, but also from a fitness focus. I love competing against my past performance – it matters more to me that what others may be doing.

Chocolate covered vegan cookie dough bars – a long title, but looks soooo yummy!

This deadlift video demo that Matt shared with me (I love him because he sends me power lifting videos during the day).

 

What are you loving lately?

P.S. I did my first official CrossFit class yesterday and I am stupid sore today. Everything hurts.

 

 

Carrot cake smoothie (gluten + dairy free)

afitmess
February 2, 2017
A Fit Mess

A simple and delicious smoothie that will make you think you’re having dessert. This carrot cake smoothie tastes just like my favorite sweet treat. It’s loaded with vitamin A, vitamins C, potassium, and fiber. Add some protein powder and toss in some walnuts and you have yourself a well-rounded meal. Perfect for breakfast or post workout. Pin this recipe for easy reference! It’s a keeper, my friends. 

 

A Fit Mess

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cooked sweet potato (optional)
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 large date, pit removed
  • 1 cup of ice
  • optional: add a scoop of vanilla protein powder (I love Sunwarrior)

 

Directions:

  1. Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with raisins, chopped nuts, nut butter, chia seeds, or coconut. Heck, toss ’em all on top!

 

 

>>>Want more delicious recipes?

Check out my recipe page!

For an easy tutorial on making smoothie freezer packs, check out my previous post.

 

 

3 guilt-free treats for toddlers

afitmess
May 19, 2016

Hi there! I have a fun post for you today. I’m excited to share the go-to treats that I make for my kids when they want something sweet. All three recipes are vegan, gluten and dairy free, and contain no added sugar. Each one is super easy to whip up and they all contain very few ingredients. The best part? They all taste amazing! Seriously, the whole family will enjoy these. You’re gonna love them!

3 guilt-free treats for toddlers (and adults!)

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Let’s talk about bananas. They are jam-packed with nutrients, like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They are a quick energy source and an easy snack to transport. I love using them to make smoothies, pancakes and “ice cream” for the family. Blending a banana in a food processor creates the most delicious and creamy dessert ever. The girls go crazy for this peanut butter banana ice cream and I feel good knowing I’m giving something healthy.

Peanut butter banana “ice cream”

Ingredients:

  • one large frozen banana (it works better if your banana has been sliced)
  • heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter
  • tiny splash of almond milk (no more than a tablespoon)

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Directions:

  1. Place frozen banana slices, peanut butter, and splash of milk in food processor and blend.
  2. Scrape the sides every so often until the mixture is really creamy (this may take a few minutes).
  3. Optional: toss in some fun ingredients below to make different combinations and flavors.

Add ins/toppings:

  • strawberries or raspberries
  • handful of mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
  • nuts
  • one tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • a few healthy shakes of cinnamon
  • shredded coconut

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The combination of avocado and banana makes this an especially rich dessert. It tastes delicious and never lasts very long in our house. If you don’t want to use any nut butter, you can easily leave that ingredient out. I usually top my pudding with coconut and slivered almonds. Ohmygoshsogood!

Chocolate almond butter avocado pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 2 small ones)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (creamy)
  • splash of almond milk

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Directions:

  1. Toss everything in a food processor and blend.
  2. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times until everything is smooth and creamy.
  3. Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. <–we can never wait that long and usually end up eating it right away.

A Fit Mess

My kids love all things popsicles. I always make my own and hide greens and other goodies inside them. But sometimes we just want need chocolate, right? These fudgsicles are so darn simple to prepare and turn out really well. The coconut milk makes them especially creamy, but you can also use almond milk or whatever you’d like. A friend gave me these popsicle molds from Ikea and I just love them. They are perfect portions for toddlers.

Banana fudgsicles! <–these deserve an exclamation point

This recipe was slightly adapted from Everyday Reading.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2 generous tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 ice cubes

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Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds. I used a small mold of 6.
  4. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

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What are your go-to healthy(ish) treats? Anyone else love banana ice cream? Big fans over here!

The evolution of my diet

afitmess
March 25, 2016

Yay! We made it to Friday! I’m so glad the weekend is finally upon us. I hope you all have fun Easter plans in place.

Today I want to share an in depth look into how my diet has evolved over the last two decades and where I am today. But let me preface this by saying there’s certainly no such thing as the “perfect diet” and what works for me may not work for you (and vice versa). Everyone has different needs and tastes. And when I say “diet” I am really just referring to my food behavior and consumption. I’m not talking about restricting calories.

My diet has certainly changed over the years. When I was young(er), I didn’t give it much thought. Like other kids, I ate whatever I wanted. During junior high, I would start my day with two frosted Pop-Tarts and lunch was usually a PB&J, chips, an apple and maybe a yogurt. Plus dessert. Other days I would skip lunch and come home to devour two frozen waffles with syrup or a Tony’s personal pizza. By dinner time I was no longer hungry. I ate very few veggies, little protein, and lots of sugar and processed foods.

I was really active as a kid so I was never overweight. I ran track, played soccer and softball, and had a horseback riding lesson twice a week. What I ate was no different from what my friends ate.

So, yeah, my diet was kind of horrible back then, but processed foods and sugar were not under a microscope like they are today.

Vegan: 

  • A strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products. Specifically, the diet excludes: meat, fish, eggs, dairy (milk, cheese, etc.), honey.

 

When I was 13 my older brother (who was vegan…and still is today!) bet me that I couldn’t go one week without eating meat and dairy. Anyone with older siblings will understand the deep need to impress or prove them wrong. I didn’t want to lose so I went all out. I ended up being a vegan for around 3 – 4 years. Back then, I was pretty clueless about what to eat. I ate a lot of popcorn with canola oil and salt and most of my veggies were fried in vegetable oil. I didn’t even consider eating healthy. I just ate what was “allowed” even if that meant french fries for a meal.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian:

  • A vegetarian whose diet includes dairy products, eggs, vegetables, fruits, grains, and nut. Excludes: meat and fish.

 

When I was around 16-17, I ended up eating dairy and eggs again. I can’t remember why I made this choice, but I imagine I was just tired of having so few food options. It was hard to be vegan when so many of my HS friends were eating “normally.” I loved pizza, yogurt, and ice cream too much. Today, being a vegan or vegetarian is much more common and there are a lot of pretty amazing alternatives out there.

Pescatarian:

  • One whose diet includes fish but no other meat.

 

I started eating fish when I was in my early 20s. At the time I was beginning to work out and strength train and I noticed my energy levels dipped a lot. I didn’t feel like I was getting enough protein or fat in my diet. I also started to pay more attention to eating well-balanced meals. My first meal back was salmon. Yum!

Dairy-free:

  • One whose diet excludes dairy products like milk and cheese.

 

Fast forward a few years. I kept having horrible stomach pains after most of my meals. This was something I experienced as a child, too. My father used to tell me I had a “sensitive stomach” like my grandmother so I assumed this was normal. Or at least, normal for me. It got so painful that I could barely finish a meal without doubling over in pain. I finally went to the doctor who had me take a lactose-intolerance test. I tested positive. I was glad to finally have an answer to my problem, but I was super bummed to learn I couldn’t tolerate my favorite things: all.the.cheese and ice cream.

I noticed a HUGE improvement by avoiding dairy. I tried taking Lactaid pills, but those were disgusting and didn’t make much of a difference for me. Plus, I figured if my body is telling me I shouldn’t have dairy then (hello!) I shouldn’t have it.

Pesco pollo vegetarian:

  • A semi-“vegetarian” who avoids red meat but eats chicken and fish.

 

I remained a dairy-free pescatarian for most of my 20s. When I was pregnant, I developed gestational diabetes and had to drastically change my diet. I was pretty strapped for protein options (I was consuming minimal amounts of fish because of my concern for mercury). And, since I was forced to limit carbs, many of the vegetarian foods I was used to eating (beans, veggie burgers, rice, wheat) were no longer great options for my blood sugar.

I made the decision to eat chicken when I was 28 weeks pregnant and never looked back. My first meat after 17 years? Chicken thighs. They were good!

 

Paleo:

Today I eat mostly Paleo and that includes everything but red meat. I limit my grains quite a bit and I still avoid dairy. I’ll eat butter when I’m out if the meal is prepared with it (butter contains very little dairy), but I usually have olive oil or coconut oil when I am cooking at home. My starches are usually from vegetables and fruit with the most common being sweet potatoes, squash, plantains, and bananas. I also eat rice and gluten-free bread.

I am satisfied with where I am at this point in my life and my food choices. For me, it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle. I have noticed a big difference in my energy levels and mood by avoiding wheat and dairy. I feel better all around when I eat well. But, there are times when I go for it and have naughty things (M&Ms, Reeses, Almond Joys = LOVE). I will pay for it, but I go in knowing that. Life is about enjoyment and food is a big part of my enjoyment. So I am not going to sit here and tell you I eat perfectly all of the time. That’s a lie. I try to follow the 80/20 rule. For me, that means making good food choices 80% of time.

What you decide to put in your body is a very personal choice and I don’t think any of us are in a position to criticize others by their food choices – whether you choose to be a vegan or a blood-loving carnivore. Not everyone is going to enjoy the same things. If you don’t like kale, don’t eat it! Hate chia seeds? Don’t buy them!

What I do believe is you should LOVE your body and nourish it well. Make choices that show your body you care about it and that you want it to stick around for a long, long time.