The FitStyle Blog

a place of wellness, mindfulness, and love

Eating a predominately plant based diet can sometimes be a challenge when you want to create a meal that you (and your family!) love. I am always on the hunt for items that can be eaten a variety of ways while being healthful foods that also taste good.


When I ran across these Trader Joe’s carrot spirals, I was excited to give them a try. I’ve had just about every kind of veggie noodles. I grabbed a couple boxes and decided to give it a try for dinner.

The only two ingredients are carrots and sea salt. The entire box is only 32 carbohydrates - that‘s a fraction of what one serving of what some pastas would be. At $3 a box, it was also comparable to other veggie pastas.

I chose to use my favorite grass fed butter for this meal, adding 1/2 a tablespoon to a skillet on low/medium heat.



I added the carrot spirals and covered for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, I took the lid off and broke up the remaining spirals with a wooden spoon.



While the spirals were cooking through, I added some organic marinara sauce to a small pot on low. I continued to sauté the carrots for an additional 4-5 minutes before removing them from the heat and plating them.


I topped the spirals off with the marinara sauce, a small grating of pecorino cheese and a handful of dried edamame for some crunch. These are my new favorite vegetable noodles - they are not watery like zucchini noodles can be, but are more firm. The taste isn’t over powering and especially paired well with the marinara and edamame.


My husband was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed two servings - he said it was one he would definitely try again so that’s a win/win in our house!


Aside from being a filling, healthful dinner - it took less than 15 minutes from start to finish. I would love to know if you try out this recipe or something similar!


xoxo,

patty lauren

Clutter, stuff, tchotchkes, junk - whatever you want to call it, we all have a little (or lot) of it. Disorganization can cause more than just an unsightly situation - it can create disorganization and stress in our minds and bodies. I truly believe if your living space is free of excess and it’s a place you can feel grounded and free, your mind reaps the same benefits. Our mental state of being relies a lot on our physical - and vice versa.


I was SO excited to have Simply Put Home come visit our house to see what areas use could use some help in tidying up. My husband and I both like a minimalist space, but we definitely had some areas that were a little unruly. That's were Destinee and Brooke come in - they drove up to our house in their awesome Simply Put Home van and got to work.




Destinee and Brooke are professional home organizers who started SPH a couple of years ago after they became stay at home mamas and wanted a creative, fulfilling outlet doing something they love. They are licensed, insured, and truly want to help you evaluate and simplify your space(s).



Before a project, Destinee and Brooke will get together with you for a free consultation to discuss what you envision being done with your space - where it's decluttering, reorganizing, or rehoming - they've got you covered. At the time of your consultation, they can give you an estimate of how much time it will take to organize your space. More information about that process can be found on their website.


When they visited our home, I showed them the areas that were my main concern. We discussed what things could be donated and what things may need to be trashed. One of the services I really appreciate with SPH is they will take any items you want donated to KARM, Goodwill, etc. for you - how awesome is that? They took several bags of items I had set aside to donate but hadn't set time away to do myself.



Once we talked about the plan, I left them to do their work. These ladies are fast! I left for client meetings for the day and came home to a breath of fresh air. The way they organized everything will help me further donate/trash - before it was just a jumbled mess, but now I can see everything. That makes all the difference! They strive to work with what you have to complete the organization process, meaning it isn't necessary to have to spend extra money on storage containers, etc. These ladies value your time and money and want to bring the most efficiency to your home.


BEFORE: OFFICE CLOSET

AFTER: OFFICE CLOSET


BEFORE: GUEST ROOM CLOSET

AFTER: GUEST ROOM CLOSET


BEFORE: GUEST ROOM CLOSET

AFTER: GUEST ROOM CLOSET

BEFOFRE: HALL CLOSET

AFTER: HALL CLOSET


It's easy to tell Destinee and Brooke love what they do - it gives them joy to be able to do something for others that creates spaces that are more manageable and more functional. I loved getting to have them in my home and know you would love them, too!


Their website is Simply Put Home and you can give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook!


If you have any questions about my experience, let me know!


xoxo,

patty lauren



It doesn’t seem like it’s been four years since I underwent my personal health journey which included preparing for and competing in a bodybuilding competition.


Once I lost most of my weight, I wanted to do something that would push and challenge me even further. I honestly can’t remember the moment a competition is what would fit that bill, but once I decided, I was 100% in.


For several months, I would work out 2-3 times a day. I would do strength training and almost two hours of cardio a day. I would get up at 4am everyday, throw back a protein shake, and hit the gym by 5am. I’d go to my 8-5pm job and workout on my lunch break. When I left my main job at 5pm, I’d go to my second job and work til 10:30 or 11pm, then go back to the gym for a second cardio session.

I was absolutely committed. I was single, I didn’t have any major commitments other than my jobs, and I had a great support group. But, it was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I was weighing every ounce of food, counting macros, and practicing posing. Aside from the physical challenges, the mental part of prep was the most difficult. There are so many days where you are absolutely exhausted, hungry, dehydrated, and wondering why you decided to do this. Towards the end, I was pep talking myself every day just to get my workout in. Tilapia and broccoli was looking pretty yucky, and all I wanted to eat was pizza (which I had shipped in from Chicago to enjoy after the competition was over ha!)


Finally, all those months of hard work came to fruition. I drove with some friends to Memphis and things got real... starting with two heavy spray tans (mind you - in a room full of other competitors. You’re naked, cold, and have someone spraying your private areas - NOT glamorous!) I had to bring my own black sheets so I wouldn’t ruin the ones at the hotel.


The next morning was a blur - we had to get to the arena super early. Guess why? Another spray tan! We got glammed up and waited. And, waited. Aaaand waited. Bikini is last so it was after lunch before we finally came out on stage. You get about 15 seconds to hit your poses and get off the stage. All that hard work boils down to 15 seconds!! I remember shaking so hard I could barely get myself to smile.


We spent the next several hours waiting until the evening presentation when awards would be presented. I placed 4th in my division, but honestly the experience alone was the reward. I had proven to myself what hard work and grit could accomplish.

My support team and I went out for dinner afterwards where I proceeded to eat about five rolls and drink two pitchers of water. Ha! What a time to be alive. It was over and time to celebrate.


That season of life taught me many things. Some of them were hard lessons - the preparation of the competition really messed with my head. Once I gained some weight, it was hard not being as lean as I had before. I struggled with weighing food, not weighing food. Did I still need to count macros? What about the three hours of working out I had done? It was a hard transition and it took me almost 3 years to settle into a pattern where that strict, stringent mindset didn’t rule my choices or cause me to feel guilty.


I still have that sparkly, hot pink bikini, heels, and jewelry in a box but it’s seen it’s last moment in the spotlight. I’m in a completely difference season of life, but I will cherish and appreciate the ways I grew and challenged myself during that time.

I can still give a killer bikini pose - some things will never change!

xoxo,

patty lauren