Let’s Wrap Up 2013!!

Is it just me, or was my mother right when she told me that time flies by faster and faster the older you get? It sure seems to. It seems like it was just yesterday that it was January 2013 and I was getting engaged, shopping for a wedding dress, and searching for what good health is for me. Now, here we are 12 months later about to embark on 2-0-1-4, and I couldn’t be more excited for it! 2013 was a pretty amazing year for me, but I have zero doubt that 2014 holds so much more in store for me than I can imagine. 


My holidays were spent in good ole Ohio with my fiance and his family. Due to our travels, we both agreed that we would take a slight detour from gluten-free/Paleo while traveling. I’m pretty sure I will never do that again. This was our first major “cheat” since starting about 2 months prior. When I say we cheated – I mean it was all cheat. There was fast food, cookies, fried foods…..you name it, we probably ate it. Cheating on paleo wasn’t a big deal to me. It was the gluten that killed me. My fiance doesn’t have the gluten intolerance that I have. He just felt kinda gross and his stomach was a bit affected by it. I, on the other hand, was having some pretty severe back aches, along with my stomach being very unhappy with me. This is all on top of me getting a sinus infection, and my fiance getting one too just as I was getting over mine. I don’t doubt at all that the gluten was the culprit for all of it. We should not have gone full force back into “regular eating”. We have both been so excited to get back home and into our routine again, including returning to Paleo, and the gym for me. Use my example to learn without making the mistake yourself – if gluten really does affect you as much as it does me, don’t tell yourself it’ll be okay because you will be miserable. Those gluten-filled cookies are going to taste good as you chew them up momentarily, but guess how long their effects will last on your body? A lot longer. All that being said – here’s my take on getting setback…


We all fall off the horse now and again. What matters is how quickly you get yourself off the ground and back up on it. Bring it on 2014!!! I’ve got a wedding dress to wear!!!


I have a few exciting recipes I am trying out this week too. For today’s lunch for myself and the beau, I made a great shrimp salad. For New Year’s Eve festivities I will be making Paleo Nachos (version 1 or version 2), and may even try my hand at some Piggies in a Blanket. Then there’s Chicken Pot Pie, Fried Green Tomato BLTs, and even Empanadas! I’m even considering making these Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Frosting too. Man, I can’t wait to try them all! 


So, take some time over the next couple days to reflect back on your 2013. What wonderful things have happened in your life? What even better things are awaiting you in 2014? I’d love to hear! 



It’s not all fairy dust and magical unicorns….

I’m a Pinterest nut. Pinterestaholic. Is there a Pinners anonymous? You get the point. If you’ve read my previous posts here or know me at all, you know I’ve been on this weight-loss and health journey for a while. Well, over a year ago I pinned the following image to my Pinterest board labeled “My Motivation”. My comment/caption was “Never apologize for your hard work! I hope I can say this in 8 years!”.


And here we are, over a year (probably closer to two) closer to said age. I am closer than I ever have been before to being considered “fit” and “healthy”. What she says is absolutely right. Now, it doesn’t mean that every person needs to spend an hour and a half at the gym five days a week, in my opinion. We all have our different goals, and it takes a different amount of work for each of us to reach them individually. But, it’s not all fairy dust, guys! You get out of life what you put into it. So, why do you expect to not work your tail off, but have it appear that you do? I can say this, because I was once the girl who thought she was working hard, when in reality she was slacking off half the days of the week and eating crap all the time.

Guys, I turned 32 this past weekend. I do NOT feel 32. In fact, I’d say over the past couple of years, I feel more like I am going backwards in time. I feel and look like I should have felt and looked at, say, 28. I am so incredibly thankful for the motivators, fitness coaches, and every supportive person in my life who has allowed me to not only get to where I am already, but will allow me to continue on this journey in the future. On a side note, you might ask how I celebrated my birthday – whether I had cake or ice cream, etc. I celebrated with 3 of my favorite things in life – gourmet donuts, Mexican food, and time with my fiance. There are certain times in life when you should celebrate the things that you enjoy in life, and allow your body to have a break and enjoy too. Not to mention, when you allow yourself occasional “cheats”, it helps to refuel your metabolism and confuse your body so it continues to work. I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday festivities, and look forward to seeing what this next year brings!

So, as I talk about how we shouldn’t expect to see results without the hard work – you may be asking what it is that I do to get the results I am getting. Well, before I explain, perhaps it would help to show you a before & current photo. Please understand, I have been running and active for a couple of years now. But, it wasn’t until I started my gluten-free journey and ventured into Paleo life, that I truly started seeing a difference. Sorry, I’m not in the same clothing to show the exact difference, but I’m also not a person who has ever taken full-length photos of herself. The first photo was taken just this past August. Pardon the mud, it was just after a mud run-obstacle course I did with some friends. The photo on the right was taken today.


Ok, so now that you see that there IS a difference, here’s a general outline of what I have been doing with my workouts.

Sundays – Run (usually between 4-6 miles)

Mondays – Body Pump (1 hour cardio strength training class) and usually followed by a 45 minute RPM/Spin class

Tuesdays – Run 3 miles and work abs/core.

Wednesdays – 45 minute RPM/Spin class and 1 hour Body Pump

Thursdays – Rest Day

Fridays – 45 minute Body Pump & 30 minute CxWorx (core class) OR Run 2-3 miles

Saturdays – 1 hour Body Pump IF I didn’t do it on Friday only, and 45 minute RPM/Spin class

My ultimate weekly goal is to burn an estimated 4,000 calories and do strength training/Body Pump class 3 times per week. This is important because I don’t only want to lose weight/fat, but I also want to lean out and gain some muscle. It’s definitely working. And as I’ve mentioned before, prior to eliminating gluten from my diet and starting Paleo, I was generally only able to do strength training twice per week due to my muscles staying sore and not recovering. However, since starting Paleo, I make it to strength training 3 times per week every week, and also have been able to increase my weight in every body part.

Tonight I will leave you with a recipe I stumbled upon recently and tried out today. Not too shabby, either. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Paleo Tagalongs!!! Enjoy!

❤ Manda

Stop counting calories (and every other macronutrient) !!!

Y’all, I’ve just been blown away. As in, hello! Wake up! This could change everything. Evidently I wasn’t as proficient in what exactly paleo is all about. Hey, I warned you all that I was a newbie and I am still finding my way. So, a couple weeks ago I realized I need to get back to tracking what I eat to be sure I don’t go off the deep end here. We as humans have become so consumed with counting calories, it’s unreal. Reading my fat intake each day has really made me kinda, well sick to my stomach. So, I start researching what your average person needs to have in fat, calories, carbs, etc. on a daily basis for paleo. The #1 answer (other than that it’s different for everyone) is DON’T COUNT CALORIES. The only thing you should even consider being concerned with is your carb intake. I obviously haven’t dropped mine low enough either – but that’s partly because I’ve still been wrestling with the high fat consumption. It is still something that is bizarre to me – but I trust what I’ve seen so far, and thus have to make the necessary changes to do it right. Every reliable resource that I’ve read advises to concentrate on lean protein with every meal along with a couple servings of veggies, and to add healthy fats in. Your healthy fats should be coconut oil, nut butters, olive oil, nuts (not peanuts!), etc. Multiple sources I have read advise to keep your carbs at or below 50g per day. I’ve been balancing just under 100, up until today. You know what that means? That’s right. I’m kicking it up a notch. Lowering my carbs, and not focusing on anything else other than getting my protein and veggies. So to any of you doing paleo or considering it, please don’t make my mistake and worry about anything other than lowering your carbs and getting in your protein and fresh veggies!

Define Yourself

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends, and of course some yummy food. Back to reality, right? Let’s discuss what your reality is for a moment. If you’re like me, you keep yourself busy and on the go with work and taking care of others, and then finding time to fit in taking care of yourself. Part of taking care of yourself is something we, especially women, do not do though – positive self talk and encouragement. I would bet that most of you reading this probably don’t encourage yourself or talk to yourself in a positive way each and every day. It may sound silly, but the power of saying positive things is really incredible. Two of the most powerful words that I want you to start with are… “I am…”. I want you to think about what you are, in a way that will empower you and encourage you to do more each and every day to live your life to its fullest and be the best you.



Whether you write these words every day, or wake up and say them to yourself in the mirror as you start your day, make them a part of your daily routine. Encourage yourself. Define yourself. Allow yourself to be what it is you want to be. 


The last time I posted, I shared that I had converted one of my well-known cakes into a gluten-free version of the same (but not paleo, mind you). Well, everyone loved it. Everyone agreed it was even better than the original! We haven’t really tried any new and fabulous recipes in the past few days, so I don’t have any recipes to share today. More than anything it was on my heart to share about the power of words. I hope you have an amazing rest of the week! Start your positive self talk when you wake up tomorrow morning, and see how much better of a day you will have!