Before we get down to the 5, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all the prayers and kind messages for my family down in Florida this week weathering Hurricane Ian. I have been so anxious about the storm and am grateful that everyone in my family is safe — and will hopefully have power restored soon!
Here in Charlotte, schools are pivoting to remote learning today due to the latest projection of the storm.
If you are prepping for the hurricane (or live in an area that is likely to experience a hurricane in the future), I wanted to remind you of my 25 Tips for Hurricane Prep blog post.
In more fun news this week, I have been working hard on GIFT GUIDES!! Wild, right?! I rounded up all your submissions from my gift guide poll last month and I’m hoping to create guides for the most popular requests (about 10’ish guides).
These guides take SO MUCH WORK but I am really proud of what I’ve created so far — and most of all, I hope they are super helpful for YOU!
Question for you — I cannot decide how early to publish the guides. Last year I started rolling them out in late October and many of you said you were already DONE shopping (which blew my mind!).
And also, do you want them all at once? Like a gift guide week? Or do you want me to roll them out as they are finished? Let me know in the comments!
Alright, let’s get down to it! We’ve got lots to cover!
1. Vegan Diet Update!
Matt and I recently enrolled in a new wellness program to help us with some health goals — primarily cholesterol and stress management for him and cancer prevention for me.
Anyway, as part of the onboarding process, our physician ran a slew of health, fitness, and nutrition tests, which unveiled some surprising results. In addition to learning both of us are extremely deficient in Vitamin D and have some food sensitivities, Matt and I were instructed to prioritize protein in our diet — specifically animal protein.
Honestly, that was a curve ball I wasn’t expecting, but one I am kind of excited about because it means we are officially moving away from a vegan diet! Instead, we both need to somehow get a WILD amount of protein into our diet every day, with a focus on lean animal protein and whole foods. I was already working on upping my protein intake, but I’m still nowhere near my daily goal of 100 grams. And I do think Matt is a little relieved to take a break from microwave noodle bowls, plant-based burgers, and frozen bean burritos (pretty much what he was living off of). Oh, and I am beyond thrilled to bring Sandroni Steak Night BACK!
So if you have any high-protein recipes, snacks, favorite Instagram accounts, etc., please share them with me!
My best find lately has been freezer meals for lunch that are grain-free, gluten-free, and packed with protein. I purchase the Power Bowls and Real Good meals from Walmart since that’s where we order our weekly groceries from, but Target carries a variety of Real Good and Power Bowls too. The tacos feel pretty heavy for lunch but they are delicious.
2. Two New Fall Outfits
I am really excited about the items I picked out from Evereve this month!
For my first outfit, I stretched myself a bit and went with a leather skirt — and I love it! I paired it with this snap neck top that has the cutest puff shoulder and my wood block wedges. But as soon as the temperatures drop a bit, I’m going to swao out my wedges for these suede knee boots!
*Reminder to use promo code CHARM15 to save 15% off your first Evereve order. You have to create an account for the code to work.
I also scooped up another fun pullover sweater. The stitching and the scalloped collar on this top is absolutely gorgeous. The quality and design on this piece is perfection and I cannot wait to wear it all season long.
3. Disney on Ice: Frozen & Encanto
Last night we received tickets for Disney on Ice: Frozen & Encanto! It was SO good! This is our third time seeing Disney on Ice and I just love it. If you’re in Charlotte, the show runs through the weekend and is the perfect rainy day activity!
4. lululemon Speed Up Shorts
I’ve been working out at Burn Bootcamp since July and promised to reward myself with a pair of lululemon speed up shorts if I hit one of my fitness goals — and I RECENTLY HIT IT!
For weeks I’ve been scouring their website, impatiently waiting for a very specific color (highlight yellow) to be re-stocked. A few of the trainers have this color at the gym and every time they wear them I want them even more. They are such a fun color.
Anyway, the shorts finally got restocked in all sizes and lots of colors and they are everything I had hoped they would be. I have lots of Amazon dupes for these shorts, but these really are nicer quality and are made with a totally different material. They are crazy soft and stretchy (perfect for squats/lunges/etc.), have a built-in liner, and a zippered back pocket. I’m wearing the 2.5″ length and love the fit.
5. Pajama Fairy Tradition
Our holiday Pajama Fairy is coming TODAY!
I wasn’t sure if my kids were starting to outgrow our matching pajama tradition, so I was on the fence about buying them this year. Then, a few days ago Caroline asked me when I thought the “Pajama Fairy” was coming with Halloween pajamas this year…and Thomas quickly chimed in with “yeahhhhh! When IS she coming?!” My first thought was “oh my goodness! They still love the Pajama Fairy!” followed by “shoot, I need to order pajamas immediately.” So I purchased the Halloween Boo Pajamas this year (#2 on my Pajama Round-Up) and they arrived in two days! And they are SO CUTE.
Usually, I lay out their pajamas on their beds on a Friday for them to discover when they get off the bus. This always gets them extra excited for Family Movie Night (and motivates them to quickly take their showers). However, since they are home today I’ll have to be extra sneaky. So at some point this afternoon, I’ll sneak upstairs and lay out their jams on their beds and wait for them to discover their magical delivery. I am going to hang on to this tradition for as looooooooong as they’ll let me!
I switched to a high protein diet a little over a year ago and it is the best thing I’ve ever done. Not only do I not feel deprived, the food is good! One of the best accounts to follow is Lillie Eats and Tells. Her recipes are AMAZING. She has wonderful cookbooks and ideas for every meal including snacks. Check it out and good luck
Thank you SO much!!!! Going to follow her now!
I am on a higher protein/low carb diet and my go to easy protein add in is Good Culture Cottage Cheese- it’s a higher quality CC and higher in protein/lower carbs than more typical versions. I also switched to Fair Life milk for the same reasons.
I’m a big fan of adding the cottage cheese to my scrambled eggs- it is a little watery and my biggest advice is to start with a spoonful and add more as you go.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a meal tracker app, I recommend Macros First- you can set meal by meal macros and I find it’s easier to use than MyFitnessPal
This is SO helpful. A lot of the high protein foods I’ve been finding are high carb, so this is awesome! I love eggs and cottage cheese — cannot wait to combine them!
Those workout shorts are SO cute, I agree, and I am also becoming borderline obsessed with my workouts at Burn Bootcamp, so I need to ask, *IF* you are comfortable sharing, what was your fitness goal!?
Same — obsessed!! I’ve got a bunch of strength goals and I’d love to NOT die when we do floor sliders, but the goal I hit is the first milestone in my muscle-fat analysis (with the InBody test)! When I started, my body fat % was wildly high (due to my lack of skeletal muscle mass), so I’m working on gaining muscle!
That is awesome- congrats!! And thanks for sharing, it’s inspiring! I haven’t done any of those tests or focus meetings yet, since I always have my toddler in tow (though the fact that I can go there WITH HER is soo amazing and has been 100% the game changer for me). Can’t wait to do that and set some specific numerical goals once I can start going on my own from time to time!
I usually shop mid to late November but with rising costs this year I think myself and a lot of others are going to be shopping earlier and spreading out the shopping a bit more. Either sharing as you finish them or as a whole week sounds great to me! I would also love to see the high protein meals you guys end up liking. I turned 30 a couple months ago and I find myself wanting to take better care of my body so I’ve been trying and struggling to find meals that are higher in protein but also contain plenty of other good for you foods.
Thank you Taylor! This is what I’m leaning towards with the guides too!
And YES to sharing high-protein meals! We are still figuring it out and I very much struggle to get in so much protein in a day, but so far my favorite way to kick off the day after a workout is Orgain protein powder shake with almond milk and greek yogurt! It’s like 35’ish grams of protein AND tastes great! And those microwave meals for lunches. For dinner, I’m still working on recipes but we’ve been doing a lot of chicken dishes.
Also, my friend April found a high-protein bread at Aldi that is 10g per slice (it’s called L’oven Fresh Protein Bread). I haven’t been able to go grab some yet but I am excited to try it. And serve it with protein quest chips — SO delicious.
Love those shorts I may need to invest. Also send me those gift guides-
Sooner the better in my
Opinions to enjoy the holidays
Noted! I feel the same way! And it’s nicer to get all my holiday content out early so I’m not scrambling to create it all during the holiday rush!
Tami from SD says
I have to chuckle at your kids requesting their holiday jammies. For years I’ve bought my son a Lego Architecture set for Christmas, but since he’s 23, I assumed he no longer wanted a “toy”. He was so bummed he didn’t get one last year!!! Needless to say, I’m already looking for this year’s set. Kids love those traditions, don’t they. And I don’t comment very often, but I love your blog. It’s always a must read.
Oh my gosh, I love this SO much!!!
Toni :0) says
Gift guides as you do them sound great! I also love the Good Culture Cottage Cheese mentioned above. Strawberry flavor is my favorite. Protein powders mixed into 2 Good Yogurt (lower carb and high protein) is also yummy mixed with berries and a sprinkle of granola. Also overnight oats you can make with that same yogurt and protein powder is another great idea. Good luck!! Oh and the jammy fairy is really sweet.
I’m signed up for blog updates via email, and noticed I haven’t been receiving them the past few weeks. Unsure if it’s just my email (gmail) or not, but wanted to let you know just in case! I typically check your blog in the morning or on my lunch breaks, and the emails are a helpful reminder when I’m trying to stay off social media.
I heard there is going to be a second prime day Oct 11 & 12, which may be helpful for rolling out guides.
Look into venison meat – it’s a really lean red meat, and there are some great recipes. However, our family uses it in place of beef – roasts in the crockpot/oven, steaks, etc. We also LOVE venison jerky and ring sausage!
Caroline Glenn says
I’d be interested to learn/hear about the “why” Of a high protein diet – an insta account I follow preaches high protein too but I’d love to hear your take on why y’all were instructed to go that route!
I’m not an early shopper – but can’t wait to see your gift guides!!