Health & Fitness

Juicing, paleo, and skinny jeans...

Pressed Juicery I'm an all or nothing kinda gal. When it's a Velveeta and Malbec era, it's ugly. When I'm behaving, it's serious workouts and strict diet. I wish I could achieve balance in the health aspect of my life, but I have yet to conquer that. So until that day comes, I'm fine sticking with the ALL IN mentality of my health and fitness.

I've reached a point where my favorite jeans in the world don't fit. We've all been there, but it's never fun and you feel like the only one it's happening to at the time. I refuse to reward my deep dish habits with the next size up of my not-so-cheap premium denim, and make a change.

News flash! Change isn't easy, especially such a drastic change flooded with temptation. I REALLY like food. I also REALLY hate feeling this way about my body. Read: Sluggish. Tired. Uncomfortable. Insecure. Hate my workouts five minutes in. That feeling.

So because I'm all or nothing, I decided to do a 5 day cleanse to really quit the hard stuff cold turkey. Yes, I say that because food is my addiction.

Now, let me be straight with you. A CLEANSE IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS TOOL. It's a healthy "fresh start". A detox, teaching your body to rebalance itself.

I want you to understand that as desperate as I am to lose weight, I did not do this cleanse to lose weight as much as I needed a jolt of new, pure, blank canvas H E A L T H.

We get ONE body folks. If I don't feel sexy as heck at 26, I'm sure doomed for what's to come in 20 years! I'm taking this time to really combine health and fitness as my number one goal. Yes, AJ Schulz just mentioned health and fitness and her number one goal. The same girl who typically works 80 hour weeks, and treats her body like crap to stay dedicated to her career.

I love my job, but it won't be there to hang out with my grandkids when I'm 75. My body needs an overhaul. The Arthritis in my knees takes my breath away. The migraines I get should issued to murderers as punishment. The Sciatic Nerve that kicks in after standing for 12 hours is just mean.

Making my health the priority is surprisingly more mental than physical. Meditation has changed my life this year. Just opening my mind and cherishing each breath, while following the words "I am" with what I want to be, has been beyond impactful.

If you're looking for a reboot, I highly recommend Pressed Juicery. I've done multiple cleanses, some so rancid I couldn't even finish them. I've liked Suja as well, but for $100 in shipping, you've gotta be nuts to order it.

This was my fourth Pressed cleanse, but my first five day cleanse. If you're a first timer, I recommend a three day, "Cleanse 1". I did the five day "Cleanse 3". The juices weren't pink and sugary, we're talkin' green green green juices. If you're not down for some earthy flavor, "Cleanse 3" might not be the best fit for you.

That said, I actually dig "Cleanse 3". Even the greenest juices are smooth and refreshing. I'm never left making a tequila face after drinking them. There are six juices a day, and I drink as much water as I can when I'm not drinking a juice.

So now it's back to paleo! It's amazing how much you cherish lettuce after drinking straight liquids for days.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Would you?



Your Stylist AJ I turned 26 last week. Happy New Year to me!

I really wanted to take the time to document the key memories of 25, as well as set some New Year's Resolutions for 26.

25 taught me that the plans you make when you're 15, or even 20, don't count at all. That the ideas of being a young mother, like your own, and having two kids by 26, are just ideas. That your path is ever-changing and life shouldn't be such an over-analyzed plan.

25 was physically brutal. I gained 35 pounds. 25 was an entire year of my life without wearing jeans even one time, because none of them fit.

25 was full of 80 hour weeks that put strain on my knees causing me to wake up in tears. 25 flew by because I worked too much, and didn't make time for myself. My health got pushed to the back burner. I just did what I needed to do to get through each long day, whether that was "hold it" instead of taking a bathroom break, or scarf down a carby sandwich bc I only had two minutes to eat during a shampoo.

25 was full of proud moments, as Sammy made it to the big leagues, I made it into the top ten beauty bloggers in the eyes of Allure magazine, and I booked TWICE as many weddings as I did when I was 24.

25 was a year of goodbyes to toxic friendships, and open doors to new, healthy and fulfilling ones.

25 was full of honesty, and family growth.

25 was when I found meditation, and it changed my life.

25 included getting braces on, and getting braces off.

25 put life into perspective to be honest. I learned so many lessons that I am eager to implement into 26. This time of reflection is necessary, and I'm not embarrassed about 25, or even gaining 35 pounds. I'm instead motivated and ready for my new year. Ready for change.

26 is sobrandnew. It scares and excites me.

26 will be about reading and writing more.

26 has been full of sweat, vegetables, steak, organization and too much champagne so far.

26 will be normal, 40 hour work weeks. With breaks.

26 is dedicated to finding and maintaing balance.

26 is dedicated to my health and fitness more than my business.

26 will be full of the most beautiful brides that are crazy in love.

26 will be a time for my relationship with Sammy to become even stronger, for us to spend more time together, for the distance to become smaller.

26 is up to me, and I'm up for the challenge.



Paleo Pancakes!

Paleo Pancakes Happy Friday! I hope you have exciting weekend plans! If you don't already, now you do. Enter: Paleo Pancakes.

Whether you're paleo, gluten free, vegetarian or whatever, these pancakes will fit into your healthy lifestyle wonderfully. I swear I would choose these of regular pancakes any day. They're more moist than most pancakes, flip easier, store well and fill me up! This recipe will make enough for 4 people, or 3 really really hungry people. I shared with my next door neighbor, and froze the rest.


Begin by adding all six eggs, three bananas, and 1/2 cup of coconut flour to your blender. (If you are ready to up your blender game, this guy will change your life.) You can also add a spoonful of almond butter if you're into almond butter. Who isn't into almond butter?

Once the batter is blended smooth, heat a skillet with medium heat. Brush on some coconut oil, and get to pouring! I let these hang out for about two minutes on each side. Slow and steady wins the race, if your cakes are above golden brown, turn down the heat.


Let me know if you try them and love them!


Arugula and Sweet Potato Salad

It's that time of year! Time for fresh foods and lots of green! I try to maintain that mentality all year, but this winter was enough to drive any girl deep into a bowl of mac 'n cheese. This salad is one of my favorites! Lots of ladies is my family make it, but this is my twist on a fresh yet filling ensalada!



  • Baby Spinach
  • Baby Arugula
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Roasted Sunflower Seeds
  • Craisins
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parmesan (OPTIONAL)

Now, here's the tricky part. I decided not to give you any measurements here. How dare I right?!

The "correct" way to make this is to go for a 1:1 ratio of greens and sweet potatoes. That version is SO good, but I'm working hard in the gym and in the kitchen to be smart and control my portions, and though sweet potatoes are good, good for you, AND paleo, there're still higher in calories than say, arugula. So in these photos, I used two sweet potatoes for a big bowl of greens. It's enough that you can get a sweet potato cube into every bite, but that you still feel like you're being true to the word "salad".

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad 1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Peel and cube sweet potatoes.

3.Toss cubes in olive oil on a baking sheet. Place in oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place under broil until the edges begin to brown.

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad

4. Add as many sunflower seeds and cranberries as you prefer

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad

5. Next mix fresh lemon juice and olive oil. I like a 2:1 ratio here, with two parts lemon to one part olive oil. Also, add salt and pepper to this if you prefer!

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad

6.  Once browned, add your sweet potatoes to the salad! Next, pour over your dressing mixture.

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad

7. I love to top this off with a little bit of fresh parm. If you're really behaving, you can absolutely skip it!

Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad


Arugula & Sweet Potato Salad

If y'all try it let me know in the comments below! AND if you'd like to see more healthy recipes, I'd love that feedback from you as well!


Seeking Balance

Madewell Tote, Fresh tulips, and black heels "I know you can be overwhelmed, and  you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be.... whelmed?" -10 Things I Hate About You

Do you remember that silly comment from such a classic movie?

I want to be whelmed. I'm an extremist, and labeled as dramatic by my friends and family often. Everything always seems to be the best ever or the worst ever. I'm typically under impressed or raving about an experience. Nothing is ever just fine. What I'm really saying is, I lack balance, but strive for it constantly.

I started a pen and paper list last week of general goals to help achieve balance. This is my list, but maybe it will help you make your list. We're all so great at setting new goals when newness comes. New year, new job, new home, new relationship... but we don't need to rely on change to create change. 

Who's with me?


READ MORE. I often let my mind believe I have writer's block. Really I think I'm just tired and after a 12 hour day can't creatively write for the blog. I'm determined to read more. Some of the best advice I've ever gotten was, "If you want to be a better writer, be a better reader."

SAVE MONEY. I'm fairly good at this already, but I'm better at spending it. I set a new goal for my savings account, and it's important. We're adults. We can LIVE, but we can also be well prepared for LIFE.

EAT CLEAN. I have such a love/ hate relationship with food. I'm sure it's something I'll forever struggle with. Clean food makes me happier than junk food, once I've established routine. I need balance here more than anywhere in my life. That doesn't mean a kale smoothie followed by Ben & Jerry's. The two don't cancel each other out, (but trust me I've tried believing that).

WAKE UP EARLIER. I'm a natural night owl. The problem is, after working all day, I still have a blog, emails, and life waiting for me. Those things only get 50% of my energy after a long day. I need to be most productive in the morning, so I need to have a bedtime, and a wakeup time, both setting me up for success.

MEDITATE. We're all so busy. The little time that we aren't busy doing something, we're caught phone in hand, Breaking Bad on, and thoughts on steroids. I'm really dedicated to working on meditating regularly.

VISIT GRANDMA. Family is so important, and I come from a damn good one. Living away from literally everyone I love isn't easy, and it's important to make time for family. Laughing is medicine, and my family makes me laugh until I cry. I'm actually laughing out loud thinking about them.

SWEAT 5x A WEEK. I'm so guilty of the "I don't have time" excuse. My body is too important to not make time for. I'm more motivated now than EVER. PS. If any of you wanna work out together I'm always down!

PAY IT FORWARD. If you can afford Starbucks, you can afford to hand the cashier a $10 bill, pay for the person behind you, and leave the rest for a tip. You might just make someone's day. But paying it forward isn't always in the form of payment. I challenge all of us to find little ways to pay it forward, and make someone smile when the need it. We're all in this together.

SCHEDULE DOWN TIME. I work in my down time, I don't take days off, I email from bed when I should be sleeping, and I sometimes feel like time is passing me by. Starting this week, I worked in a little bit of down time. Me time. Without down time, many of the other things on this list aren't possible. Consider it recovery time : )

SHOW THANKS. "Thank you" is one of the most powerful phrases for me to hear. I assume that means it's as nice for others to hear it. Saying "Thank you." and SHOWING "Thank you." are two very different things. I think we can all work a little harder to show how much we appreciate the people in our lives and the strangers that we meet.


The ADORABLE bag above is available here! 


Green City Market

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kale bag

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We chat a lot about beauty around here, but not all beauty is a polish or a face mask. Beauty begins with what you put into your body!

It's no secret I think Chicago is the best city on the planet, or that I'm dramatic I guess.

Green City Market is the Lincoln Park farmer's market that takes place on Wednesday and Saturday mornings this time of year. I can't make it every week, but I REALLY try.

I'm 100% about supporting local, eating Paleo, spending time outside, going for long walks, waking up early, and being involved in the community... the farmer's market allows me to do all of these feel good things!

In all the cities I've lived in, my favorite part is walking outside and immediately feeling I'm a part of something huge. The city offers so much energy, and I feed off of it everyday. Farmer's markets are NOT limited to cities, I just love that both are combined in my neighborhood.

Wherever you live, I encourage you to shop local, clean, family farmed goods. I like my veggies dusted in dirt, not pesticides.

This food is so absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Carrots or candy? I'm really not sure.

Who's comin' with me?


Thank you to the talented Emilia Jane for making models out of produce, and sharing girl talk over raspberries.


Mandatory Monday


Welcome back! I hope you had an incredibly, long, SPF filled weekend!

Mondays are tough. But Mondays are especially tough after a long weekend. I have a mandatory Monday list every week to start my week off on the right track, and hopefully with enough momentum to carry me through my Saturday work week.

  • Blog Calendar- I map out my posts for the week to make sure that when I'm posting, it's with purpose, and not just a scrambled "morning of" mess.
  • Trader Joes- If I don't shop clean, it's Jimmy John's to the rescue, and that kinda really cancels out my personal training. On Monday's I grocery shop for the week, and meal prep for a few days in advance.
  • Deep Clean- Monday is the only day I designate towards "chores". I try to keep up with cleaning throughout the week, but Monday is my deep clean day to start fresh.
  • Workout- Monday workouts are so important for me. If I don't start the week off with a healthy, high energy attitude, 7 fat days come and go.
  • Set Little Goals- Before wrapping up Monday, I set goals for the rest of the week, and revisit them every morning.

What are your Monday rituals?


P.S. My awesome mug is from Ashley Brooke Designs, a fellow girl power entrepreneur.

Paleo Princess

FINALmelon I've been wanting to chat about the health part, (A BIG PART), of my lifestyle for a while now. For weeks I've been talking myself out of such a thing. I'm not a skinny girl, so isn't it kind of weird to talk about my body like I'm about to?

I've decided that this blog is the perfect place to address such a thing. This little spot on the WWW is where I share my life, the things that make me who I am, and most importantly, my passions. If hearing out a girl with cellulite talk about diet and exercise sounds crazy to you, feel free to peace out.

My struggle with weight has been just that, a complete struggle. For years my weight has been a roller coaster, and I've never felt confident in my own skin. Not ever. What I've learned is that most women, AND men, share that. I think we'd all change some things about ourselves physically. Some things, we can't change, but we can all change more than we do.

Four years ago, I started dating Sammy, and he taught me how to love myself for the first time in my life. His life coaching taught confidence that I carry in my personal life and absolutely my professional life. Before dating Sammy, I didn't own a pair of shorts. No joke, it was that bad. I don't know if I'll ever loooove my legs, but you can bet I own a zillion pair of shorts and short dresses now.

My relationship with food has been one of self pity. It's an embarrassing thing to acknowledge, let alone type, let alone publish. Here's the thing, when I eat a bunch (read: binge) of junk food, it's because I've "had a long day", "Sammy's in a different time zone", "I'm stressed", "It's the weekend", "I deserve it". UM... I feel sorry for myself much? I'm willing to bet the same goes for many of you. I do NOT deserve to binge on chips and dip for working hard. What the heck logic was I using?

Two months ago, I started working out with a personal trainer. Rachel is so incredible, and I'm beyond thankful she's a part of my life. We've become close friends, and she's seen me make faces of struggle that canNOT be cute, yet still loves me. I've always wanted to weigh a certain number, look a certain way and feel differently about myself. The difference this time is that I don't only want that, I'm just so totally over feeling the way I have. Enough is enough.

Now I'm on a roll and I'm never going back. We are given ONE body. Most of us should be so lucky to have two working legs to even be able to go for a run! I am done taking my body for granted, and done polluting it with disgustingness.

I've tried a paleo lifestyle in the past, but when Sammy left this year, it was back to chips and dip. It wasn't long before weight skyrocketed and I realized what you eat in private everybody sees. Two months ago, I started paleo again. Buh BYE  grains, dairy and yes even red velvet cupcakes. Now, there have definitely been some cheats, (screw you pizza), but I have absolutely adapted the lifestyle of eating clean, and being active. I don't dare have anything in my house that isn't paleo, I shop colorful produce and organic grass fed meats, I drink so much water, and only splurge on alcohol in moderation with red wine or tequila. I meal prep, and pack my lunch now, which is actually saving me money like woah. I stopped taking cabs to work, and walk to the train twice a day, again, saving money like WOAH. I'm significantly more optimistic and energetic post workout. It is undoubtably medicine. I'm thankful for the like minded people in my life that tolerate my paleo text message pictures all day everyday and even more thankful that you send them back. Yes, Sammy I'm talking to you.

What are you waiting for?

Love, AJ

P.S. If you have ANY questions about paleo or would like to hear more about health and fitness on the blog, please feel free to leave a comment or message me privately using the contact page! And if this post interested you, make sure to come back tomorrow for more!