How to survive the #whole30 |
Food, Inspiration, Whole30

How to Survive Whole30

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed from time to time I put myself through absolute hell set out to do something really healthy for my body and mind, and partake in the Whole30 Challenge. In a nutshell (yes, you can eats nuts), the Whole30 is a 30-day reset where you replace sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and booze with whole foods like vegetables, fruit, meat and seafood. Did I lose you at no booze? I get it, and yep, no wine, beer or liquor for 30 days. You will live, I promise. Is it hard? Yes. Is it totally doable and will you feel like a champion afterwards? Oh hellllll yes. Check out my tips and let me know if you have some of your own to share in the comments below!

Get yourself a big ‘ol calendar. And use this lifesaver timeline to mark the days you can expect to feel great and the days you can expect to feel murderous a bit grumpy. Note that your mood may not exactly match the timeline, but it’ll be pretty darn close. The best part of the calendar is crossing the day off and being that much closer to your goal. Go you! P.S. If you love the timeline above, you’ll also love these other helpful official Whole30 downloads.

Hide all the things. Go through your pantry and fridge before you start. Toss or donate any no-no’s, or put any that will still be good on day 31 in a paper bag (like one from Target or Trader Joe’s) and push it to the back of the fridge. Ignore it for the next 30 days. This way when you open the fridge, you’ll know anything in there is fair game.

How to survive the #whole30 |

Food prep your little heart out. This might be the most important tip. It’s super frustrating when you get home from an unexpected long and hard day and you have no idea what to eat/don’t want to cook dinner. Set yourself up for success by spending a little time over the weekend cooking and prepping as many meals as possible. I wasn’t much of a chef pre-Whole30, but I now have more than a few favorite recipes (keep scrolling), and I really look forward to my Sunday evening time in the kitchen.

On office life. If you work in an awesome office like mine, there are always amazing treats out for the taking—donuts, cupcakes, chicken & waffles, pizza, beer. I’ve been taking pictures of all the treats that magically appear, which in a weird way, makes me feel like I’m consuming them. I sat close to a tray of donuts in a meeting once just so I could smell them. On that note, you will do really weird things on the Whole30. Just be prepared with your lunch and know there will be treats next month!

The first weekend was super hard for me. Get yourself some La Croix or Topo Chico with lemon or lime and watch a good movie or Netflix season. Scott and I have done the Whole30 three times now, and on the first two tries, we always found some reason to talk ourselves into cheating. “Welllll, maybe we can have red wine on weekends. It’s good for your heart!” I’m proud to say we didn’t cheat at all during our most recent Whole30 in September. I tell you this because you will think of hilarious reasons you can just have a little of this or that. But don’t. When you’re having a huge craving, make yourself busy and let it pass. When you wake up the next day without cheating, you’ll feel so much stronger. It’s totally a brain game. So weird! So fun!

No but really, load up on fun water. Okay, so part of the challenge is that you’re not supposed to swap out bad stuff for fake bad stuff. For example, you shouldn’t drink Topo Chico from a wine glass. But I mean… if it’s going to keep you from falling off the wagon, do it! Perhaps give it the old college try first though and reserve the mocktail for when you just. can’t. take. it. anymore.

For my sweet tooth sisters. Okay, same point here. You’re not supposed to eat fake dessert because Whole30 is all about breaking those bad habits. But if you’re really hurting, keep some dates in the freezer and treat yo self TO ONE when you’re about to fall off the ledge. I swear after not eating sugar for a while, it’ll taste like chocolate.

Don’t go crazy on fruit or nuts. Scott and I did that during our first go and I think it messed with our results. We treated ourselves to a few grapes and strawberries at breakfast and lunch on our recent Whole30 and it was totally fine.

When days are rough. Remember why you’re doing this. “Remember that you are the CEO of your body and you should be boss about that sh*t.” Also, talk to a friend or head to Instagram to see how others are staying strong. Whole30’s official Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest definitely help too. It’s such an interesting science experiment you’re doing on your body, so when days are hard, just think of it that way. It’s pretty amazing what you learn about your habits and brain. I promise by the end of the 30 days, you’ll feel in charge, rather than your body/sugar being the boss. Neat.

Okay cool story, but what the hell do we eat?? The hardest part of Whole30 is not knowing what the heck you can eat. Huzzah! Check out my favorite recipes below.


  • My Whole30 Pinterest board, duh.
  • Make this breakfast casserole on Sunday night and it will last you through Friday morning. Trust me, it will save you on busy mornings. I trick it out with 2-3 chopped sweet potatoes, half of an onion (chopped), a bag of frozen spinach and 11 eggs instead of 10. We fancy.
  • On weekends, we get down with bacon (check the label for sugar-gah), avocado, eggs made with coconut milk and a small amount of fruit. Oh, and coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon is delightful!


  • My Whole30 Pinterest board, duh.
  • Roasted veggies and sausages make for an easy and quick meal you can make at work for lunch or dinner if you get home late. I love Trader Joe’s already cooked sausages. Be sure to read the package though—they’re not all Whole30 approved. We love the chicken apple, jalapeno, garlic herb and sun-dried tomato flavors. Roast two pans of veggies on Sunday and they should last you through the work week.
  • I make this turkey kale soup every Sunday night and it lasts us 2-3 dinners.
  • It’s always good to keep a ton of tuna fish in your pantry. I mix mine with Just Mayo, chopped black olives, chopped cucumbers and Dijon mustard. I eat it with carrots or plop a big spoonful in romaine lettuce cups. Side note: I tried to make my own mayo and it was a huge fail. Just Mayo is approved and does the trick.
  • Tuna patties with Just Mayo for dipping, sweet potato fries and grapes. I LOVE this recipe. It’s so dang good and easy. Instead of breadcrumbs, use almond or coconut flour and allow the patties to hang out in the fridge for about 15 minutes before cooking so they stay together in the skillet.
  • Slow cooker chicken with roasted veggies and grapes. The grapes feel like a treat. I make the chicken on Sunday and it lasts for a few meals. It’s super easy and sets you up for success. This chicken recipe is a favorite. And so is this one.
  • Butternut squash, sweet potato or zucchini zoodles. You can use a spiralizer like this one if you have time to cook. OR, buy the zoodles already zoodled. We found this brand at our local grocery store. Just throw them on the stove with garlic, onions and a little bit of clarified butter, then toss in some protein like grilled chicken or shrimp. (Keeping cooked, deveined & peeled shrimp in the freezer is a lifesaver on late work nights.)
  • Meatballs, y’all! They’re great with zoodles, clarified butter, garlic and diced tomatoes or a no sugar added tomato sauce. I like this recipe, but often use turkey instead of pork.
  • Fried okra with avocado cream is such a good side.
  • I could eat a pan of prosciutto wrapped asparagus for dinner.
  • Sweet potato, kale and shrimp skillet. So easy and delicious. Make more than you think you need for easy lunch leftovers.
  • Jalapeño turkey burgers with sweet potato fries, diced red onion and Wholly guacamole.
  • Moroccan spiced roasted sweet potatoes and carrots with Balsamic steak rolls.

Great Links From Others – I’ll keep these updated as I come across new ones!

Have you done the Whole30? What was your experience like? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below! xo, Mel




There’s this thing that happens when I walk into Anthropologie. Joy overcomes me. All the colors. All the fabrics. All the textures. ALL OF THE DRESSES. A warm and fuzzy feeling runs up my body from my toes to my forehead. Then before I know it, I’m spinning through the store singing the main song from the movie Beaches at the tops of my lungs while the shop manager picks up the phone to call the mall police and women pick up their small children and back out of the store slowly. Ahem. Imagine my delight this morning when an email hit my inbox that read 25% off all dresses from Anthropologie. Take a look at my favorites below, then head over to the Anthropologie site or store to choose your own.

Cute green dress from AnthropologieFlounced T-shirt Dress $88.50

Cute printed dress from AnthropologieGallerina (GET IT?!) T-Shirt Dress $148.50

Cute black printed dress from AnthropologieNightvision Swing Dress $148.50

Cute red shoulder showing dress from AnthropologieGemma Silk Dress $298.50

Cute black maxi dress from anthropologieMarova Maxi Dress $298.50

Cute pink dress from AnthropologieLilibet Dress $103.50

Cute dainty dress from AnthropologieLayered Victorian Dress $126

Outdoor Movies in Austin with the Alamo Drafthouse |
Austin, Texas

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse

Last night, Scott and I went to one of the coolest events we’ve been to since moving to Austin. Outdoor movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse! The Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow is hosting pop-up outdoor movies at various locations in Austin. Last week, they screened “Goonies” at Live Oak Brewing and last night, it was another one of my favorites—“Moonrise Kingdom”.

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse | MustacheMelrose.comThe event took place at the French Legation Museum, which is located in a cute little neighborhood, a street off the beaten path in east Austin. It’s surrounded by adorable historic homes—some remodeled, some still standing strong in their need-some-lovin’ glory.

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse | MustacheMelrose.comThe scene reminded me of events I attended in Austin back when I was a little girl. It wasn’t too crowded, and everyone there was super friendly and more than willing to offer up a piece of beef jerky or share a bottle opener if you forgot yours at home. Before the movie, we all sat on blankets enjoying the warm, yet somewhat breezy air, while watching lightning bugs light up the sky. It was a perfect night.

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse | MustacheMelrose.comIf you missed the magic of last night, don’t worry. There are plenty of Rolling Roadshow events to catch in the future. Next week, they’re screening “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” with a very special guest in attendance—Judge Reinhold! And the next few weeks after that, they’ll have more movie surprises up their sleeves. You can bet Scott and I will be at most of them.

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse | MustacheMelrose.comTickets are only $10 per person. Bring a blanket, some treats, drinks and comfortable chairs. There are clean bathrooms a few steps away on the property and plenty of room to spread out. Free street parking is available, though you may have to walk a tiny bit since some of the streets are designated only for resident parking. (So read the signs before ya put it in park.)

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse | MustacheMelrose.comCheck out the Rolling Roadshow Facebook page for more pics from the event and future event details. See y’all at the next one!

Outdoor Movies in Austin with Alamo Drafthouse |

Culver City, Los Angeles, Travel

Bye Felicia! Off to California

Hey guys! Scott and I are headed back to Los Angeles today to celebrate his 30th birthday. I KNOW! BIG DEAL! I haven’t been back to our old hood of Culver City since October, so I am extra excited. We’re catching up with fraaaanz at our favorite pizza & beer joint on Friday, then heading to the lovely Solvang on Saturday. But wait, there’s more! We’re going to see Louis C.K. live at the LA Forum on Sunday, Scott’s actual birthday. Whew! Should be a good time. Keep up with with our trip on Instagram, and in the meantime, scroll down to view our pics from Scott’s birthday at Disneyland last year! The captions are full of me pretty much yelling with excitement. It was magical.

OMG OMG omg! Happy birthday @heyscottrowan!!! DISNEYLAAAAAND! #disneyland

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

It’s the most wonderful, colorful place in the world! #disneyland

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

So much fun! #disneyland

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

#disneyland parade!

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

So exciting! California Adventure today with @heyscottrowan for his bday! Hi Goofy!

A video posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

Coffee and a Mickey Mouse cookie for the birthday boy’s breakfast! 👌😘

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on


A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

I ❤️ you, Mr. Potato Head. (Sorry @heyscottrowan)

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on

Bye for now, #disneyland! 😘😘😘😘😘🙋😍🙌

A photo posted by Melody Lowe 🙋 @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on


Fitness Inspiration, Part Deux

Need some fitness inspiration? Me too, sister. It’s that time of the year (or month or day or hour, lately) that I realize I’m too big for my britches. All the Ramen, Hanger Steak Ssam (with Kimchi), pizza, cheese plates, sandwiches, bruschetta, bbq, bbq, tacos, tacos, beer, beer and beer have gone to my boom boom and lately I’ve been on the verge of screaming every time I walk into my closet. (And no, not because there is a raccoon that jumps out from behind the hangers, though I’d definitely scream at that too.)

In an effort to gain back my sanity (and ability to fit into my favorite jorts), I’m jumping back into fitness and committing to making healthier decisions. No more IPA and pizza. (Okay less IPA and pizza.) To get into the spirit, I broke up with my normal gym wear of old ratty tees and bought some new gym attire I don’t feel so dumpy in. Something that also inspires me to get active is breezing through @Nikewomen’s Instagram feed. It’s full of powerful photos that make me feel all the feels. Check out some of my favorites below – complete with go get ‘em quotes. Want more? Read this post I wrote about fitness inspiration last year.

How do you get motivated to break a sweat? Holler in the comments, y’all. xo

In it together.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Don’t let you stop you. #betterforit

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Progress is the best success. #betterforit

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Game. Set. Match. Championship. History. #betterforit

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

More sets are waiting. Wish you were here. Find your fast at, now in our bio.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Look ahead. Then watch the miles fly by.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Felt like skipping. Skipped rope instead. #betterforit

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Goal: 10. Achieve: 15.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

What to wear today: something to sweat in. #ootd Gear up through the link in our profile.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Strength is a gift that keeps on giving. #betterforit

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Run break. Build core strength with Nike Master Trainer @nikkimetzger’s new #NTC App workout. #traintuesday

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Not for wallflowers. Train bold in the Nike Tight of the Moment x Midnight Floral.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Getting better every day.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

Columns, meet arch.

A photo posted by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on


Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas

A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to chat with Marco Rodriguez, one of the three masterminds behind Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas. Over a ridiculously delicious Coffee Milk Stout, he filled me in on how they went from corporate to kegs.

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comZilker Brewing Company is the creation of brothers Patrick and Forrest Clark and their good friend Marco Rodriguez. The three started home brewing in 2008. After entering their IPA into a competition and winning gold, they knew it was time to get serious about turning their hobby into a full time profession. “That was the kick in the pants we needed to get started on the business plan,” says Marco. Fast forward to a few years later where you can spend a relaxing day at the popular brewery on the burgeoning east side of Austin, lounging with friends on tables made from reclaimed train car wood while sipping on hoppy favorites like the Marco IPA.

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comBefore crafting beer full time, Marco’s days were spent working at his desk job as a tax examiner for the IRS, while nights were reserved for volunteering at local breweries like Jester King. “I think I called and emailed every brewery within a 50 mile radius, just to get my foot in the door,” he says. Marco isn’t the only passionate hard worker at Zilker. Rachael Hackathorn, Zilker’s Operations and Events Manager, proudly admits she easily puts in 100+ hours in a week. “It doesn’t help that I live a couple blocks away from the brewery,” she laughs. “One special night when the fire alarm went off, we learned I could get out of bed, throw on clothes, jump in my car and be here in 3 minutes.”

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comThe entire team at Zilker Brewing Company happily works their arses off. Though they each have set jobs and responsibilities, the work fam (made up of 3 taproom staffers, a delivery driver, brewer & 3 owners) chips in however they can, doing anything from carrying kegs to installing lights and helping coordinate community events.

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comSarah—one of the skilled taproom pourers and pictured above—is starting classes to earn her Cicerone Certification (think wine Sommelier, but for the beer world.) Rachael is an exam away from earning hers. It doesn’t take more than a flight at the bar to understand these gals know their stuff. “It’s fun being able to nerd out about beer together,” says Rachael. “Plus it helps to have a knowledgeable staff.”

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comMost of the team got into the industry by experimenting with home brewing. If you’re interested in getting into the brew-making business, Marco suggests visiting your local brew shop like Austin Homebrew Supply or SoCo Homebrew to get hooked up with a basic brew set up. “It takes a lot of teaching yourself, reading books and just jumping right in and figuring it out,” says Marco. One of his favorites books is “How to Brew” by John Palmer. He’s a big fan of Ray Daniels too.

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas | MustacheMelrose.comFinding the perfect location for Zilker Brewing Company took a while. “We’re picky,” says Marco. “We wanted a cool place where people in the neighborhood could gather. A warehouse box wasn’t good enough for us.” Luckily Zócalo (the company behind Zilker Brewing’s branding) were besties with the landlord of where the brewery now calls home. The guys were able to nab the space before it hit the market. After a lot of construction, hard work, patience and luck, Zilker Brewing Company opened its welcoming garage doors in 2015. With raving Yelp reviews and Zilker Brewing T-shirts, hats and other schwag being worn around town, it’s pretty clear the neighborhood is happy to have them. Stop by Zilker Brewing this weekend for a cold one, and keep an eye on their Facebook page for special events.

A look inside Zilker Brewing Company in Austin, Texas |