It’s been a year of big change, and it’s only April. As I said the last time I posted, things have been crazy. Finally, there’s a bit of relief and the waters are calming down, but I continue to move forward and open the door to new opportunities. Lots of good is flooding in and more lies ahead.
So, what exactly is new with me? Here are the biggies:
Recreate Fitness, the gym I’ve worked at for nearly the last 4 years, closed its doors on March 31. It was emotional, stressful and hard. I am grateful for all the time I had there and the relationships, community and opportunities presented to me.
Since closing, I started renting space as an independent contractor at a private training studio not far from where Recreate was located. I am grateful that all my existing clients came with me. This is an opportunity for me to really build my business, which is scary and exciting at the same time.
Through a client of mine, I got acquainted with the strength & conditioning coach of the Portland Thorns FC (our professional women’s soccer team) and started helping him with a local gym he’s taking over in Lake Oswego. So, I’m going out there 3x/week and coaching semi-privates, and have been doing so since the end of January. No, I’m not training the soccer players. There is room to grow out here too, if I choose.
I’m going to NYC at the end of this month for the Yoga Tune Up® Breath & Bliss immersion. I loved NYC when I was there in the fall and need to keep moving forward with my Yoga Tune Up® studies, so it seemed like a win-win. I need continuing ed credits now that I’m a licensed teacher and wanted to do it regardless. After all the chaos that’s ensued since January, I am greatly looking forward to this getaway + learning experience!
Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my life. One door closed and another one opened, but in-between, it was quite hectic. Extra work, networking, planning, looking for a space to go, emotions, etc. As hard as it was, I’m relieved to have the gym stuff behind me. Change is hard, but also good and I am not worried. Everything will be great.
Meanwhile, if any of you live in the Portland area (specifically NW Portland since that’s where I train clients) and are looking for a personal trainer, feel free to give me a shoutout. Now that I’m not teaching 11 strength & conditioning classes/week at Recreate, I have more room in my schedule and am taking new clients. Visit my contact page to get in touch with me.
Wow, it’s been over a month since I posted, though it feels like it’s been even longer than that. Life has been a bit crazy for me so far this year — changes, growth, opportunity and lots of things to think about. Seriously, the month of January alone felt like it was a year long. In reality, it’s all good — it’s just been a bit exhausting and slightly chaotic. Anyway, onward and upward!
Meanwhile, I never really knew what the difference was between cottage and shepherd’s pie, but apparently, cottage pie is typically made with beef and shepherd’s pie made with lamb (not sure why the whole shepherd and lamb thing never occurred to me). So, I guess I’m naming this one appropriately. I do have other variations of shepherd’s pie/cottage pie/whatever you want to call it in the archives as well. Check those out HEREand HERE. One is made with ground turkey and has a winter squash topping, and the other is made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey and has a cauliflower mash topping. All three versions are a little different, but all delicious!
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Place sweet potato and russet potato pieces in a steam basket and bring to a simmer on the stove. After 5 minutes, add the cauliflower florets and steam for another 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
Add the cooked vegetables, butter, sea salt and black pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Set aside.
2 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1.25 cups chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tube tomato paste (~5 oz)
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
12 oz bag frozen green peas
Paprika for topping, optional
Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. If you’re using leaner ground beef, add a little bit of fat to the pan (i.e. butter, coconut oil, etc.). If you’re using fattier meat (like 85/15 or 80/20), you won’t need any additional fat in the pan, but may want to drain off a little bit of the fat after browning the meat, otherwise the filling can be too runny/greasy. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the chunks of meat.
Next, add the carrots, dried thyme, cayenne, sea salt and black pepper. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the broth, vinegar and tomato paste, and stir well again. Once mixed together, add the arrowroot starch and stir until dissolved. Finally, add the green peas and let cook for another minute.
Pour filling evenly into a 9×13 pan. Top evenly with the cauliflower-potato mixture and sprinkle with paprika, if using. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
After baking, cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and then serve.
I was recently contacted by Sun Basket to try out their meal delivery service and am excited to share my experience with all of you. Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a complimentary Sun Basket box to test out, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.
What is Sun Basket?
Sun Basket is a new healthy meal kit service that delivers organic ingredients and delicious, easy-to-make recipes for cooking at home. Sun Basket makes it easy to cook healthy, with Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus healthy breakfasts. Get 3 recipes per week for 2, 4 or 6 people, delivered to your door in recyclable packaging that can be shipped back – free- for reuse. Recipes are created by Executive Chef Justine Kelly, formerly head chef at James Beard award-winning restaurant The Slanted Door in San Francisco.
Sun Basket food:
Organic non-GMO produce from the best West Coast farms
Sustainably sourced, hormone-free meats and seafood
Easy, healthy 30-minute recipes designed for minimal cleanup
Recipes developed by an award-winning San Francisco chef
All recipes are approved by our in-house nutritionist
Sun Basket meal plans:
Healthy meal plans including: Paleo-friendly, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus breakfast
3 recipes per week, with meal plans for 2, 4 or 6 people
Choose any meals you like each week. You can even double or triple up on a recipe. Currently shipping to CA, OR, WA, CO, UT, AZ, NV and ID
Sun Basket packaging:
Carefully packaged to stay fresh in the box for 8 hours after delivery
100% recyclable packaging
Free delivery and free return shipping so we can recycle and reuse the materials
All the recipes were delicious, especially the soup and chicken arrabbiata. We were actually surprised how incredible they tasted — even better than we imagined. I’ve actually made the soup again on my own since then. The sweet potato and steak meal was alright, but we both had a lot of grizzle on our sirloin steaks, especially Jesse. I think it would have been better with a different cut of beef. The roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms were great though.
I can totally see myself using this service again. I enjoy cooking and creating on my own, but this is so handy and a nice break from having to think about what I’m making for dinner. It’s also great for getting new and easy recipe ideas. For those of you with extra busy schedules, lack of direction or motivation in the kitchen, not knowing what to eat, poor cooking skills, etc., I highly recommend trying this out. Sun Basket makes it so easy. And, it’s good! The meals actually look like the pictures too!
Interested in trying Sun Basketfor yourself? Visit HERE to learn more and sign up now to receive $30 off your first box!
Jesse and I ate this egg casserole Christmas morning and both thought it was spectacular. I threw it together that morning and while it baked, we enjoyed coffee and opened some gifts from our family. It was just us on Christmas and it turned out to be a quiet, but enjoyable day. We were both okay with quiet and hanging out at home since we were recently traveling in Hawaii (which was our Christmas gift to each other).
Meanwhile, when I made this recipe, I was fortunate to have half of a roasted delicata squash leftover in my fridge, but if you don’t have any leftover, here’s what to do: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place in a baking pan cut-side down. Fill the pan with about 1/4″ of water and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.
Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas that was filled with joy. I wish you all a happy New Year!
1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (pork sausage is fine too)
1/2 large roasted delicata squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (leave skin on)
1/2 cup grated raw grass-fed cheddar cheese, if tolerated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground breakfast sausage and break up with a spatula. Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
Place the spinach in the bottom of a 9×13 pan (note: you may need to grease your pan with a little butter before adding the spinach. I used a stoneware baking dish that doesn’t stick, but if you’re using glass or stainless steel, I’d recommend greasing it). Stir the sausage into the spinach and make sure it’s evenly distributed.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk or heavy cream, bone broth, sea salt, pepper, garlic granules, onion granules and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture on top of the sausage and spinach. Then, evenly distribute the squash pieces on top and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, if using.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.
There’s been a cold front coming through Portland, and it has definitely been chilly. Thankfully, the sun has been in tow a good chunk of the days, but nonetheless, it’s still cold. This soup has been the perfect remedy to ward off some of the nip in the air, and it’s definitely a hearty one. I’ve found that I can tolerate white potatoes just fine, which is exciting, especially after avoiding them for so long. I had to nix them completely when I was treating my SIBO, but after all that was over, I felt scared to try reintroducing them. Anyway, it’s good to have them back in my life, but they’re definitely not an everyday kinda thing.
This soup gets thicker as it sits because of the starch in the potatoes, so it ends up becoming a little more like a stew. It sort of reminds me of a hybrid of chicken soup and chicken pot pie. It’s definitely comforting, savory, satisfying and filling. It would also work great with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. You’d have to already have some stock on hand though, use store bought or make a fresh batch from the turkey carcass.
Meanwhile, I hope all of you have a joy-filled Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy it and remember what you’re grateful for (more importantly, do this everyday!). Jesse and I will be headed to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving up in Vancouver, Washington. We often do our own thing, so we’re excited to be with lots of friends this year, many of which are from our hometown in Michigan. I will be taking my crustless butternut squash pie to share, along with some special bacon almonds.
3-4 lb whole chicken
Filtered water (enough to completely cover chicken in large soup pot)
2 Tbsp sea salt, plus more to taste
3 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 medium-large white potatoes, peeled & cut into pieces (alternatively, you could use butternut squash or sweet potato)
Bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped, plus stems for making stock
Place chicken in a large soup pot and cover completely with filtered water. I usually leave fill it a couple inches from the top. Add the 2 Tbsp sea salt, bay leaves, 1 chopped celery stalk, cilantro or parsley stems and the halved garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer for about 3 hours.
After 3 hours, remove the chicken from the pot and strain the stock through a fine mesh colander. Allow the chicken to cool.
Meanwhile, place the same pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and once melted, add the 2 stalks chopped celery, carrots and yellow onion. Sauté a couple minutes and then add the potato pieces. Stir well and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Pour the stock back into the pot and stir in the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Allow mixture to simmer about 10-12 minutes or until potato pieces are tender. Then, add the frozen peas.
Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and stir into the pot. I recommend saving the bones and skin for making bone broth. You can even store the bones in the freezer until you’re ready to make broth.
Remove from heat and add a generous handful of chopped cilantro or parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve into bowls and garnish with extra cilantro or parsley, if desired.
I recently got back from an incredible trip to New York City and am still feeling high from all the excitement and energy. I’m almost at a loss for words as to how amazing this trip was. I went for a wellness/self-care/inspirational conference called, “I Can Do It!,” with a good friend (two other friends also joined us for the conference piece), but had extra days before and after to explore. The entire experience made me feel so alive, revived, grateful, loved and more connected to myself. I came out of my shell a bit, learned a lot, observed, wandered, bonded and reminisced. It was also the first time that I really took a girl’s trip and I realize that it’s something I need to keep doing. It was amazing. Also, I totally loved NYC and am definitely not done with that city. My friend and I are already planning our next trip back, but we plan to stay in Brooklyn next time. We’re shooting for late September or early October of next year. Meanwhile, we did and saw a lot on this trip, and there was no shortage of amazing food and drinks.
Oh, and the first night we arrived, I found out that I passed my Yoga Tune Up® written exam! It was an awesome way to kick off my trip, especially because I worked so hard on it. If you recall, I did the week-long, in-person piece of the teacher training back in October. Anyway, I’m pretty stoked about all of this and what’s to come!
During my trip, I also got to spend some time with my cousin, Carol who lives in Brooklyn. My friend and I dined with her on two different occasions and she also gave us a little driving tour around parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Additionally, I was able to catch up with someone I was very close with in high school and part of college (we also dated for a long time), who also lives in Brooklyn (he’s in the pic above). Visiting with him was definitely a trip down memory lane and we shared so many laughs. We were both much younger and in a different place in our lives the last time we interacted, but it almost felt like time hadn’t skipped a beat — except that we’re both in a much better place now. It was very special.
Meanwhile, below you’ll find some awesome stuff I jotted down at the conference, and there’s much more too! All the speakers were incredible and I gathered so much from each and every one. The conference was seriously chill-worthy. The picture below is of Dr. Christiane Northrup during her talk. I also got to hear from Cheryl Richardson, Nancy Levin, Mike Dooley, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Kris Carr, Nick Ortner, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Gabrielle Bernstein and Dr. Barbara De Angelis. Dr. Wayne Dyer was also supposed to be a presenter, but as some of you may know, he passed away a few months ago. There was a touching tribute for him on the first day of the conference though. Anyway, I hope you enjoy what I have to share below.
Sensitivity is a great gift. Protect it! It’s okay to be sensitive. Care for it, so it can flourish and bring even better art to the world. Desensitizing does not support our creativity.
Internal conversations get passed down generationally.
When you ask the universe to support you, take action when it does. Set intentions and act on them!
The voices in our head keep us small. The voices in our head want to keep us “safe.”
Give ourselves space to be with the unknown. It’s in the unknown where opportunities and possibilities exist.
Our belief systems are put into place by the age of 11!
Age is just a mindset. It’s constant thoughts. We need to step out of the “age cage.”
The moment you believe you’re a victim is the moment you lose power.
You are a master of your genetics. You are not a victim of your heredity.
If people are in harmony with you, then your energy and their energy entangle. This = good vibes. Bad vibes = losing power, energy is out of harmony with your energy, energy is weak.
Vibration is the primary communication between all organisms.
Change the picture in your mind and your mind is completely changed.
Life is uncertain and in that uncertainty is where we find joy — where the magic is.
Say yes to your life. Say yes to your passion. Say yes to using your voice.
Life is not something that happens to us — we happen to life.
If you don’t address traumas, they’re going to keep coming up in your life. Traumatic events get locked in the body. We need to go back and rewrite the events. We need to heal. “If you want to clean the house, you have to see the dirt.”
All the negative aspects we think are previously coded events.
We think 60,000 – 70,000 thoughts in one day. 90% of those thoughts are from the previous day.
By the time you’re 35 years old, you’re on autopilot 95% of the time.
Miracles are natural and when they’re not occurring, something has gone wrong.
Live the path of choosing again moment-to-moment.
Sometimes, spirit shakes us awake with things that get our attention. This is out of love!
We are wired for greatness, for maximum capacity, for maximum light. Our circuits get unplugged and we forget to plug back in. It’s not because we’re not capable.
Shift from thinking of things you’re doing as good or bad to, “what’s the vibrational impact?” Cultivate expansion and eliminate contraction. Think to yourself, “what am I choosing in this moment? What’s a more enlightened choice I can make right now?”
Be a force of love.
The hardest thing about change is not making the same choices you did the day before. It’s gonna be uncomfortable.
Be defined by a vision of the future instead of a memory from the past.
Lean towards joy and you will be led. If you’re ready to create more success in your life, make joy a priority. Be deeply grounded in that joy. Joy is your birth right!
Show up for your light.
The greatest gift we have is giving voice to our truth. And, when we do, there is no wrong way to live our life.
Whatever you didn’t get from your mother and father, you’ll probably try getting from your significant other.
We draw people that reflect back to us.
Reclaim what we’re not taking responsibility for in ourselves. Every time we point a finger, there’s three fingers pointing back at us.
You always have the strength to choose how to engage. Be open for what’s coming.
Hey friends! I want to let all of you know that I am currently running a sweet Halloween deal and it’s one that won’t rot your teeth or your gut! Through October 31st at 11:59 p.m. PST, anyone that joins Young Living as a member and signs up for a Premium Starter Kit with me will receive a FREE 15 ml bottle of Clove essential oil, plus $20 worth of reference materials. Clove is a wonderful oil to diffuse during the fall and winter to support the immune system, and can even be used for cooking (pumpkin pie, anyone?). Its aroma is spicy, warm and comforting.
To take advantage of this promo, please email me at email@example.com with HALLOWEEN typed into the subject line. Do this once you checkout and confirm your Young Living order. For detailed instructions on how to sign up, visit HERE. Or, if you’re ready to sign up now, visit HERE. Make sure my Young Living member number, 2225243 is in both the enroller and sponsor box when you sign up. Also, if you’re not already in my secret essential oils Facebook group and want to be, join HERE.
Please note, this deal is for U.S. residents only.