Hello friends! Please pardon my lack of posts this week. My computer is out of commission right now, but I’m hoping to have it back by Monday. I had a recipe to share for today, but all the pictures for it are saved on my computer, so it’ll have to wait. Meanwhile, Jesse let me borrow his laptop, so I thought I’d share a little bit about our holiday yesterday.
First off, I don’t know it’s because of the magnesium I took before bed, the white noise from the fan or my decision to sleep in, but I had the best night’s sleep on the eve of the fourth. I woke up yesterday morning refreshed and well rested, and even slept until 8 am! I decided to take a bit of a recovery day, so opted out of going to early morning yoga or doing the holiday workout at Recreate. Instead though, I went for a lovely walk upon waking. It felt SO good and the temperature was perfect. I even broke up my walk with some duck unders (the u-shaped bike racks are great for this, permitting you have the hip mobility), push-ups and play at a nearby park playground. Thankfully, because of the holiday and it being earlier in the morning, there was no kids at the playground, which is a rarity! Afterward, I ran a couple errands and then made a stellar breakfast (you know…bacon, farm-fresh eggs from Jason Seib’s chickens, sauerkraut, veggies, local berries).
Moving forward into the day, Jesse and I went out for a biking adventure. We rode up and down hills, through neighborhoods and then found a nice outdoor patio, where we enjoyed some libations. We enjoyed each other’s company and conversation for a while and then rode home to eat dinner. Thankfully, I had prepped most everything earlier in the day, so things came together quickly.
For dinner, we had grilled vidalia onions, beef and mushroom kabobs and a creamy zucchini salad. For the kabobs, I marinated sirloin cubes in coconut oil, thyme, garlic, oregano and sea salt. Then, I assembled them on skewers with crimini mushrooms. I usedStrictly Paleo…ish’s recipefor the salad, but used fresh basil instead of parsley and roughly 3/4 – one cup of mayo instead of 2 cups. I also made my homemade mayo from half coconut oil and half extra virgin olive oil, which turned out fantastic! It was my first time using coconut oil in mayo, and it worked great. Normally, I use avocado oil or macadamia nut oil, but had neither on hand and refuse to use straight up extra virgin olive oil for mayo. I did that once and it tasted awful — burned my throat! Anyway, the mayo tastes very buttery and is out of this world. I will definitely make it this way again.
For dessert, we had fresh blueberries and peaches with coconut milk whipped cream and some chopped TCHO 99% dark chocolate (just pure chocolate…nothing else!).
We didn’t watch any fireworks, but could here them going off from every direction in the neighborhood, and could smell them too. The kitties didn’t like it too much and Mila, our Siamese feline, hid under the bed most of the night!
What did you do for the Fourth of July? Did you eat anything especially delicious?
Wow, it’s been one heck of a week in terms of school and activity, and my body has felt the brunt of it. Thankfully, the school week is over and I now have room to think more about the things I’m excited about. Here’s what I’m especially stoked about right now:
Ring shopping this weekend: Do I need to say any more here? Oh my goodness, I can’t wait! Jesse and I are going out to breakfast on Saturday and then starting from there. We’re going to Gilt Vintage & Artisan Jewelry to look at some antique pieces (I love the idea of having a ring with a background story!) and will scope out a couple other recommended places as well (Alchemyand Judith Arnell Jewelers). We’re also going ceremony outfit shopping for Jesse. We’re keeping our little ceremony a bit more casual (but nice, of course) and Jesse is really not a suit guy, so we’re going an alternate route. I think it’ll be better this way and why not pay money for something that can be worn again? Jesse and I are practical people, so this makes the most sense for us. I’ll recap about all this after the weekend!
US Wellness Meats: Yep, my friend, Macala and I are in the process of placing another US Wellness Meatsorder. I get super giddy putting an order together. Seriously, it’s like being a kid in a candy store. We go in on orders together every few months. We don’t go hog wild, but get some good staples to keep handy in the freezer. This is where I get all my sugar-free beef bacon too. I even ordered our kitties some special pet food, which is a mixture of raw grass-fed beef, beef liver and beef heart. I know they’ll love it because we already feed them some raw food that is a combo of raw turkey, turkey liver and turkey heart and they go crazy over it. They eat this as a supplement to their dry, grain-free cat food. We take good care of our furry friends!
Primal Recess class: I had to miss this class on Tuesday due to school and exhaustion, so I’m happy to go today. This class, at Recreate, is always a bit more intimate and Jesse has us do lots of playful stuff. I’m usually the only girl and have fun playing with the boys.
Getting a real senior client: For my special populations pro-act class, which is a follow-up from my fitness and aging class, we’re learning how to test and program for the senior population. Last week, we visited an amazing senior retirement center that literally had everything you could dream of (shops, fitness center & pool, bank, clinic, post office, hair salon, etc.)! We were fortunate to not only get a full tour, but also take part in a chair aerobics class. We let all the seniors find their chairs first because they all have their favorite spots and God forbid someone take it! They were adorable, funny and oh-so precious. It was so enjoyable and heart-warming. In terms of the class, I was quite surprised how challenging a chair aerobics class actually is! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t intense or difficult for me, but it was harder than I anticipated. The equipment included a chair, obviously, a ball and light dumbbells. Anyway, we’ll be going back in a couple weeks to be introduced to a real client, in which we’ll consult with and administer senior fitness tests to (i.e. 8-foot get-up and go, back scratch, sit-to-stand, etc.). Then, we’ll develop a program for our client and go back again and show them the exercises. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and even though I’m a touch nervous, I’m excited more than anything. It’s really touching to spend time with seniors because it reminds me of being with my grandparents and other senior relatives. It feels good and is actually a bit comforting.
Continuing to purge: With all the new stuff I got for my wedding shower and items I picked out myself with shower money, Jesse and I have cleared space and gotten rid of a lot of stuff. It feels so refreshing to get rid of bagfuls of old things and replace it with nice, new and fresh stuff. We live in such a small place though, that we really didn’t have a choice, but to purge. We’ll be making another trip to goodwill soon because we just got a shiny new Oneida silverware set and need to get rid of our mismatched cheap pieces. I’m sure I can find more items (again) to ditch with the silverware. It feels SO good!
I am taking a break from food today to say express my gratitude. I just have to get it off my chest, and nearly want to shout it from the rooftops!
I am thankful, every single day, for this life and what I’m creating for myself. Up until 10 months ago, I never knew life could be this satisfying and amazing. I was at a job that made me unhappy and stressed (stressed because I felt like I could never do anything good enough and I often felt like I was walking on eggshells), and I was not pursuing my passions or using my energy to its greatest capacity. I’ve said this before, but getting laid off from that job was the best thing that could have happened to me. Since that time, I’ve changed my attitude and perspective, surrounded myself with positive people and finally started pursuing things that mattered to me. And guess what? Opportunities fell into my lap effortlessly, and all the jobs I have now I did not apply for, but rather, they were offered to me: coaching at Recreate Fitness, making treats at Cultured Caveman, freelance writing for a former co-worker’s side business and now, doing some PR work forJason Seib, my mentor and author of the fantastic new book, The Paleo Coach. Having people who believe in me and want ME is an awesome feeling. I am so blessed and I know it might sound sappy, but sometimes, all I can do is cry because I’m so happy. I also am a bit of a softy and show emotion easily. But, do you see how important it is to be pursuing the things that matter to you? Don’t settle for less…it’s not worth it and life is too short.
What are you creating for yourself? Are you pursuing the things that are near and dear to your heart? If not, what’s stopping you?
Wow, what a great weekend! Saturday, in particular, was outstanding. Before I get rolling about that, I just want to say that a Monday – Wednesday school schedule is SO much better than going through Thursday. One less day of school during the week really makes a big difference. If you’re curious, my classes this term include exercise science, fitness assessment II, and professional activities: special populations (fitness programming for older adults).
Anyway, Saturday started with another great workout at Recreate. Then, it was breakfast at home and a little downtime before heading to Whole Foods for a healthy fats presentation by my friend, Ashley, also the blogger behind Craving4more, in case you didn’t remember. The event was actually titled, “Fat is NOT the F-word!” Ashley had a great spread laid out, as usual and we had the opportunity to sample the delicious food. I tried the macadamia-crusted halibut, a fig olive walnut tapenade, roasted watermelon radishes (roasted in coconut oil), and lemon pound cake bites (grain-free and similar to a larabar). She also had an avocado chocolate mousse with port berries and spiced pecans, but I needed to opt out. I brought some home for Jesse though, and he said it was delicious. Ashley also had some freshly made grass-fed tallow and grass-fed ghee on display for participants to see.
Ashley gave a great overview of the types of fat, which to cook with, which not to cook with (finishing oils), which to avoid, omega-3 vs. omega-6, myths and overall benefits. I knew most everything already, but it was neat to see others learn about it that did not know all these details. It was fun and I was happy to be there to support Ashley, and taste the delicious food too! Be sure to keep an eye on Ashely’s blog this week because I know she’ll be posting some of the recipes.
Then, when leaving Whole Foods, I randomly ran into two different friends, one of which I hadn’t seen in a long time (also a former lululemon co-worker). The other was one of my special yoga buddies. I love them both and was happy to see and chat with them, even if it was only for a few minutes.
Fast forward a little later in the day and I remembered that Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, was giving a talk at a local bookstore about 5-10 minutes away from my house. I called to make sure there was still spots available, and lucky for me, there was, but I wasn’t sure if I’d make it in time or not. I had dinner going and realized I’d have to eat quickly and bolt, and I really detest rushing! I knew I’d regret missing it though, so I made it work.
“Dietary fat has been treated like a villain for the better part of the last century by medical authorities, the USDA and other mainstream nutritional authorities. Instead, dietary carbohydrates have been lauded as foundational to human dietary needs largely without question and now makes up the majority of mainstream dietary intake. Dietary fat is demonstrably central to our most basic energy, metabolic, neurological and physiologic needs and by restricting its intake we foster a much less healthy and unnatural dependence upon dietary sources of sugar and starch. Nora Gedgaudas is the author of the critically acclaimed international best-selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a Board-Certified nutritional consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist.”
At the event, I had the opportunity to meet a couple other Portland paleo bloggers and it was awesome to finally put a face with the name in person! I’m referring, specifically, to Holly over at The Paleo Blog of Yayand Jennifer over at Paleo Dieting. Jason Seib, my mentor and author of the book, The Paleo Coach, was also there. I grabbed a seat and Jason told me to save the seat next to him. I still feel so fortunate to have him as a friend and mentor.
Nora’s talk was 90 minutes long and I was engaged every second of it. I took notes and could have taken a lot more, but was so enthralled by her at times, that all I could do is sit and listen. She is a wealth of knowledge, as well as a fantastic speaker and presenter. I am SO glad I went.
After the talk, I chit-chatted with some others and was able to meet Nora and have her sign my book, which was such a pleasure. I didn’t get a picture with Nora, but did take one of Jason and Nora together on my phone.
Here are a few highlights from Nora’s presentation that I wrote down (note, this is not everything I wrote down):
Taking statins for high cholesterol levels is the equivalent to shooting the fireman at the fire.
Cholesterol is an indicator, not a disease marker. To know what’s really going on, you have to look under the hood.
The more we depend on fat, the longer we live.
Cell membranes require 50% saturated fat for functioning and other parts of the body, including the heart, need it to function properly as well (she listed how other parts of the body use saturated fat, but this is the one I was able to jot down in time).
Cholesterol functions as an antioxidant and acts as duct tape in our arteries.
Cholesterol — not diamonds — is a girl’s best friend.
Using ketones for fuel creates more ATP.
The brain uses >20% of the body’s total energy demands.
For human longevity, it’s best to keep protein around 25 grams per meal. (Note: this varies for some people with specific goals or needs, such as athletes or those trying to gain muscle).
Special note: go watch Allan Savory’s TED talk titled, “How to green the desert and reverse climate change.” Jason made sure I wrote this down.
On a completely different note and just because I want to share, Jesse and I get married exactly two months from today!
It’s been a while since my first post about things I’m loving, so I thought it was time for another. As much as I enjoy doing food posts, it’s fun to switch things up too. Hopefully, it’s as enjoyable for you as it its for me.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova: I’m reading this book for my fitness and aging class and holy moly, is it good. I started it Saturday morning, and by Saturday night, I was on page 133. It’s a fascinating story about a very bright woman, who is a renowned Harvard professor, that develops early onset Alzheimer’s. She gradually starts losing pieces from her memory, and feels like she’s literally losing her mind. It’s quite sad, of course, but so interesting at the same time. I highly recommend this book!
My brand new dryer: My dryer stopped emitting heat shortly after I returned from Hawaii, and we were without a working dryer for about three weeks! Air drying isn’t so bad for some things, like delicates or technical fabrics, but for things like hooded sweatshirts, jeans, and so forth, it’s kind of a pain in the butt. Items like this take too long to dry and become stiff and crusty. I avoided washing towels during this time (luckily, we have a good supply) because they’d end up smelling mildewy. Anyway, our new dryer was approved and finally delivered last weekend. I don’t think I was ever so happy and excited to do laundry in my life! Not only that, but it dries clothes in half the amount of time as our old dryer. This is one modern convenience that I definitely appreciate, although I do like the smell of line-dried clothes in the summertime.
Mentoring with Jason Seib: As you may recall from my post last Monday, I have a mentor-ship established with Jason Seib. We’ve met once since our initial meeting, and will continue to meet every Monday. We just started working on a project together, which he is leading and I am learning from. I get to be involved in every step along the way, which is really exciting. I’m hesitant to give too many details about this project, but it does involve a third person as well. She’s a dear friend of mine and former co-worker. She’s really excited too! You’re probably very curious now, aren’t you?
Primal Recess: This class is Jesse’s baby at Recreate and I love it! It consists of such things as primal/instinctual movements (squatting, crawling, etc.), body weight training, heavy carries, awkward carries, pulling, pushing, Clubbells, balance games, obstacle courses and FlowFit. It’s fun, playful and challenging, and Jesse’s creativity shines through. He’s a very talented guy.
Creme de la Earl Grey tea: This tea is so good, it’s almost sinful. It’s rich, flavorful and has a lovely hint of vanilla creaminess. I buy a local brand from one of our co-ops, but there are other brands out there as well. Even the tea itself is beautiful, with hints of blue flowers. It tastes perfect straight up, but is extra delightful with a bit of full-fat coconut milk mixed in. Here is a link to the brand I buy locally.
Using my slow cooker as much as possible: I’ve been a fan of the slow cooker for quite some time now, but have an even greater appreciation for it now. Lately, I’ve been using it nearly every day because it’s a lifesaver with a busy schedule. My schedule continues to get busier, so I’ll be keeping my slow cooker close to my side! This is probably my number one kitchen tool that makes my life easier.
Knowing that I get to go home soon: I’m flying home to Michigan at the end of March, so the ladies of my family can throw me a proper wedding shower. I know it means a lot to my family to do so, and I want to go home anyway. This way, I can finalize or check into any specific details for our post-wedding party, relax a little (at least from school work, since it’ll be spring break), and enjoy the company of my family.
What are some little things (or big things) that you’re enjoying right now?
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was busy, but good busy. Saturday, I had an all day DVRT certification at my gym, which went from 9:30am – 6pm. We learned different assessments, progressions, techniques, cues and much more. It was a ton of information, and both mentally and physically fatiguing, but very valuable in more ways than one. Afterward, Jesse and I were really worn out, so decided to go out to eat. Then, we went home and relaxed for a bit before going to bed. I slept like a baby and it felt amazing to finally get a good night’s sleep. I hadn’t slept well in three nights because of my cold.
Sunday, I woke up refreshed and feeling better. My head felt less stuffy and heavy, and my cough was much better too. I drove to Recreate in the frozen fog (which made me a little disoriented) to help coach class, and then afterward, spent the rest of the day running errands, doing laundry (was way behind because our dryer broke, but our new dryer was delivered on Sunday), making 24-hour yogurt, making pork shoulder in the slow cooker (recipe to come!), getting all my ingredients in order for my treats at Cultured Caveman, and working on my taxes (what can I say, I got a head start).
Today, I have no school, in honor of MLK Day, but have enough to keep me busy. I’m replenishing my treats at the food cart bright and early this morning, meeting my friend, Laura, later in the morning for breakfast and conversation, doing homework, cleaning, cooking and either going to yoga in the evening or taking a rest day. That’s still to be determined.
In other, more exciting news, I have an awesome opportunity starting this week. On Friday, I took a leap and reached out to someone in the health/paleo/fitness world that I respect a lot about a potential mentor-ship opportunity. This person is Jason Seib, who owns Clackamas Physical Conditioning (about 25-30 minutes from me) and runs Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitnesswith Sarah Fragoso. He also has a book coming out on March 5 called, The Paleo Coach, which I anticipate being fantastic. You may recall, that I attended one of his seminars this past September in Grants Pass, Oregon. I did a couple recap posts about it, which you can read here and here. I was also fortunate to interview Jason this past fall as an industry leader for one of my assignments in school.
Anyway, Jason surprisingly emailed me back within an hour of receiving my message, and asked if I could stop by his gym that very afternoon to chat about what he could offer me. Long story short, I’m going to be hanging out at his gym at least once a week to work with and learn from him! I get to join in on initial assessments, nutrition coaching, training, etc. This experience is going to be beyond valuable and I can’t wait to start soaking things up. To start, he is going to assess and train me (cool, right?). Additionally, we have a project in mind, but I need to hold off on talking about that for now. Oh, and I even got to meet the infamous, Deb while I was there. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the following posts from Jason:
I’m so excited and proud of myself for reaching out to Jason. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, but for some reason, was a little nervous about doing so and held back. I think part of it is because I respect him so much and feel slightly intimidated, but I knew that I couldn’t let a potential opportunity pass me by. Seriously, his gym is 25 minutes from me…how could I not take advantage of such proximity?
Do you create opportunities in your life? What is something that you’re excited about right now?
I’ve been getting inquiries as to what my typical day looks like, so thought I’d give it a go. What’s laid about below is pretty typical, except I usually have school. It’s finals week, so my class schedule is different and actually, two of my classes ended last week. I don’t work at the gym on Tuesdays, and without school, I had a lot of time to do as I pleased. This felt great after all the end-of-term studying and chaos. I thought about posting this on Wednesday, but want to be consistent with the days I do and don’t blog, so decided to wait until today. Please know, some of these photos were taken on my iPhone, so pardon the grainy quality. Anyway, here’s how I spent my Tuesday this week:
My alarm went off just before 5:30 a.m. My yoga clothes were already laid out from the night before on my dresser, and I got dressed in the dark. Then, I went to the kitchen, drank some water and took my Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil — cinnamon tingle flavor. This stuff actually tastes really good and I look forward to taking it every morning. Is that weird?
I left my house at 5:45-ish and drove to my nearby yoga studio, Root Whole Body, for power vinyasa class from 6-7:30 a.m.
I loaded up my car with my bag full of ingredients for my date/nut treats at Cultured Caveman before going to yoga, so I wouldn’t have to go back home. The new cocoa mint flavor sold out at the Hawthorne location in one day, so I needed to come in and make some more. You can learn how to make the cocoa mint truffles/bites here.
I went home and made breakfast, while watching The Wonder Years on Netflix. I love this show. What’s funny is I never actually watched this show when it was on, but adore it now. I have a thing for old sitcoms. I do recall watching it occasionally at my friend, Sara’s house, in elementary school though. We’d usually watch it in bed at night. I remember being jealous that she had a TV in her room.
Showered, but didn’t wash my hair. There was no point because I knew I was going to Recreatelater.
Hand washed some swimsuits to take to Hawaii with me. I don’t like hand washing much, so these suits have been in my hamper since summer. I didn’t really have any need to wear them, obviously.
Attempted making coconut flour cocoa banana bread. It tasted pretty good, despite falling apart when I tipped it out of the pan (should’ve let it cool a bit before doing so). It still needs some tweaking though, so I will not be sharing the recipe at this point.
I wasn’t too hungry for anything else after eating a bunch of banana bread, so just ate some deli chicken slices and 1/4 of an avocado. Oh, and a spoonful of coconut butter too.
Started packing for my Hawaii trip.
Drank some Tulsi Holy Basil Teaand then a little later, some GT’s Synergy Kombucha (Trilogy flavor, my favorite) while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on Hulu. During this time, I also looked through some cookbooks.
Drove to Recreate for Jesse’s Primal Recess class from 4:30-5:30.
Stopped at Food Front Co-op on my way home to pick up a couple ingredients for dinner. I also decided to buy a baby wreath while I was there. We decided against getting a little tree because of traveling and our two curious cats. We’ve yet to introduce them to a Christmas tree. I love the smell of Christmas trees and will miss it this year, since I’m not going back to Michigan for Christmas. I thought this would help … it’s no tree, but better than nothing.
Made dinner and ate with Jesse when he got home, around 6:45.
Watched a couple shows on Hulu with Jesse while drinking some more Tulsi Holy Basil Tea. Then, I drank the other half of my kombucha from earlier. I also finished folding laundry from earlier.
Showered and got ready for bed. I was in bed just before 10 p.m.
That’s it folks. It’s nothing super exciting, but some of you asked, so I shared! It’s good for me though, and that’s what matters, right?