Wednesday, March 27, 2013

*enter catchy blog title here*

I'm feeling particularly hopeful this week. I'm not sure why, nothing much has changed, but I am. My feet are feeling better and I'm excited about MAYBE having a summer full of walking and hiking (moderate, of course!).

I'm going to start working with a new acupuncturist on several things. My feet, my food sensitivities, weight loss and overall body balance. If I had known 2 years ago that acupuncture would help my feet I would have saved myself several thousand dollars in other, more traditional (and non effective for me) methods. I'm SO happy to start this journey.

Said acupuncturist says the spirit is strong within me (boy, do I feel like a Jedi!) and she thinks I'm probably a fire element (duh, I'm a Leo! I'm all fire!) But I left the consultation with her thinking... if she thinks the spirit within me is strong, when I'm in constant pain/discomfort, I'm always tired and/or frustrated and also in a strange place in my personal life, then what would my spirit look like if some of those things were cleared out? Wow.... watch out world! I'm really excited!

My love is back from Juneau and I've only seen him for 2 hours. I hope I get to spend some time with him soon. I really miss that guy! He's faced with a tough decision now, though, about what to do with some of his job choices and it will be interesting to see what (and why) he chooses what he chooses. Selfishly, I hope he stays here with me, but I truly do want what is best for him, no matter what. Even if that doesn't include me right now. So we will see. I'm in a weird holding pattern that would normally make me extremely anxious and freaked but I'm actually feeling more of an uncomfortable calm about it. I can't control anything, so I just have to wait and see how things turn out.

I'm enjoying my days at the gym lately. I feel SO GOOD after I go. Jess said something to me the other day that I hope I remember. She said "When I'm dragging my feet to go to the gym, I try to remember that I always regret NOT going, but I NEVER regret going." Such a good point! I DID NOT want to go to the gym yesterday but not only did I feel great afterward, but I also did 10 minutes on the stairclimber which I haven't done in FOREVER because of my feet. So on top of being happy I got to the gym, I was proud I did something I haven't been able to do.

On that note, best get on with the day. Happy Hump Day to everyone!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekend recipes - pure comfort food

Per request, here are the recipes I made this weekend. They all turned out amazing, as usual, and I highly recommend them!

Country Fried Steak (Paleo) - I originally found on but couldn't seem to find it again today when I looked for it.

1 lb top round steak (or cube steak)
garlic powder
1/4 coconut flour (I usually use garbanzo bean flour, though)
Enough oil to coat pan well (4+ tablespoons)

Season steaks with sat, pepper and garlic powder. Dredge through flower and shake of excess. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. While resting, heat oil over med-high heat in skillet (I use cast iron). When oil is HOT, place steaks in pan and sear about 5 minutes per side or until crispy (they won't need more than 5 minutes each side if the oil is hot when you put the steaks in). Let drain on a wire rack (I just use a paper bag or some newspaper) for a few minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings. Calories: 299. Fat: 18.7. Carbs: 2.5g. Protein: 28.9

Paleo Sausage Gravy - from

16 oz. country style pork sausage
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 can coconut milk (shake it up VERY WELL before you open it)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried, rubbed sage
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
  1. Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage. Break up the sausage into fairly small pieces so it will cook easily, but I like to leave some bigger chunks in there too. Once the sausage is thoroughly cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Discard most of the fat, but leave about a tablespoon in there, and leave all the stuck-on brown bits of sausage in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the arrowroot and stir it into the fat & brown bits, whisking constantly for about a minute so it doesn’t burn. It will get pretty thick and almost dry.
  3. Add the coconut milk about 1/3 of the can at a time, and whisk together with the “roux” you just made, incorporating it thoroughly. Some of the browned bits should start to come off the bottom of the pan, too. This is what we want. Keep adding in the coconut milk until it is all incorporated. Add the fennel, sage, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix it in.
  4. Add the sausage back in and incorporate throughout the gravy. Cook for a moment so everything is heated evenly. Serve immediately

This morning I made breakfast for my momma bear and made my favorite tried, true and EASY breakfast hash with two perfectly poached eggs on top with grapes on the side for "dessert"

Sweet Potato Hash (from
1 lb ground pork sausage
3 sweet potatoes grated
3 tbsp coconut oil
Brown the sausage in a large soup pan.  Add the coconut oil and shredded sweet potatoes to the cooked sausage (sometimes I’ll also add about 3 tbsp of organic butter as well). Stirring often, let the potatoes cook until they are soft, about 7 minutes.  Add a TON of cinnamon and a dash of salt, if needed, and serve.

Tonight for dinner I'm steaming up some simple broccoli to serve with lemon marinaded chicken thighs per this blog/ recipe I foundBaked Chicken Thighs 3 ways!
Happy weekend!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Scale Part Duex

I'm almost through my month with no scale. It has been harder than I thought and I did cheat once, the first week in. Almost every time I enter the bathroom, I think "if only the scale were here, I'd see what's up." But what's up is more than what that darn thing can tell me.

I've had someone recently tell me they thought I looked like I'd lost a few pounds. I wanted to jump on the scale immediately. But if I had found out I hadn't lost a few pounds, then the compliment would have meant nothing... the joy in hearing that would have been revoked. Which isn't fair. Someone told me I looked good. I say thank you, and I let myself feel happy instead of trying to prove them right or wrong by the numbers.I went to a professional lunch last week and I put on a pair of slacks that haven't fit for months and they did fit. A little snug in the rear but they fit in the waist and thighs so I was pleasantly surprised. Going to show you that results aren't always numbers oriented.

Even without weighing myself constantly and with the scale out of the room, I feel both a little obsessed with it AND freed of it's burden. I am making eating decisions for how I want to feel, if I want to take the risk that my skin will flare up, if the end result will be worth it. This last weekend, away from home, I didn't make the best eating choices (I did have both gluten and dairy) but MOST of those decisions, in the moment WERE worth it (I had my first crab melt!) and I'm back on track the second I started the long drive back home.

So, I'm trying to figure out other small goals for myself once this month's challenge is up. Do I keep the scale out of the bathroom and only pull it out once a week or every other week to just monitor one aspect of progress? I haven't decided. I do think April will be "no sushi" month. Because I'm a full blown sushi addict and that stuff is NOT gluten or sugar free the way they generally make things. So... small steps. :)

I read this article and thought it was cute and accurate:

Onward and upward, yes?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Recipes from a laid back kinda Friday

I made some delicious things today.

I started with some Sundried Tomato Dressing
I'm not sure where I found this. Probably a magazine at some point.

1/2 cup dried sundried tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 bunch basil
1 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 c olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a blender (or food processor), combine first 4 ingredients. With blender running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste. Add more lemon juice if needed. Store in a glass jar, up to 1 week in the fridge.

Then I made a batch of Chicken Salad to last me the weekend/week ahead.  I got this recipe from a woman, whose name fails me now, who was writing a cookbook where you can feed the scraps to your dog(s). It was a cool idea. We lost touch, but I still make and adore this recipe.

3-4 med-large chicken breasts - Poached and shredded, or diced and pan fried
1/2 c mayo (more as needed)
1 c seedless graps
1 small apple 1/2" diced
1 T poppy or sesame seeds
1/2 c sunflower seeds or walnuts (I prefer raw unsalted sunflower seeds)
2-3 T fresh cilantro or parsley
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all together and chill 30 minutes.

For dinner I made this recipe which was utterly amazing:
Savory Chicken Thighs

And tonight I'll finish up the final steps of my new favorite dessert of all time:
Raw Chocolate Hearts

Hope you find any of this useful and delicious for your bellies as well.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hump Day Randomisms -3/13/13

There is a reason I only read books over 400-ish pages once a year. They are almost, at least to some degree, boring and tedious! I'm reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and it took me about 450 pages for me to really get into it. eep!

I'm mad at all quick and go oil change places right now. Guess I'll just have to make appointments and take things to my mechanic. The rest totally suck.

Apparently, when you run into really sharp objects and get terrible bruising and you feel weird bumps under the bruise it's because you've actually ripped right through the muscle fibers and they have rolled up and away from the other fibers. EEWWWWW!!!!! Luckily it will heal on it's own, but it's really a weird feeling. yuck.

I'M GOING SWIMMING TODAY! For the first time in AGES I'm getting into a pool and attempting to actually SWIM (not aqua aerobics) as exercise. I'm strangely anxious but SUPER stoked too! Luckily a roped a buddy in going with me. ;-)

I'm tired today. Just thought you should know. ;-)

I saw Oz last night. Thought it was pretty good... the visual effects, I thought, were super great. They really made the movie for me. I think James Franco looks stoned most of the time, though. hahaha

I've gotta file my taxes this week. It's hard knowing I have to part with so much money. Makes me super bummed.

I'm totally in love with and pinterest. New obsessions!

I made this for my bookclub weekend away at Jenna's river cabin and they were a huge hit. I'm SO making them again for this weekend in Bandin!

Not much else to report. I hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hump Day Randomisms

Hi friends!

I got news yesterday that I have to take a mandatory week long furlough. That's a week off (YAY!) unpaid (BOOO!). I always take these things really badly and hard. I'm totally freaked out about money now as I just got a little bonus and put it right on my credit card. Had I known, I would have saved it. Granted, this just happened at my company so there wouldn't have been a way to know, but still... what a bummer. Even though this means I have to dig into my "never touch except for extreme emergency" savings account, I'm taking it the week Kent gets back from Juneau and so I'll be able to enjoy some time with him and dive into a book or two. That's really all I want to do anyway. Read read read. So that's an upside.

Here's my weekly memory... I was reminiscing on something for a good part of a day this week. Once, when my folks were out of town, I threw a party. I was probably 18 or 19. There are mainly three people in my memory but I can't remember if the best friend role was played by Helena (that would put me at 19) or Susan (which would put me pre-college closer to 18).
     Anyway, there were 10-15 folks at my party and I have no idea now who else was there, but I remember my best friend (BF) and I remember Aaron (the dude BF). We were drinking who knows what at that age... probably Zima's or poorly made jungle juice... and at some point we decided to pile about 7 of us in my tiny '86 Jetta and drive out to Blue Lake Park. The irony is, I actually cannot recollect how to get there without looking it up on a map. We parked along a fence off the road (again, no idea how I knew to do that) and hopped over the fence and hiked down to the lake. BF and Aaron and I stripped down to either our skivvies or birthday suits and went swimming. Everyone else stayed on the shoreline. I play-splashed the BF and Aaron carried me on his back and we just swam and hung out and laughed and talked for a good while until we decided we were cold and not nearly drunk enough anymore to handle how bad the lake smelled (it's so filthy!).
     We drove back to my house and again, I have no recollection of what else we did with the evening but I do remember being in my parent's bed with the BF and wanting to check on Aaron, who was asleep in my room. None of us showered so we all stank of stinky lake (I washed all sheets immediately upon waking). I just remember Aaron sleeping soundly and being so grateful I had such good besties and what a great time I'd had and I hoped to remember this forever (which I apparently didn't fully remember).
     The memory lets me lavish in one of my happier moments of my young adult hood that was otherwise so wrought with strife. It reminds me to appreciate my friends.... the moments when you can just let go of all responsibilities and LIVE. To throw your head back, and howl with a good, loud laugh.

I'm loving my horoscope today: Today you just know things that others cannot perceive. Perhaps you believe that someone is trying to control you and it doesn't sit well with you. Whatever has you concerned now, the most important thing is to stay calm. Observe what is happening and act in accordance to the external circumstances, rather than what is brought up by your own fears. You can choose to bring more stability into your life by basing your current decisions on love, and then trusting the process.

Guess that's all I've got today. I'm off to get some nutritional testing done this AM, see what's up with any potential official food allergies. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Where did the athlete go?

Do you ever find it fascinating the difference between who you see yourself as and who you actually are? Listen, I'm going to be honest, I'm having a hard time adjusting to getting older. Granted, I know I'm not that old and some still call me the "baby" of most of my groups of friends, but carrying all this extra weight for my entire life is starting to really age my body and I feel it. My hips are out of whack, it's easy to injure my back, my shoulder, my anything... joints pop that never did... and we won't even get started on my feet and heel spur issues. And I haven't even had kids yet! I can't imagine starting a family right now... bearing a child, having to carry said child around... I can barely carry ME around!

I was at the gym yesterday doing some interval training on the bike and a recurring thought came to me. When I was active in boot camp, I didn't weigh too much less (10-20 lbs I'd say) and I was in the shape of my life. I was SO fit and felt so great all the time. I knew my body could keep up. Once my feet started really bothering me, some of my walking/hiking activities were sharply cut back, but in the gym, my body was ready, willing and ABLE. I felt like an athlete. I knew I could out perform most of my thinner friends who did not exercise like I did.

And now, as I lift weights with 3-8 lbs hand weights and can only do the bike for cardio, I think, "where did the athlete go?" Because I still feel her with me. Inside I feel like this:

But the second I realize I'm NOT that right now, I feel like this:

Granted, I realize that WHO and WHAT I am is neither of these, but it's how I can feel about myself sometimes. A round, strong, capable and easy-moving warrior is within me, but when I cannot find her... when I find my body not respond to my heart and head the way I expect it to, I feel like the slovenly lazy pig.

So I have to find out how I get back to getting my actual self more in line with the image of myself considering my limitations lately. I have to schedule time at the gym. I need to give my body some self care stretching time (which I almost never do, but desperately need). I need to rope in friends who are willing to work out with me sometimes. I need to do things that are totally out of my comfort zone (like a cycle class) and to the best I can without going full bore ahead because classes like that are things I can make notable improvements in and won't have to injure my feet. I need to NOT GIVE UP.

I'm creating an action plan. And I'm waking each day with intention. I'm starting each work out and stretch session with intention. I call deep within myself and I beg that inner athlete... the warrior within, to show herself once more. I don't wait for her, I take steps each day to entice her to me. You create the life you want. Sometimes it just takes time and reminders and more effort than you think you have sometimes. But I perservere.

There is no other choice.