Why soups and smoothies should be on the menu year round! by Erin Holland

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve had some interesting weather around these parts of California. It’s gone from blistery heat to cool to humid, thunderstorms, back to heat. As follows, I’ve gone from shorts and flip flops to fall sweaters to boots and back to tank tops. Fall is in the air, but summer is still hanging on. Regardless of which way the weather chooses to swing, there will always be ingredients in my fridge and pantry to make soup and smoothies.

Soup

Depending on your needs, soups are a great way to either load up on or hide veggies. Soup appears quite often on our table due to the one fact that I weekly roast a whole chicken. The meat goes into various dinners and lunches throughout the week, while the bones get chucked into the pressure cooker to make stock. Meal prep at its finest - no bone left behind! Despite fond memories of sipping piping hot carrot ginger soup on a cold winter's day in New York when I was 20, and the fact it's the wee Samurai's favorite, we've been branching out from out typical carrot ginger and discovered we really enjoy a twist on Nom Nom Paleo's Pork and Napa Cabbage Soup with a side salad for dinner. 

Do you have a favorite soup, or one that evokes memories? Next on my soup repertoire is to master my late Portuguese grandma’s egg soup. It may not sound delicious but this soup, filled with thyme and garlic (I can’t think of any Portuguese dish without garlic!), perfectly defines my childhood sitting at her counter slurping up the noodles and eggs in petite blue bowls. Pink rice was another of our frequently requested grandma dishes, but I’ll save that for another time.

Smoothies

Similar to soup, smoothies are another amazing vehicle to hide those veggies. When time permits before we race off to school, I love to make smoothies to get veggies and some good fats into the little people’s bellies. Not only can I get some nutrients in them but I also cross my fingers it will ward off the corncake, cereal, and cracker snacks at school. While I can’t recall there ever being a time these girls of mine agreed on the same thing, they will usually acquiesce to one or the others preference by the second time I ask: fruity or chocolatey? Today, we went the chocolatey route.

Chicken and Cabbage soup

cabbage soup

So tasty, even staring at a computer screen at work for a late breakfast! Just don't spill it in your car. Not only does the turmeric leave a lovely yellow stain, cabbage left to bake in a warm car all day does not have the most pleasant smell. Or so I hear! 

This soup is also 21-Day Sugar Detox freindly! 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • shredded chicken (I used what was left from roasting a whole chicken) 
  • 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups bone broth or homemade stock (after roasting a whole chicken, I prep broth in the pressure cooker over night)
  • 1 head cabbage (2 pounds), cut crosswise into 1-inch segments
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large hannah (white fleshed) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and turmeric
  • scallions

Instructions

  1. In pressure cooker, heat the ghee or fat of choice on the saute. When the fat is warm, begin to saute the diced onion with a pinch of salt. Saute until soft.
  2. Add Mushrooms and continue to saute until soft.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except for broth and chicken. Mix together.
  4. Add in broth, put lid on and cook under high pressure for 3-5 minutes. Release the pressure manually when the soup is finished cooking.
  5. Once done, add shredded chicken and garnish with more pepper or scallions

 

Chocolate smoothie

Chocolate smoothie and waffles

A classic and kid favorite anytime of the day! We paired it with waffles for a Saturday morning feast.

Ingredients

Blend until smooth! Easy! 

If you need a Thrive membership, join here. I love Thrive and save a ton of money all year long! Don't miss out on all of their paleo friendly, allergy friendly, organic and non-gmo goods at Costco prices.

Where do you want to go? How much do you want to risk? by Erin Holland

the-very-hungry-caterpillar.jpg
caterpillar.jpg

Change is hard and typically uncomfortable. Despite really, really wanting a particular outcome, the process can be overwhelming. So we cling to what we know, our habits, even if they're preventing us to reach our goals. It's "safe."

Do you feel that?

Let's talk nutrition for a minute.

What's holding you back from getting off of your meds, or incorporating more veggies into your meals, or losing some weight, or nixing the late night binges? Where are you stuck?

There are a lot of quick tricks and programs, shakes, and fad diets. Are you confused and simply want to throw your hands up in disgust and confusion?

While there may be some unique aspects of your lifestyle we would need to address, with some basic and honest assessment, we can work together to get you on a path toward health.

power-boy-cropped-1024x806.jpg


We don’t need to have superhero powers, but we do need to be the superhero’s of our own lives.

You ARE in more control than you think! Have you forgotten that? I’m here to remind you that you’re not alone in this process, it’s possible to change, and there are people (like me) that would love to walk alongside you!

I began this post thinking I would go in one direction, but hey, the beauty of being the author is that you can change course. And so can you.

I’m not going to dish out all of the reasons the 21-Day Sugar Detox may be good for you. I’m not going to spout off that you’ll more than likely need at least 30 days to get in a good groove. I won’t berate the point that it’s going to take some mindset, and some weekly prep. You may also want to cheat on Day 11. That’s human nature. Reality. And to some degree you most likely know that; that may be why you don’t start.

That’s the beauty of having the accountability of a coach. You have someone to lean on, to reach out to, to vent to. I won’t coddle you and enable the nonsense, but I will lead you. No judgement, only compassion as your cheerleader, wanting to see you succeed.

I know, you probably have a thing, a party, a birthday, a wedding, a trip. Right?! So committing to 21-30 days is rather iffy. But it’s all choices. What will you choose today?

But how? 

Let’s look at your goals, based on the structure of your day: when and what you eat, how much sleep you’re getting, your stress levels, your fears, your exercise. Give me the information and I’ll do all of the heavy lifting to produce a plan. While it will be up to you to follow, like i said before, I will be your cheerleader, and I’m here to change what doesn’t work.

Decide what to be

Based on the heading (can you name that tune?!) of this post and the following line from The Avett Brothers song, "Head full of fear/road full of promise," I’m all about the music these days. However, I thought this song lyric was relevant to close with:


DECIDE WHAT TO BE AND GO BE IT

 - Avett Bros

But in all seriousness, I'd love to help you pinpoint the sticky spots and provide you with tools to create new habits. If you have any gentle nudging to make a change, let's talk it out! 

 

P.S. All of my nutrition clients get extra special goodies from me. But you’ll have to sign-up to find out what they are.

Also, if you want a sneak peek into the food you’ll eat, which is not sad at all, check out my IG as well as the 21-Day Sugar Detox guidebook

Cheers to new beginnings!

 

It's all grace. by Erin Holland

IMG_4309.JPG

It's easy to blame others.

My computer. My kids. My boss. The other driver. BART delays.

Yet most of the time it's me. Ok, lately it's been been my lame, "vintage" computer that needs some updating. But even that falls back in my lap. I'm the common denominator.

Since early spring, I've been saying I lost my groove after Christmas - 2016. Yet it's still missing, nine months later. While some mighty fine things have come to fruition, I'm still in shock it's already September. Now the pressure is on.

Or is it?

I guess you could say since completing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification in December, I've gone into double-time work mode. Working from 8-5, single parenting, commuting close to 2 hours, cleaning, cooking, working my side gigs at night and on the train. It seemed feasible, until I didn't want to do it anymore. The passion faded.  

I'm far from perfect and recognize my flaws, yet when I've lost myself in the muck and mire of being an adult, clocking in and out of the daily grind, and having minimal fun, I'm not a great coach. When my own health has become a weak bystander, how can I coach others on their healthy habits? When I'm tired and impatient, how can I be the best mom I desire to be? 

No doubt it's a catch-22. I'm working hard to achieve the outcome of defining my own schedule, being my own boss, and ultimately being more available for my daughters. But the process I've created is not sustainable. No one is winning.

 Jim Rohn says we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Hmmmm, okay. Well, I spend 8 hours surrounded by engineers, that I don't necessarily engage with. I live with two irrational, selfish creatures who use incessant tactics to gain my attention. Time with my friends is brief as life beckons and pulls in other directions. So who is shaping my environment, for better or worse?

That being said, I was blessed to spend Labor Day weekend with some really cool people at a mastermind event. For two days I surrounded myself with wicked smart entrepreneurs, and let me tell you, it was not only inspiring but there were definitely game-changing sparks! 

If you know Sean Croxton, you know he dropped some truth bombs about the power of our mind, fear, setting intentions and taking action. If you need daily motivation check out his Quote of the Day show. I promise it will set the tone to have a kick-ass day. 

Dave of PaleoHacks, whipped us into shape when it comes to website basics and blogging.

Ella, from OnairwithElla, talked about Impostor Syndrome, how to crush fear, and how to take action to daily choose and create a life that energizes us. 

Jake Ducey, whom I had first heard on the Sessions, was every bit as hippy as I expected him to be, and it was awesome. Reiterating Ella's discussion, he focused on the PROCESS, the daily steps we need to take in the process to create the outcome we want, without getting hung up on the outcome. Developing a practice of process will get us there.

Getting back to GRACE.

Christine Hassler, who I also first heard on the Sessions, capped our event with some incredible coaching. My time with her, as well as witnessing shifts in others, allowed me to recognize it's ok to take a step back. I had been going, going, going, trying to prove I could do it all. All for what?

People effing love to tell me how amazing I am for doing it all as a single mom. Lead in questions, always start with, "I don't know how you do it, but it seems to be working!"

Actually no, it's not working. It's lonely. It's hard. It's sad a lot of the time. I'm constantly moving money around to pay bills. I don't get as much sleep as I'd like to be a nice person. There may or may not be a pile of laundry on my couch or still in the dryer at all times (is there a service for someone to fold my clothes?). I'm not able to do a lot of things. It's not ideal. I can't really say it's working, but I'm grateful we're functioning and I can provide a roof over my head, and yummy food to eat (most of the time). 

Not that I needed permission, but Christine articulated it for me. It's ok. Perhaps you're burned out and you need to take a step back. Reevaluate this is your time - that you can invest in the process, which is time consuming, all consuming, and sometimes hard. It's ok to wait, there is nothing to prove RIGHT NOW. Don't miss out on the NOW by forcing something else.

And like that, the pressure was off.

I'm not giving up, in fact, more than ever, I'm more excited to work with clients. However, the pressure was released.  

That's good stuff right there! 

As my wonderful friend can attest, as I was texting her up until I walked into the conference room, I was nervous to attend the event. Was it going to be worth it? Did I even belong there? What the hell am I doing? 

In every sense it was worth it. I highly recommend bschool and a mastermind event with Sean and his pals. If for nothing else, to enjoy the bootchcraft and interesting conversations that come after your hard days work absorbing new knowledge. 

IMG_4247.JPG

So what are you afraid of doing or not doing? What's holding you back of sharing the unique gifts you've been entrusted with? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Who is your tribe of 5? I want to know!

 

Wednesday Wisdom: Do these pants make me look fat? And other fat lies. by Erin Holland

Scanning through radio stations (am I the only one that still does this?), I heard something about coffee. With my attention piqued, I left the station be. Apparently there is recent report that said something to the effect of drinking 1-3 cups a day reduces your risk for a host of diseases like stroke and cancer. You can read it here. However, the thing that really caught my ear were the recommendations for what to put in your coffee.

Someone called in with essentially their bulletproof recipe of blending coffee, butter, and coconut oil. The DJ immediately responded with, "well that takes away all of the health benefits right there, not to mention will make you fat."

Rewind. What?

Um, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore! 

It's official, I live in my own little Paleo bubble. 

I wanted to call in to say, "you think those 4 packets of sugar are better than a tbsp of butter in your coffee, blah, blah, blah."

Luckily for me, I arrived at BART, trading these dirty little thoughts for other dirty little thoughts about my ecstatic love affair with this ancient silver bullet that transports me to San Francisco. (just to be safe, since you can't see my face, enter as much sarcasm here as necessary). 

Okay, so where y'all at? Who read the most recent claims from the American Heart Association (AHA) about coconut oil being bad, bad, bad, and recommending polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as corn, canola, and soy as good, good, good?

Rewind. What?

Um, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore! 

What is happening to our country?

Obviously, and despite my naivety, not everyone is on the health wagon with me. 

I'm no doctor but last time I checked, the AHA also approves cocoa puffs as a nutritious staple in your diet. So, why the debacle?

For the full recap, you can read the reports and responses from Dr. David Perlmutter, author of The Grain Brain; biohacker Dave AspryDr. Hyman; read 21 arguments for and against coconut oil; and a couple of articles from the Observer; watch a panel discussion about the benefits of coconut oil with Robb Wolf, Gary Taubes, and others; and read a blog post from Liz Wolfe written in 2013 about the "demonization of saturated fat and cholesterol." 

Of course there are plenty more articles to agonize over, but this is a great start to help you formulate your own decision and path to take with coconut oil.

For me and my household, unless our bodies utterly reject coconut someday, I will not take it out of our diets. Back in 2011 as a newlywed, I remember walking up the steepest part of Madison Street from downtown Seattle to our little 1br apartment reading the Coconut Oil Miracle. It was mind-blowing and life changing.

Bottom line:

  • not all saturated fat is bad for you, especially the “good fats” in coconut oil - medium chain triglycerides
  • our body needs cholesterol, and is a fundamental component of every cell of our body. We need to know the difference between our personal LDL and HDL.

Wednesday Wisdom: Keep it Fresh by Erin Holland


The moment we've all been waiting for is here. Windows are down, the swimsuits are ready, and the sunscreen has been applied. It’s SUMMER y’all! 

Yeah, yeah, it may have snowed last weekend in the Sierras but I'm fairly certain that was nature's last attempt to keep California drought free. We'll see if it worked. Ever since I was a kid I've been on drought watch so it's rather peculiar to say it's over!  

But summer, sun, and all things hot. With Farmer's Markets in full swing, ripe with summer's most delicious bounty of stone fruits, now is the time to make the freshest of fresh meals. I miss my friendly vendors at Pike Place Market and post-church, Sunday Ballard Farmer's Market in Seattle, but a close third is the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market, in Oakland. My sweet find of english sweet peas induced a foray into buying all of the verdant veggies: baby kale, english peas, and asparagus. 

This salad is so easy, kid approved, and has a good kick of nutrients to boot. Give it a try today.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups baby kale
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 cup English sweet peas, minus the pod
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 T olive oil, separated; or just enough to dress (not drown) your greens
  • 2-4 chicken breasts (or a rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Roast, grill, steam or sauté:
1 lb asparagus
1 cup English sweet peas, minus the pod

Grill or roast
2 chicken breasts, preferably marinated in lemon juice for 10 min.

I grilled the asparagus and peas by wrapping them in foil with a bit of olive oil and salt. I then put them on a hot grill for about 15 minutes. You could also roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for the same amount of time. I had a roast chicken, however, an easy way to make chicken is to let it sit in lemon juice, salt and pepper, a minimum of 5 minutes per side. Grill or roast.   

While you’re cooking the asparagus and peas, massage the kale with the lemon, s+p,  and olive oil. Once the veggies are done, toss together with the kale and chicken. Could be topped with shaved Parmesan and pine nuts or almonds.

Wednesday Wisdom - paleofx recap and recommendations by Erin Holland


I don't think prefacing my trip to paleofx (pfx) as an escape does it injustice. Let's be honest, a three day break from making school lunches, commuting two hours a day, and long hours sitting in front of computer is always welcomed. But there's something about Austin, and pfx in particular, that are motivating - and it's not just the free bulletproof coffee. 

I first ventured to Austin in 2016, naive and completely unaware of what would unfold in the Palmer Event Center. I didn't know a soul except for the folks I followed on Instagram or their personal blogs. Let me tell you, running into someone in Whole Foods that you've only seen a static picture of on your smart phone, takes them up to celebrity status rather quickly. After three days you start to befriend the vendors, you see familiar faces and begin to make friends. I left last year's event sure I would return. 

Come May 2017, I was shocked when it was already time to return. By a snafu in hotel bookings I ended stepping out of my comfort zone and rooming with three women I had never met before. It was fantastic. To have a buddies to walk in with on that first day really took the edge off, not to mention having built-in friends to listen to lectures next to and ask questions I hadn't thought of, made my experience 100% better than my first.

So what is paleofx you ask? It's a holistic wellness event covering the latest research on disease, aging, biohacking, and general health, wellness, fitness, nutrition, and self-development. Leaders in the paleo and biohacking movement such as David Perlmutter, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, Mark Sisson, Dave Aspry, Sarah Ballantyne, and Sarah Fragoso, present their latest findings and encourage all to take the next step in improving not only our physical environment - our bodies - but the environment around us with our knowledge and expertise. Outside of the packed schedule of lectures, there are exhibitors with their latest and more often than not, tasty and convenient paleo creations. 

This is only a brief and somewhat vague recap, but I know why you're here, you want in on the freebies! So who rocked as an exhibitor? Check out my recommended paleo goods below. Be sure to read the fine print as most links will take you the discount zone.

Eating Evolved - Chocolate is food, not candy. This is the real deal folks, the way chocolate should be. I highly recommend their 100% dark bar, coconut butter, and keto cups when on the 21-Day Sugar Detox. Everything else, any ol' time! Use this code to receive a free gift with purchase: erinhtmt

FATCO - I've been in love with their body butta for years now. I especially love to use on my girls and the wee Samurai's eczema on her wee pinky finger.  Use this code to receive 15% off.

EPIC Bar - inspired by nature, these meat (ahem, jerky) bars are great for on the go and a sneaky way to get your kids to eat some healthy protein - even beef liver! 

ONNIT - While I had heard of ONNIT before, I had yet to try their supplements. After trying one sample packet of New Mood, I can honestly say I woke up well rested and in a better state. I think I'm a believer! ONNIT is on a mission to inspire peak performance through cutting-edge science, earth-grown nutrients, and time-tested strategies. They are dedicated to provide supplements, foods, and fitness equipment aimed at helping people achieve a new level of well-being. Get 10% off here.

....more to come soon as I work out some sweet deals for you!

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom - Millions of peaches by Erin Holland

a buttery summer skillet cobbler to feast on

a buttery summer skillet cobbler to feast on


It's been awhile friends! I wrote an awesome Wednesday Wisdom post right before Easter and as I was posting it, something happened. I lost it. I was a bit bitter. It may have been my best work yet, and in an instant it was gone forever. It took me some time to recover and then life got it in the way. The kind of life that is somber and you have to internalize some before you face the world again. 

This year, thus far, has proved to be heavy. Not so much more than it has been for me in the past few years, but weightier in the sense that death, cancer, brain tumors, and depression seem to be all around, forcing me to reevaluate my intentions, my goals, and my time. More than anything, I want to be in charge of my time, with the freedom to spend the day with my children when and how I like. Our time now is very stressful and cramped. Too much, "get your shoes on, let's go" or "close your eyes, it's too late to be up" rather than "hey, let's play a game!" I'm also tired of overcomplicating things. Let's keep it simple folks, be kind, love hard, and stay loyal. We're not guaranteed tomorrow.

Oh how I get off track so easily.

To get back in the Wednesday groove, I had my mind set I would recap my time spent two weeks ago with exotic camels, oxygen tanks, and gems of wisdom, ahem, my paleofx weekend in Austin, Texas. But then, I created a delicious, buttery cobbler this Memorial Day weekend and decided to share that with you. When you pick a combined 20 pounds of peaches, 10 pounds of blackberries, and some cherries for change with friends, let's be honest, I'm only focused on the summer bounty of ripening stone fruits.

To preface this recipe, you will want to eat the raw topping. It's that amazing, but please believe me when I tell you the end result is a thousand times better. Be patient dear one.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches

1/2 pound blackberry or blueberries

1 tbsp collagen powder or 2 tbsp arrowroot flour

8 tbsp room temperature butter, ghee, or coconut oil (I recommend this Madagascar Vanilla ghee)

1 cup shredded coconut flakes

1/2 cup cassava flour or a nut flour

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp raw honey

1 tsp cinnamon

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F

If you have time and prefer to, peel peaches. Otherwise, remove the pits and slice peaches. Place in a bowl with your preferred berry and toss with the collagen or arrowroot flour.

Stir together the dry ingredients: coconut flakes, cassava flour, baking powder, and coconut sugar. Add in the ghee and honey, using a fork to combine well.

In a skillet, place the fruit mixture and drop the dough to cover the fruit. You can spread out the dough or leave it as it will spread out.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping turns golden brown.

Let cool for 10 minutes!

a pre-oven gooey, ghee filled mess

a pre-oven gooey, ghee filled mess

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom - Live a legacy by Erin Holland

It's been quiet around here. 

Three weeks ago today, the world lost someone very special. Yet since then nothing else has stopped. There's been lunches to make, deadlines to meet, traffic to sit in, laundry to wash. The shedding of tears, the grief, the surreal nature death possesses, especially when unexpected, is not wrapped tidily in a package with a black bow. Rather, the void death leaves is ambiguous; emotions spin and the nagging reminder of the gravity of our choices - the legacy we chose in our one life - taps at our shoulder: What really matters?

Of all I say or do in my child's life, what's going to stick? Do they know I love them? Do they know how truly sorry I am at the many times I yelled at them over petty nuisances? Do they know I've always wanted to give them more (do they need more, or just more of me?)?

Am I doing all I can to be kind? To be generous with my gifts and time?

Am I toiling over living the dream or living for today, because I'm not promised a tomorrow?

Am I wasting time on things that won't matter in a month, a year, five years?

Am I procrastinating when I should be facing fears and defeating the "giants" in my life instead of settling?

I had no intention of this being a morbid post. Please receive it as a gentle whisper to be you. You were uniquely created, don't let the battle scars of life, or the comparison game, or the regrets mold you into someone you weren't meant to be.

Love deeply.

Be kind.

Be a blessing. 

Be loyal.

Honor one another.

Live boldly.