nutrition

Chin up, buttercup! If you have the post-holiday blues, I've got you covered.

A Seattle stormy day…

A Seattle stormy day…

Now that the holiday cheer and merriment that kept you busy from Halloween to New Years is over, you (or a loved one) may be feeling a range of emotions from relief to sadness to fatigue to explainable body aches.

While we expect the holiday season to be busy, somewhat stressful even, we tend to ignore the emotional aftermath, which can leave us navigating unfamiliar, dark territory. Unlike a physical wound where we would apply a bandage, emotional distress can be harder to acknowledge and therefore heal. As humans we also have a propensity to make our emotional wounds worse by discounting them as something else.

Post-holiday blues are unique to everyone. However, when some basic symptoms arise that seem out of the ordinary, you may want to slow down to evaluate why they may be cropping up.

Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue or insomnia

  • Muscle tension

  • Negative self-talk

  • Lack of focus or ability to concentrate

  • Anxiety

  • Hopelessness

  • Anger

Now, if you simply feel off this winter or show any of the above signs, read through the following list to determine what resonates with you. Pick one or two that you can commit to, to help remedy your symptoms.

Be sure you’re maintaining an excellent baseline for your body to function.

This includes:

  1. Quality sleep (ideally 6.5-9 hours) in a cool, dark room; if this is not possible, carve out a time to take a power nap. Most Americans undervalue sleep, yet if the majority of us would get enough sleep and drink water, our lives would be dramatically different!

  2. Staying hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day; set yourself up right by beginning your day (yes, before your coffee), with a large cup of lukewarm, lemon water to get your body hydrated and active, flushing out toxins that have settled while sleeping.

  3. Eating fresh, whole foods; include vegetables with every meal, as well as some healthy fats (nuts, avocado, coconut and extra-virgin olive oil); skip the sugar and processed foods and drinks. The old adage, “you are what you eat,” is scarier today than in any other modern time. Buy organic meats and know the Dirty Dozen list to avoid breaking the bank on fresh produce.

    People like to bypass the importance of nutrition and focus on the exercise component. I can’t emphasize it enough that you CANNOT exercise your way out of a bad diet. Those abs truly are made (or lost) in the kitchen.

    If this is an area you truly struggle in, I highly suggest you reach to me so that I can help you achieve your body health goals or at the very least outline a plan to help you create healthy eating habits. I have 21-Day Sugar Detox groups monthly or can also coach you one-on-one, digging deeper into the root cause of your health, or lack thereof.

  4. Exercising. This doesn’t have to be intense. Simply start your day with a minimum of 10 minutes of your favorite movements. This could be push-ups in your living room, squats while brushing your teeth, a dance party with your kids, or getting off of the bus or train a stop early to walk to the office, etc. Extra points if you can get outside in natural sunlight while exercising.

  5. Speaking of sunlight, get outside every chance you get. We have a very bad habit of sitting for hours, tucked inside, possibly never seeing the light of day for more than 5 minutes during the winter. By regulating your circadian rhythm, you’ll naturally have a lighter mood. Shoot for 20 minutes outside in the light. Better yet, break up your day with a walk at lunch with your best bud.

Create new  routines in your day that provide proper outlets and boundaries to help you thrive, including:

  1. Breath work – most of us take our breath for granted. Take a few minutes out of your day (ideally first thing in the morning or before going to bed) to slow down and pay attention to your breath. Simply breathe deeply in and out of your nose slowly 10 times or better yet meditate for 10 minutes.

  2. Be grateful – express your gratitude by pen or by voice daily. Finding 3-5 things to be grateful for daily, big or small, has a significant impact on your mental health.

  3. Draw or journal.

  4. Create time for creativity and play; detox from technology and the competing noise from being plugged in. We become more inspired and creativity flows freely in these “white” spaces of time in our day than forcing the hustle mentality.

  5. Get into nature – as noted above.

  6. Exercise – again, as noted above, make this a non-negotiable. If you’re sitting most of the day in front of a computer, be sure to take breaks every couple of hours and walk around the office or go for a walk outside. Getting your eyes off the screen and moving your body will dramatically alter your state and clear your mind, making room for better creativity.

  7. Mantras – your thoughts are incredibly powerful. What do you say about yourself; how do you talk to yourself? If necessary, change the self-talk to something positive and/or proclaiming powerful, optimistic statements that start with “I AM _____!”

  8. Level up your squad – Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” To expand on that, 1) you become more like your entire circle of influence, and 2) you should audit the people you spend time with. Are they encouraging you to be a better person? Do they promote healthy habits? Do they help you be the person you excel to be? Do they help you pursue the activities that speak to your heart? Excellence and joy are contagious –make sure you surround yourself with people that make you better.

  9. In the same vain, genuinely connect with people and environment. Unplug your phone. Show up and sit down for family meals. Look people in the eye. Tell people you appreciate them. Look around at the sights and sounds, the architecture and the diverse people, when you’re walking. Listen closely as someone speaks; think before you speak. Stop and smell the roses.

  10. Celebrate little victories – it’s easy to get swept away in the busyness of the season or the work week or the deadlines, but if we don’t stop and celebrate the little wins, we keep plodding ahead with little to no enthusiasm. By nature, we beat ourselves up over perceived poor performance or mistakes. However, when we celebrate our little wins, we are building our confidence, pride in our work, and reinforcing the good behavior that produced the successful result. in contrast to the hustle attitude, it’s energizing. Don’t forget to find people to celebrate with you!

  11. Give – whether that’s giving of your time by volunteering, giving back to the earth by planting a tree, donating to your favorite charity, or purely giving of your time and being present, the ROI is always more than expected.

  12. Give yourself grace. Some days are simply easier than others, don’t beat yourself up. Especially after the holidays, it will take some time to get back to a normal routine. If all else fails, a good Epsom salt bath usually does the trick!

  13. Break down larger projects into bite size, actionable tasks. When you write your to-do list, either at home or at work, be sure to keep your tasks specific, and limit each day with no more than 8 priority items. Tackle the hardest item first to get it out of the way, gain momentum and be more confident moving forward. (remember, we want to celebrate the little victories!).

  14. Research shows that physical clutter clutters your mind and reduces your productive. Gift yourself the best gift this year and purge your desk or your closets at home. Take the one-minute to tidy up at the end of each day.

While creating new habits can feel overwhelming, take one day at a time. Reject the idea that you must do everything all at once and perfectly. Choose one thing to focus on and master it before moving on. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. So, remember one foot in front of the other, no matter how slow or how often you must get up and try again.

All that being said, if your winter blues seem a shade darker, refusing to lift in the days and weeks upon returning to the office, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common, legit issue that should be addressed properly. Above all, know that you’re not alone in the process.

I was simply heartbroken.


Seven!

Seven!


July is birthday month around here.

My wee Samurai kicks us off on the 1st, followed by her older sister's birthday on the 3rd. You can only imagine how that goes down. Your little sister has her birthday first and the day between feels like an effing eternity, so tantruming it out is the best thing to do. But I digress.

A hefty handful of family birthday's follow, not to mention the good ol' 4th of July. Needless to say there is a lot of celebrating going on.

Despite having an uncanny memory for anyone and everyone's birthday, birthdays were never my thing. Or perhaps it's because gifts are not my love language. Similar to Christmas there is too much pressure, and quite honestly, I prefer experiences - quality time with my favorite people, a hike, a picnic, a fancy dinner, a flight to Greece - over some gift you felt pressured to give me. 

Gift giving, is also a struggle. I'm happy to give the gift of a delicious meal I prepared, or packing your bags for a surprise trip, or buying you a book to read while sitting next to me in quiet. Beyond that, I'm left dumbfounded.

As I write this, I sit in the still aftermath of a giddy pool party, the last installment of birthday week. I take that back, I had to take a nap after everyone left. I was toast. 

Leading up to July, the wonder and excitement of my girls is rather contagious: the counting down of days, the crossing off each calendar square with a monster, unruly "X," and wide-eyes as we discuss birthday plans. It's endearing. Simple pure joy. 

But let's be honest, for the parent, back to back birthdays, especially for competitive sisters, is challenging.

The Samurai was totally down with visiting the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. Ironically as it sounds being a nutrition coach, I recommend the trip out there. Perhaps not on a weekend since you won't see any live jelly belly action in the factory, but regardless, the tour is still a good time. I even tried a few flavors and enjoyed them; coconut and strawberry jam topped my list. Shocking because for most of my life I thought jelly beans were the worst candy ever made.

Not quite sugared out, more treats ensued as we rounded out her day at Pressed Juicery for a soft serve dessert. At least I didn't feel bad about this dessert since it's made with dates and almonds.

Her requested birthday dessert at Pressed

Her requested birthday dessert at Pressed

Soon enough Charlie Bear's birthday arrived. Thank goodness! Having taken the day off, I was intent on spending some one-on-one time with my 7-year old! She aches for quality time and we simply don't have enough of it. Truth be told, that one-on-one time with my children is pure gold. No rivalry, no bickering, only their sweet souls in pure bliss with all of the attention.

We chatted over a steamer and matcha, we hugged, we held hands, we did our own business (a little bit of work for me and for her, a puzzle) at home, until we picked up Sam from school to have a picnic before heading out to the Oakland zoo. In the blazing July, afternoon sun, we had our fill of animals, carousels, and even a rollercoaster before heading home. 

To make it fair, since her sister had a treat even after the Jelly Belly factory, we stopped for her requested bubble tea at Mr. Green Bubble. Dessert before dinner? Only on your birthday lady! However, being a Tuesday, which meant TACOS, it was imperative not to get full!

I spell all of this out because the heartbreaking moment came after dinner, after this full day of fun, love, and splurging.

I can't even recall what started it, but I found myself with a screaming 7-year old telling me I was the worst. Words loosely falling out of her mouth as she stomped up the stairs, declaring that no one liked her. 

Perplexed, I tried to name off all of the amazing things we did that day; that I did out of love.

I tell ya, 7:45 - 8:15pm in our household, is a witching hour.

By that time of day, we've held it together for so long that we fall apart. Our brains want to shut off. We're physically and mentally done, yet still awake. We're tired but before we manage to climb in to bed and keep our mouths shut, we turn into reactive, ugly creatures. It's so common it's nearly become a terrible habit I'm aware I need to stop. 

Sigh!

Once we were able to regain control, which involved a hug - one that can take up to 20 minutes to receive because we're all to stubborn to initiate - we chatted and the statement that broke this mama's heart was:

"I don't think I'm important to you."

Talk about a punch to the gut. 

Immediately tears streamed down my face and thoughts raced: How can she articulate this thought already? Where did I fail her? Why does she feel this?

Her caring nature took over as she wiped my tears and told me I didn't need to cry. 

I never thought I would hear those words being uttered from either of my babes mouths. 

Oh how my heart aches for more freedom. Time with my children that isn't wrought with stress as we race from school or an activity, or chores, or meal prep, or time management of this and that.

I don't accept that this is the only reality of motherhood, of being an adult. 

My heart aches for my children to know they are wholly and beautifully loved, even in their imperfect, fumbling messes of childhood. 

My heart aches for them to enjoy these moments, to know the tension of joy and disappointment, yet still be content.

My heart aches for them slow down, to not be in a hurry to grow up.

I have no solid conclusion. 

I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my babies are no longer babies. Their gangly arms and legs are awkward to carry. Their understanding of the world is expanding. They're more independent, but still need me. It's a transition for all of us. 

The only real conclusion is that part of me is glad birthday week is over. The pressure is off for another year, when I'm certain I'll be in shock again at how fast a year flies.

Another conclusion is that by actively working to change our situation - so that we don't get sucked into the time and stress conundrum - by this time next year, we won't have a repeat. 

I get it, it's hard to treasure the mundane moments or even be fully present through dinner conversations as my mind races and scans all the things that need to be done against the racing clock. 

But like we did that night after hugging it out, and again, for the thousandth time, confirming how important she truly was to me, we read a book together. A birthday gift, A Tree for Peter, I think is going to be a really special book for us. We alternated between reading until both little ones drifted off to sleep on either side of me. 

It's these moments I treasure above all. It's these gifts of their lives, of their thoughts, of our time together, reading, even drooling on me as they sleep, that are the best gifts a mama can receive on their birthday - a day that forever changed my life.

seem like yesterday we were celebrating her 1st birthday and refusing to let her eat ALL of the chocolate cake

seem like yesterday we were celebrating her 1st birthday and refusing to let her eat ALL of the chocolate cake

Can anyone relate? 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Step One.


Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the paleo queen of my home affairs


Long story, not-so-short:

Like a lot of people, I first got into nutrition by healing my own body. You can read more about it on my website.

Around the same time, I married into a CrossFit gym, and was introduced to what seemed like the wacky world of paleo. I was already gluten free but this was no doubt taking it up a notch. I turned into the friend who made raw brownies (aka larabar bites since desserts were off limits), made every meat dish under the sun, used my crockpot to make the spiciest adobo ever, and basically spent all of my time looking up recipes. Sadly, it was the early 2000's and Pinterest was not a thing back then! Shocking, I know!

And by the way, I was not a good cook….yet!

Most of the time I got the evil eye because I turned into that friend who made social gatherings awkward when it came to food.

Ultimately my fascination with paleo and continuing my journey of healing my body through food, included my vision to step up my involvement at the gym by creating create a nutrition program to coincide with the intense training of these beasts. I also wanted to become a better chef. These interwoven aspirations spurred my pursuit of going back to school for nutritional studies, or naturopathy, or Chinese medicine, or holistic cooking.

Side note, sometimes I can be really indecisive!

While I knew a fair bit from my own studies, my intention and dream was to go to Bastyr. After attending an info night, going on a tour, and sitting on the shores of Lake Washington to pray about it, I felt certain this was the road to take. I truly felt like the world was my oyster.

And yes, I’m a total nerd and LOVE school.

After a quarter of prerequisites in the books, I got pregnant with my first daughter. Working full-time, going to school part-time, and being pregnant, was interesting. When the fatigue hit and I’d fall asleep mid-sentence of a conversation, I decided something had to give, and my dream got derailed….for a bit.

Funny how life throws you curve balls once you think you’ve figured it all out!

Then one day, now with babe in arms, I picked up a little book called Practical Paleo at Costco.  Or perhaps I ordered it from Prime, charging it to the business! At this point mom brain has set in and the timeline gets a little fuzzy!

This not so little book, in case you’re not familiar with it, is essentially the Paleo gospel. Every ailment is addressed, from adrenal health to thyroid health – with a meal plan; to how to live a paleo lifestyle – from getting started to eating out to getting your friends on board; to healing digestion to managing stress. The 470 page book truly covers it all.

I was a quick fan.

Since Practical Paleo was such an inspiration to me, I later, nearly a year post-partum after my second daughter, decided to try my first 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD).  Although I only did Level 1 (Elleno’s guava greek yogurt was too hard to give up, and I may have slipped in a bag of popcorn along the way), I was amazed when I noticed my abs making an appearance.

Please believe me when I say it’s not about the aesthetics of my body, but the sheer excitement of how simple shifts (um, wasn’t I already eating clean paleo?), made such a difference.

Needless to say, Diane Sanfilippo became my kitchen buddy and guru.

When she launched her 21-Day Sugar Detox beta coaching group, I was naturally curious. I was a SAHM, now with two daughters, and it was nearly 4 years between when I took the first step toward my nutrition education, with nothing to prove for it.

At this point there were so many more options to choose between. NTA was just starting, IIN was big, Bastyr was still there, FDN was gaining traction, and on and on. I felt overwhelmed with the different avenues, time and financial commitments. Did I already mention I was indecisive?

The 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaches group felt like a happy medium – and an easier commitment for my little family to swallow. It was a platform in which I could get my feet wet, have the structure and support I needed, while shedding the fears and doubts of starting a business from the ground up.

Since I was already helping other mamas sort out what the heck to feed their kids, meal prep, and navigate their grocery store outings, I jumped into the 21DSD beta group.

Now let me get one thing straight - I’m not one for doing one thing at a time. Once I decided to join the beta group, I also started studying with Precision Nutrition (which I’m now certified in) and continued cooking for the frozen paleo meal service I started for some clients at the gym. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I started that a few months prior when a coach persuaded me to help his client dial in his food. Eeek!

It was a slow start but I have fond memories studying my Precision Nutrition, the more science heavy chapters, and listening to the 21DSD coaching calls at the South lake Union Whole Foods, or while slurping up pho on wet PNW nights, and while drinking chai at Uptown Espresso in Belltown.

I have visceral memories of these Wednesday nights, which was my “night off” as a mom and wife. As I pursued these things that fed my mind and future, they quickly became my favorite evenings around town.

And of course during all of this, I was raising two babies, battling infidelity in my marriage, and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life!

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s NEVER a perfect time for anything.

There’s no doubt about it, with what you have at any given moment, make the wisest decision you can. But remember, you have the power to course correct at any time. Life is about constant change; and life rarely unfolds as well as you expect or plan for.

Now, nearly four years later (if you haven’t noticed TIME FLIES!):

  • I’m divorced.
  • I’m living in the Bay Area.
  • I’m Precision Nutrition Certified.
  • I’m still a 21DSD coach.
  • I have a nutrition coaching business.
  • I'm a Beautycounter Educator and mentor
  • I also have a FT marketing job.
  • I solo parent – making all the lunches, doing all of the laundry, meal prepping, and cleaning all of the toilets!

And somehow, I make it work. Even on the days when too many people comment, “I don’t know how you do it all,” and I want to slap them in the face - seriously, this comment is not helpful and really, what kind of answer are you trying to elicit? – we survive.

This not the end game.

Sure, everything takes longer than I expect. I’m tired. I don’t get to read as much as I desire. My house never stays clean as long as I’d want it to. Nor do I don’t exercise as long or hard as I’d like to.

But hope remains!

I know this is only a season.

Somedays it’s easier than others to crank out the gratitude, yet I'm always thankful and grateful for:

  • Podcasts, audible, and the kindle app for the long BART rides (does this count as my tribe?);
  • Unique chances to learn
  • For trial and error
  • For pushing myself out of my comfort zone
  • For new opportunists to create healthy streams of income
  • For fresh starts every morning
  • For cuddles
  • For the little sleep I do get
  • For my body, living room, and kettlebell allowing me to creatively break out into a sweat session.

I don’t wear any of this as a badge, but rather to thoughtfully share with you that this is the messy life I live right now. And that if I can pursue dreams and goals, so can you.

At this point in time, I get to connect with and help men and women, mamas and grandpas, across the country connect the dots between their health and nutrition.

For me, this is a stepping stone toward creating a platform for busy, career parents, in the throes of raising young kids, to find confidence, balance, and happiness in their kitchen, skin, and life.

What is it for you?

Have you forgotten that you’re stronger, more powerful, and more creative than you think?

Your beautiful mind is waiting for you to crack it open and try something new. To break free from the mold you think you’re supposed to fit into and shine brighter than you have before.

It’s about taking the first step. Putting one foot in front of the other until you get enough momentum.

I can’t say you ever gain enough confidence to never fear, even a little bit, but it’s getting up and getting in the race that will get you closer to your goal.

So again, what is it for you?

  • If it’s nutrition, call me!
  • If it’s writing more, write your 500 words today.
  • If it’s that guy over there that gives you butterflies just looking at him, go talk to him.
  • If it’s going back to school, enroll.
  • If it’s joining a gym, get your membership tomorrow.

Just please, don’t wait. Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for the right moment.

One way or another, the time will pass. Embrace it because in a year, or five or ten years, I want you to have a really good story tell!

when life gives you balls, you juggle them

Jump down to the end for the recipe....I kind of go off on a tangent!

Jump down to the end for the recipe....I kind of go off on a tangent!


Standing at the kitchen sink washing a pan, I gaze out to see Charlie maliciously wave a dirty mop in her sister's face.

That was it.

I had just told her an hour ago that there is never a reason to hit her sister. And now this.

Perhaps I should have just kept my mouth shut, but I immediately begin to mediate and tell her to go to her room. While she was at it, to clean up the earlier tornado that hit that section of the house.

Stomping off, the wailing begins.

I shout, "crying about it won't get you closer to the goal."

I can't believe I utter those words. Yet in sheer frustration, the darkness and humbling truth is usually revealed. Were those words for her or for me? 

Quite plain and simple, I'm tired. 

There's no doubt a laundry list of reasons why exhaustion burdens me. Parenting alone, however, tops the list. Cuddling, having fun, playing games, and cranking up the music for dance parties is easy. On the flip side, discipline, and understanding the bigger picture of not only my legacy, but the minds, and the legacies of these little people I was blessed with, is created in the minor moments of loving correction. This is hard. These moments continue to beat me down, and make me feel I'm doing something wrong. Like I know better but can't learn the lesson myself. 

Relationships are funny, intricate things.

And then there are moments like this - 

Yesterday at a 6-year olds birthday party, I was caught in the crossfire of a dad exchange:

With empathy one dad asks, "How long is your wife out of town?"
The tired dad replies, "She was in London last week and will be in Charlotte next week. So two weeks."
"Oh geez. You need a raise and a 'World's Best Dad shirt' for that kind of stint," the empathetic dad responds, but with a hint of disgust.
"Yes, yes I do!"
I blankly stared forward, thoughts swirling in my head.

Really? I guess I knew men felt this way when their wives went away, but I had never been caught in the middle of the banter. Seriously, how do you think your wives feel when you go away? Why is this even a discussion? Is equality still this skewed? It took both you to create these children, so buck up!

Well, that's only the beginning of my G-rated version.

Shaken from my stupor, I feel the kids racing up the stairs for cheesy pizza and cupcakes. It was time to choose my own battles with my children. To choose gluten or not.

I certainly don't stew on the following ideas, but I was reminded of them through various conversations this weekend:

  • I didn't get married to boast I had a husband who cheated on me multiple times. I don't need to share this, but some people give you the look of "why are you divorced?"
  • I didn't get married to end up a single mom. Though it's hard and not what I intended, I don't want your pity.
  • I didn't get divorced to be judged on whether or not I made the right decision to move to a different state to be closer to family. You don't know the full picture and boundaries had to be defined. Period. 
  • I didn't get divorced to feel a special kind of overwhelm. That kind of just comes with the territory when you're playing the role of both mom and dad at all hours and doing it all. Even with shared custody, the "overwhelm" doesn't go away.

So with that, that's where we land today. In the here and now. We make it work. Though I'm so very tired of doing it alone, especially at 2am when there's no one to nudge to ask to take this shift for the night, I know things won't always be this way. Apparently there's an actual Law of Rhythm that dictates this fact, establishing the seasons of life. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond tomorrow, which looks a lot like today. Yet like a pendulum, we swing to the left and back to the right - in constant motion, growing, changing, learning and evolving. Thank goodness! 

So with a deep breath, I keep moving forward, knowing anything is possible, especially when I dare to create it. With eyes in my own lane, focused on my end goal, keeping the balls in the air long enough to learn what I need to learn, and teach both myself and my little ladies. This one life is precious and I want to live it to the fullest, providing a rich and vibrant environment for all of us.

This post definitely took a different turn than I intended, but I guess I had to get some things off of my chest.

With that note, speaking about balls, how about some homemade energy balls, or bars, that are easy, quick and totally satisfying?

We made both mango and chocolate versions, but at the end of it, the girls voted their favorite was chocolate. So here it is. Email me if you want the mango version!

Double Chocolate Date dates

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted and salted macadamia nuts
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 squares of dark - 70% or higher - chocolate cut up to little pieces 
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor, pulse the macadamia nut until they're just chopped. Any longer and it will become nut butter. Remove from food processor and place in a big bowl.
  2. Add dates into the food processor and pulse until just blended. Add coconut. Pulse again until it's a nice paste.
  3. Add to the nut mixture. Add in chocolate pieces.
  4. Form into balls with your hands or press into an 8x8 roasting dish to make bars.
  5. Roll the balls in the cacao powder for some extra chocolate love.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy.

 

 

Where do you want to go? How much do you want to risk?

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!

 

Wednesday Wisdom: Keep it Fresh


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 - Millions of peaches

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

Trea t yo self with this goodness!

Treat yo self with this goodness!

Thanks for not screaming and shouting at me (seriously, I get enough of that from my three-year old) for missing last week. Our household was out for the count with fevers, pink eye, and ear infections, oh my! We're on the mend but poor mama, me, has naturally been contaminated with the nasty cough from the many sleepless nights last week when one or both children were coughing in my face.

Due to our level of health, or lack thereof, Valentine's Day was very low key. I did however, make these scrumptious sunbutter, raspberry truffles - think a pbj Reeses - or not because now that I've written that it doesn't sounds very appealing.

Anyway we all liked them. The point I really want to make is that you do not have to deprive yourself when you choose to eat healthy. While you don't want to swap out bad food with the same bad habits (i.e. emotional eating, bingeing, etc), you can swap out bad food for healthier alternatives. Sugar is still sugar and dessert is still desert whether it's raw or paleo or whatever, yet having healthier treats can certainly curb your cravings and help you on your journey of health and wellness. I will post the recipe here this coming weekend! Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom - Do you know what's in that?

EWG-logo-300x300.png

How many times have you heard that in order to begin your journey of health you should "read labels?"

Okay great, so you read labels. What are you looking for?  What are you avoiding?

When it comes to food, you want real ingredients, void of sugar and modified additives. In essence, you want to stock your fridge and cupboards with whole food that don't need an ingredients list. My grass-fed beef shouldn't have anything other than beef, my broccoli should be pure, 100% vegetable. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Breads, almond butter, tomato sauces, pickles, meat, even your beloved Kashi Go Lean, might be hiding sugar - in various forms, high fructose corn syrup, unpronounceable ingredients, pesticides, unhealthy oils, and therefore some unwanted "food" substances your body does not need nor want in order to thrive. 

Okay, so you've given up gluten and sugar, you shop the perimeter of the store, you're a food label reading ninja. What about your personal care products? Your shampoo, your toothpaste, your mascara, and deodorant? Do you know how to read those labels? Do you know that you're as susceptible to the chemicals in those products as you are to what you're ingesting? 

I love the Environmental Working Group (EWG) app to help me decipher labels, especially for personal beauty products. They take the guesswork out of the equation and allow me to make informed decisions. The EWG rates products from 0-10; ideally you're looking for products in a safe range, under 3. I also love Beautycounter for skincare and makeup due to their transparency, rigorous testing, and commitment to their NEVER LIST  - a list as comprehensive as the EU, which bans 1,400 toxic chemical from their cosmetics.

Beautycounter's NEVER List

Beautycounter's NEVER List

But if you want to be even more informed, what should you avoid? This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but take a look:

Formaldehyde

Propyl Paraben

Mercury

Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates

Nitrates

Potassium Bromate

Pesticides

Lead

Perchlorate

Blue #1 and Blue #2

Yellow #5

Red #40

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

rBGH and rBST

Aluminum

"Natural" Flavors

Educate yourself and start making more informed choices - for your health, for the environment, for your children and grandchildren. What can you do today?

For reference:

http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives

http://www.parents.com/health/injuries/safety/harmful-chemicals-to-avoid/

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/Food/11-foods-banned-us/story?id=19457237#9

releasing the pressure

 

Out of nowhere I was stricken with a dreadful 24-hour stomach bug this week. 

After a successful and incredibly early bedtime for my girls, I was feeling good and was even expecting to go to bed early myself. Yet at 9:30pm the Samurai woke up and foiled my plans. I climbed into bed to help her fall back asleep but her restless body lay awake and fidgeting until 3am! I may have dozed from the hours of 10pm-1am, but then it hit. My insides were wrecked and the wee one was deliriously awake screaming there were spiders crawling in the bed. WHAT? WHY?

My body ached from fatigue, alongside the twisting and turning of my intestines. By 2:30 all three of us girls were squeezed in my bed. Somehow I managed to fall asleep knowing the two-and-a-half hours before my alarm went off was not going to be sufficient. Bent over in pain I pulled myself from bed in an attempt to get ready for the day. I went downstairs, sat on the couch sipping my lemon water until it happened. In the dark of the morning, the inevitable upheaval of the tumultuous stomach bug reared it’s head. It was only 6:12am but I was done for.

You get the point!

I didn’t have an appetite until dinnertime, when I was only slightly peckish. Applesauce sounded amazing. And with the Instant Pot, it was stupendous. WIth a little work (de-coring only because I was too lazy to peel the apples), in 20 minutes I had fresh, homemade, warm applesauce that soothed my innards. 

While following a BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple, toast) is no longer recommended when you’re sick, applesauce is always a good idea. Sick or not, if you’re an applesauce fan you will enjoy this recipe by Danielle Walker. Please make this as soon as possible!

Stay tuned next week as I kick-off my first 21-Day Sugar Detox group of 2017. I will be posting only from the guidebook and cookbook for the rest of the month. If you’re curious about kicking your old, unhealthy habits, come join us!