2017 – What does it look like for you?

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What does your 2017 look like?  Fresh goals? Energy around those goals? Excitement? What do you want to do? What do you want to accomplish? Do any of these resonate?

  • Try new recipes;
  • Lose weight;
  • Learn a new language;
  • Be kinder;
  • Have better communication with my partner;
  • Have more fun with the kids;
  • Workout more;
  • Take a girls trip;
  • Do yoga;
  • Etc.

And three weeks in (or less for a lot of us) our goals go by the wayside, “normal” busy life resumes, we lose track of ourselves, all that jazz.

Why do we do this Every. Single. Year.? And then, we BEAT OURSELVES UP FOR IT. WTF?!

We want to be better. We want to do more. We want to lead this elusive ‘balanced’ life that we think we see other people live…we project our feelings, we do all of this stuff that makes us feel like shit because we feel we aren’t achieving it (check out this article from our friends at Girls Gone Strong for some help on goal setting).

Just a little secret I’ll let you in on: there is no balance in life. Period. This was a big lesson I learned a couple of years ago. We ebb, we flow. We are comfortable this week, uncomfortable the next. It’s all in how we handle the situation.

I think first and foremost we have to figure out if we are people who respond to goals, tasks, etc. Or, WHAT we respond to in general. What motivates you? WHY? Know the why. The why is important. Be specific about the why. It matters.

Here’s what I’m doing this year. I’m going to stop telling myself I’m a loser for not reaching these crazy goals I set (I’m going to deadlift 700lbs!!), I’m not going to set crazy ass goals in the first place, I’m going to figure out what motivates me (this changes and can change weekly, daily, etc. – figure out the big stuff, small rocks from there), and PLAN out my goals.

I’m not going to put my plan together based on “easy.” What motivates me is challenge. It’s being around people who challenge me. In every way – I want to reach higher, learn more,  serve more people, help people move and feel better. I have to be the ‘poster child’ for that – that motivates me because it could inspire some people. That’s my BIG rock – to get there, my little rocks include:

  1. Be pain free. I’m dealing with an annoying feeling in my right forearm. Have been for a year now. I’m over it. So, I’ve been icing every day, mobilizing, etc. That only helps me OVERALL – in everything, not just my right arm. If my body ain’t in pain, I’m golden. That means cutting out some things I love doing – but I will be able to do them better if I’m pain free.
  2. I’m going to be more present. No, I’m not going to meditate. I know the excellent benefits of meditating, I get it (don’t push your shizzle on me). It has a place in everyones life – however, mine, right now, does not include sitting in quiet in my own head for 3-20 minutes. What it does include is me, repeating my mantra of “listen with presence, gratitude and grace” several times a day. This could be listening to my body, my husband, my family, nature, my clients, my folks in classes. I did it before I went to bed each night last week and every time I woke up this week. You know what? It works for me.
  3. I’m going to set aside time for my own workouts. When we get busy, what goes first? Things that we THINK are flexible. My workouts Are. Not. Flexible. Period. Why? Because I need this for stress relief. I don’t want to be on prozac again (yes again – that’s a blog post for another time). I want to have clarity – I do when I eat right and workout. I will not forsake these two things.
  4. I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t get to something I really wanted to get to. I will not blow it off, it’s delayed a bit. I’m not going to berate myself for my belly fat or my cellulite on my thighs. (Read this great article).
  5. I will not schedule so much stuff that I have no time for myself. Nope, won’t do it. Will not overextend myself. I was QUEEN of this and now I ain’t going to do it.
  6. I’m going to be a sponge. We can learn something from EVERYONE and EVERY SITUATION. Nothing is bad or good – it’s a learning opportunity.

Ok, I’ve ranted enough. Sorry this is so long. This is where I’m at today and has been my base and will continue to be the base from which I. Launch. My. AWESOMENESS.

 

Quickie Dinner & Then Some

Ok, I had 3 hours to spare (without drive time) to grab the dog, grab the grandbaby’s Christmas gift, and book it home to cook and do some work. Not a lot of time.

And I have two late nights in a row where I won’t be home till 9pm or later – I’m not cooking at that point.

Today I rushed home, turned the oven on to 400 degrees and went to town. Here’s what I had:

  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into bite sized pieces, tossed in coconut oil.
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends cut/snapped, drizzled with avocado oil and salt and pepper.
  • 1 pack of 6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs, did NOT trim skin – no time, added Jane’s Crazy Salt to 4 and Slap Yo Mamma spice to 2.

dinner

I am roasting everything. Yep – everything. So, in 15 minutes, the asparagus will be aldente. In 35, the broccoli should be done (will salt and pepper when I pull out of the oven). Chicken will probably take 40+ due to the oven being full. Pull out when juices run clear.

This all doesn’t seem too exciting – I get it. But in a pinch, you have veggies for egg scrambles/frittatas, protein for a grab and go or take all chicken off bones and whip up a salad or make a bowl from broccoli, chicken and toss in some quinoa or rice, you have stir fry ingredients, etc. The options are endless as long as you have stuff cooked. Makes life a little easier when LIFE is so bloody hectic.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Reflections

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately…about everything. Over analyzing? Maybe. I’ve always been this person who gets into so much detail in my brain that I am completely overwhelmed and end up rocking and moaning in a corner.

I sometimes miss out on the simplicity of the everyday amazing world I live in and the people that surround me because my thoughts get so overwhelming. I’ve gotten better, but I lapse from time to time.

Some events of late have sparked my thoughts in a different direction. My very good friends Mum passing. My dad being 82 with the onset of Alzheimer’s. My oldest step-daughter turning 30, the realization I will be 44 in about a month.

Life. This is what it is. It’s ups, downs and how we handle ourselves in these moments is what makes us who we are.

So why do I feel I’m not handling these things very well? Yet another thought train starts barreling down the tracks.

 

I’m writing this as I’m flying home from the funeral. I’m hungover, tired, and sad. My stomach also hurts from laughing so damn hard at the service and after when we got back to Mark and Jenny’s…we all put on our PJs and started telling stories and just LAUGHING. I want to break out into spontaneous laughter right at this very second – why the fuck not? I think about that and tears spring to my eyes…I have no idea why. For Jenny, her family, my dad…the list goes on and on.

Side note: OMG. Where are peoples manners on a plane? A dude just walked by and let one go and of course his ass is where my face is. Can you not say “sorry” or point your bum in a different direction?! Unreal. Anyway…

As I’m about to turn 44, I know I’m not old. But I ain’t getting any younger. And I feel I’m at this halfway point – in another 44 years, I’ll be 88. Holy balls. 44 years isn’t that far away…and why the hell do I start thinking like that?!

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Then I start thinking, sweet mother, I have 40+ years of adventure, blazing new paths, meeting new people, giving the world all of the love I can, and single-handedly bringing back the hair band genre…what could be more exciting?!

As I’ve heard many folks say, and I agree with…”the first 40 years were a gift. the second 40 we have to work for.” Look out, people. I’m working.

 

 

Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef

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This is SUCH a great recipe! I’ve already made it three times, with my own flair of course. Huge shout out to Mel Joulwan and her latest book Well Fed 2. This is a great book for us busy people. Lot’s of quick and easy recipes that are perfect for week night meals. NOTHING is boring from this lady – she rocks. I also love how she has the book laid out – by ‘part’ and ‘while you are doing this…do that.’ It’s awesome.

I am slowly making my way through the book based on the meat I have in the freezer. I chose the Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef recipe because ground meat is easy – super easy, and, the sauce intrigued me! So, check it out. This is my version from Well Fed 2. Enjoy!

Cauliflower/Other:

  • 1 large head of cauli, or 2 bags of precut
  • 2 cups green beans, chopped to about 2″ pieces or broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp of your choice roasting oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Toss vegetables in oil, sprinkle salt on it, then place in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

While that is cooking…make the dressing.

Dressing:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 anchovy fillets (open the can, use the rest for your Cesar dressing)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (add more if you like it hotter)
  • 3 tpsb red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp good EVOO
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of parsley

Throw everything in a mini food processor. And done. Set aside. Now, cook the beef.

Beef:

  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Heat a large, non stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, toast until golden brown, stir often. Transfer nuts to a big bowl. Crumble the beef into the pan, add the salt and pepper, keep cooking a bit, add the raisins. When meat is no longer pink, place in bowl (with pine nuts) with slotted spoon.

Bring it Home:

When cauli/veggies are done roasting, add to bowl. Add the dressing. Mix well. Serve.

BOOM.

 

 

CrossFitX Whole 30 Challenge Begins! Recipe included!

Hi all! Well, I’m no less stressed than I was before, but, I have figured something out about myself. When I talk/eat/make food, I find a wee bit of zen…so, here you go.

At our box, CrossFit X, the Whole30/Lurong challenge begins today! So, for dinner tonight, I’m making one of two recipes:

https://shasonta.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/olive-date-chicken/

https://shasonta.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/artichokechickenthighs/

Check it out. The fun part? SO MANY OPTIONS TO CHANGE to your favorite flavors!

Don’t like dates? Don’t like onions? Don’t include them. 🙂 Instead, add any or all of the following:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Leeks (in season!)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Lemon slices
  • Peppers

What’s great about either of these dishes – they are easy for a weeknight meal and can include anything you want. Enjoy!

Artichoke Chicken Thighs – EASY!

Well, hello! The CrossFit X Whole 30 has started and we need easy mid week meals. This is perfect. Once  you have your chicken thighs thawed, you’re ready to go. This is a great dish because you can combo anything you want and have a very satisfying meal. I always make double – that way, Dale has leftovers for lunch for a couple of days. He loves this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pkgs of organic chicken thighs
  • Artichoke hearts in water, quartered (Trader Joe’s has great hearts)
  • White onion, sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon OR water from artichoke can
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, optional
  • Bacon crumbles, if you have them
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for greasing dish

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grab a rectangle baking dish, grease it up with oil of choice. I used avocado oil, or bacon grease is ok too. Size will be dependent on amount of chicken you use. It’s ok to have the thighs touching, but you don’t want too much overlap.
  3. Place 1/2 of onion slices, half of artichoke hearts and half of olives on bottom of dish.
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Place thighs on top of the goodies. Place rest of onion, hearts and olives on top of chicken, evenly disbursed.
  6. Drizzle oil on top of goodness. add bacon.
  7. Salt and pepper.
  8. Place in oven until internal temperature reaches 165. For my oven, this is at 35-40 minutes.
  9. Take out, and enjoy with a sautee of green beans, a salad, or some yams. DELISH!

You know what’s great about this dish? I make it on a Sunday, cover, and have for dinner on Monday or Tuesday. If you don’t like artichoke hearts or olives – use sun dried tomatoes, peppers, or other fave veggies. The more color the better! Note: If you don’t use the hearts, remember to include lemon juice. Gives it a zing!

Sorry about the size of the picture, wordpress was NOT agreeing with me today. Also, this pic was before it went in the oven. I forgot to take a pic after it came out. You get the idea!! 🙂 ENJOY!!

Artichoke Chicken Thighs