Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

Yeah….haven’t been myself of late and finally feel I’ve turned a corner and left most of my  bullshit behind. I lost myself in negativity because I couldn’t handle some changes in my life….

Things started to blow up in other places and it hit me hard that my issues at home were not being taken care of at home where they should’ve been taken care of-issues were manifesting in the form of negative thoughts and words seeping out of me.
Sad thing-did not realize it until the people closest to me-my peeps-called it to my attention. 

That’s what good friends do, but it’s a super shitty feeling to know you’ve hurt someone because of your own shit.

I’ve turned a corner because I can only control me-and not anything else. I control my reactions. Those reactions don’t have to be negative-they just have to be honest, communicated to the right person and done so with respect.

Everyone makes mistakes, we learn from our shit and move on with new knowledge and another onion layer peeled off.

Today I took a yoga class by myself (no friends). I tried like hell to stay focused and “breathe”…I’m going to say my focus on the moment was in and out and a total of 10ish%. Whatever. I was more worried about my farts stinking up the place. People really need to give others more personal space in these situations.

I am now eating Pho-by myself-writing this post. The sun has peeked out, its quiet, there’s a good vibe in the air. And I probably smell really bad but whatever. 

I’m breaking down my own barriers, right? Let them smell me!

Stress and Your Diet

There’s a reason why we end up on the diet roller coaster, unsatisfied. It’s because we cannot break our food cravings. This doesn’t necessarily start with food – it starts with STRESS.

Here is a GREAT video by Melissa Hartwig of the Whole 30. It’s only 22 minutes but provides a wealth of info.

Check it out.

 

Improvisation & Two Recipes!

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When it comes to food, improvising is what I do. Some vegetables aren’t in season, what do you do? You use something else or omit altogether. Want to make a summer recipe in the winter – go to town, just use different veggies and the stove vs. the grill. Don’t want to run to the store AGAIN because you forgot one bloody stalk of lemongrass? F-it. Blow it off and find something else.

I got home today from our annual family Sun Peaks vacation. I LOVE this vacation for many, many reasons. Just a few:

  1. Love to do any and all things outside – we live in a beautiful part of the world, get outside!
  2. I get to hang with my fave peeps – my stepdaughters, son in law, my grandson, and my hubby.
  3. We relax, eat, drink, and laugh, laugh, laugh.
  4. We do this for several days in a row.

Back to food and improvising. I picked three recipes I was going to make when I got home tonight so we would have dinner for the next couple nights and Dale would have food while I am gone at a seminar all weekend long. This meant an easy soup, roasted veggies, a quinoa salad, and something in my IP.

Went to the store, and bloody hell, didn’t have half of what I needed. Oh well. Left it out or Googled “what’s an alternative to XXX” and went from there. My point is this: a recipe is a guideline – it’s a loose framework. This is about the only place I use my imagination – sad, but true. I feel very creative in the kitchen, even when cooking under stress (get it done so I can unpack, etc.). I love cooking – it soothes me.

Have I told you, lately, that I love my InstaPot (sung to the tune of the Rod Stewart song…)? It’s amazing. It allowed me to cook a beautiful Bo Kho from NomNomPaleo easily while I tended to the quinoa salad and the Sausage Kale Soup.

I will post my improvisation recipe for the Bo Kho soon, but for now, here’s what I whipped up. Perfect for the rainy weather that is to come to the PNW this weekend.

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Green Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooked in your fave broth (chicken for me)
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • Avocado when ready to serve

*Mix all of these things together. Put the peas in a bowl with the spinach. Then toss the hot quinoa over it. Add basil. Add avo LAST when ready to serve.

Then whip together:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced basil
  • S&P

Add dressing to salad to desired ‘drenchedness’. I know that’s not a word but whatever. It’s what came to my head. I tossed in already cooked chicken thighs I had on hand. Not necessary, but delish. Donezie.

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Kale-Sausage Soup

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 containers (box) Chicken broth
  • 1 can rinsed, drained Great Northern Beans (white beans)
  • 1 garnet yam, peeled and diced
  • 8 Chicken Sausage, sliced (I used chicken sausage with spinach – so good)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale de-ribbed and chopped roughly

Sautee garlic, onion, carrot and celery for 7-10 minutes, this is ‘sweating.’ Add broth, beans and potato, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low. Add sausage and spices. Give it 10-15 minutes, test the tater. If al dente, add kale, let heat through so tater is soft. Viola – S&P to heart’s content, or, get crazy and add more red pepper flakes. So good with a little heat.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

IP Lamb Goulash

So, I’ve had an InstaPot for awhile now and have tried a few recipes, but when Jennifer Robbins released her cookbook, Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot, my heart SOARED. I was excited – sure, there’s tons online, but this book is dedicated to the IP, AND, she gives alternatives for the crockpot! Whoop!!

My goal is to get through this entire cookbook – and quickly. My IP is the best thing that ever happened to my busy life. I cooked two meals in it on Sunday (from her book). While one was cooking, I prepped the other one. Two full meals – done. While that was happening, I made my egg bake and smoothies. Viola! A week of cooking done in about three hours. Not too shabby, folks.

And yes, below you see a close up of the goulash, the book cover, and me post WOD. And yes, I went out in public like that. Good GRIEF.

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Ok, here’s my first recipe from the book. I didn’t LOVE it when if first came out of the IP – didn’t seem to “wow” me. Had it today – two days of sitting in its own yummy spices – and HOLY COW it is amazing. Giving it two thumbs up. I think you can sub ground chicken if you want to as well – but I loved the lamb. Also, since I’m having issues with peppers lately, I don’t use them. I sub other veggies, you’ll see that below.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cooking fat
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (subbed cauli and broc for red pepper)
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 yellow potatoes, small, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Goes well with cilantro – lime rice, top with sour cream

How to:

Grab your InstaPot, turn on the sauté setting, and heat your oil. Add onion through carrots and sauté. At the same time, grab a skillet and cook your lamb through. The ONLY reason I did this was because I made a double batch (you’ll want to – it’s good). So, all of it would have taken longer to sauté in the IP vs. cooking the two separate and just incorporating. Unless you have a large IP – I do not. Onward!

Once all is done, incorporate together into the IP and add the rest of the ingredients (except for the rice).

Close the lid, press the Meat/Stew button, and cut the time by 10 minutes. Let ‘er rip.

Once stew is done, release the pressure valve (be careful). Once all pressure is out and it is safe, remove lid. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button, then press the sauté button and stir for five minutes. You’re getting some of the liquid out. Top with sour cream if you desire, or toss over cauli rice. Or both, get crazy on your bad self.

 

 

 

 

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.