Tag Archives: health

So Far

It’s only week two of the year and I’m over here like – yikes. Not that anything has gone particularly unwell, but I’m seeing the worst parts of me show up. For some reason I thought my flying high moments of 2015 would be automatically grandfathered into this year. And they are but also, they are not. It’s a new start whether the old was phenomenal or not. We wake up and we do this life again and again and again. And mostly, I wanted to coast off of all of the positive and accomplished feelings of last year. But I must keep going. And it’s not all rosy.

So 2016, and this well-intentioned focus on health has not been easy. Good, right? Yes, I’m trying to keep asking myself the same question and responding with – Yes, you fool! Easy is boring. Easy lacks value. Easy is, well, easy. You want what you had to trudge through to acquire. You want the version of yourself made through mess and strife and humility.

I feel like I’m getting off track.

This weekend we went to the Farmer’s Market. I wanted to mention this because it’s part of why I’m so excited for this health initiative. I want to say just that – we went to the Farmer’s Market. To say we did sounds quaint and responsible. Really, we were frustrated with each other the entire time. I wanted Nigel to automatically know what we needed and how to do this whole trip to the FM. I hadn’t dug deep enough to know which foods are the best to snag at the market and which are not. The idea of going, in my head, was dreamy and hopeful. We’d make friends with the farmers and pick up fresh flowers and skip all the way back to the car. (Ok, kidding about the skipping part. I don’t think skipping takes space in any of my daydreams).

So we’d have this phenomenal trip to the FM and have everything we need and avoid the crowds and spend the rest of our day hiking and enjoying our weekly date. Except we weren’t ready for the FM, so now I have it penciled as my next task. Incredibly enough, I received Practical Paleo this weekend (after all the trips to the store, it’s ok) and I’ll be counting this book as my January health read. She does well to inform on what to find and where to find it, so I’m hopeful in future more magical trips to the market.

For now, I’ll share this week’s menu. We are rolling over a few meals from last week because they were so delicious.

  • Monday: Italian Chicken Fingers
  • Tuesday: Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Wednesday: Italian Chicken Fingers
  • Thursday: Honey Glazed Chicken
  • Friday: Maple Glazed Salmon
  • Saturday: out to eat/ date night
  • Sunday: breakfast all day! We made paleo blueberry scones today – and oh my sweet heavens, you have to try them.
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Day 4

Nigel: In this week we’ve eaten better than we have our entire marriage.

me: what do you mean better?

Nigel: everything’s delicious! 

Straight from my husband’s mouth, people. You could say Paleo was going well. We aren’t starting Whole30 right away and don’t know if we will. On second thought, I think we should since we are overhauling everything, right? What good is halfway? Regardless, we are still discussing that topic and researching.

I hadn’t been thrilled about starting a more Paleo diet until I had my cookbook, but since I’m still waiting, I’m glad we began imperfectly.

Because – chicken broccoli casserole, maple glazed salmon & italian chicken tenders. Yum. yum. yum. YUMMY.

I feel better. Sugar isn’t controlling my every move. I feel more awake and refreshed daily. (Note: working out and drinking Shakeology are also pieces to the puzzle )

And something my sister and I discussed last night: as humans, everything is emotional. Every thing. This is what separates us from computers. We feel. And how we feel is important, because how we feel affects our mood and our actions. And our mood and actions affect other humans and the environment around us. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) It’s impossible to shut off our feelers. Whether we express publicly or not, we are going to feel – something. Part of the reasoning behind the 2016 overhaul was to become better disciplined. Not let sugar take the lead in my brain, therefore feeling better, more alive, more clear. Usually this leads to more smiling, more positivity, more grace, more love to shower on others and to help them feel better. Such a wonderful cycle.

I hope you give yourself permission to feel fantastic. It will make the world a better place.

In sum: Emotions are everything. Sugar is not. Week one is delicious.



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Day Two

Last night’s paleo chicken and broccoli casserole was amazing

In fact, I’m sitting here wishing I could eat what is leftover (and keep telling myself no because – Intermittent Fasting). After all the stress of finding the ingredients at the store, cooking with Nigel while we listened to music and podcasts made it a little bit worth it. Something we didn’t consider was what would be a good trade for full fat coconut milk (light cream IS NOT a substitute).

a few tidbits of information we’ve gained through learning experience:

  • you’ll need a few hours to meal plan, which will include finding the recipes and making grocery lists
  • add another hour to find the ingredients while shopping. Maybe do some online research first to avoid unnecessary trips
  • add another few hours to meal prep. You can cook some if not most meals ahead of time. Make it an at home date (we plan to). Turn up the music and dance and taste test as you go!

With these tidbits in mind, I’ll be planning on Friday, shopping on Sat, and prepping on Sunday. Being healthy doesn’t have to be a chore so I’m hoping this groove will keep it enjoyable. Always in constant search of what is manageable as well, so this feels the most natural of options.

Finally, you guys, I’m thankful for the encouragement as doing something new is never ‘easy.’ We aren’t even starting any type of true elimination diet yet, simply starting paleo, researching, and gathering resources.

Speaking of, I had a friend reach out and share these paleo resources: 

paleogrubs.com, nomnompaleo.com

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Day One

It seems an invisible force is at work in society. One that manipulates largely with guilt. One that says taking care of you is selfish and unnecessary. This same force normalizes obesity, instant gratification, busy, blindly following directions. This force says, “don’t be weird, it’s just one bite, and you don’t have the time or funds to afford this kind of life.”

I refuse to believe these lies. I also refuse to believe health is an afterthought.

Health is the cornerstone, my friends!

Even if you believe with all your soul you weren’t meant to move, or fuel your body correctly, or get plenty of rest – I assure you, you are wrong. We were all meant to be healthy and though this world deals a hard blow with rampant illness, hate, confusion, handicap, disease – seeking health for yourself and those around you is not vanity.

This is what 2016 is for me. Not only the physical and mental strength I proclaim is necessary, no, every interwoven aspect of health. A whole-person health. 

When you are healthy, your spirit (your center, your conscience) is at peace. When you are healthy, your mind is clear and focused. When you are healthy, your heart is guided by pure principles and your passions/talent. When you are healthy, your body is agile, free from illness, stretched and able.

Spirit > Mind > Heart > Body. All pieces are connected. When one part of you suffers, your whole being suffers. When one part of you excels, you pull up other parts of you, (the same can be said about us as humans – we have the incredible ability to pull each other up or down, like magnets).

My goal with this overhaul is to become informed and cleanse from the inside out. While the very innermost part of us is our spirit, then mind, heart and finally body, I am blogging specifically on the topic – body.

Meanwhile, my daily routine consists of habits which strengthen other parts of me. For example, in the morning, I pray and express gratitude (spirit) and read scripture + non fiction for development (mind). I’m sure to fill my day with something “life-giving,” something that naturally breeds endorphins and feels associated with me, my skills or talents (heart).

And because everything is connected, these practices will sustain what I am doing for my body, (and because we are all connected, hopefully inform and inspire a few others).

A few details on day one:

  • becoming strict about Intermittent Fasting. It’s also healing and because the focus is health and healing, I want to continue and improve on this practice
  • which means I don’t eat until noon. This makes life easy. I focus on movement and water intake until it’s time to eat
  • later today, I’ll be prepping the paleo meals for this week (most all of them) and researching
  • the new goal is to meal plan on Friday. This will allow us to visit the farmers market Saturday and have everything in house by Sunday (meal prep day)
  • I am excited at any community born out of this year-long challenge
  • another goal is to find what is most affordable and manageable
  • decided to embrace the beautiful process that is understanding more about this topic

Happy, healthy Monday to all of you!


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Overhaul Prep


This is the most difficult part. Jumping in after the holidays, the time off, the cuddles, the sleeping in, the forgetting what day it is, the not worrying about the budget.

If only that time could last forever, right?

Well, reality says no and instead of fighting it, I’m doing my best to get to work on blogging through this health overhaul thing.

How about we do a ‘what I imagined would happen,’ vs. ‘what actually happened.

Imagined: receive Practical Paleo at or around Christmas and begin reading, meal planning, cross referencing. Wake up January 1st refreshed and ready to kick 2016 in it’s teeth; feeling new, feeling inspired, feeling ready to start chipping away at those goals.

Reality: still waiting on Practical Paleo, extended holiday festivities until this afternoon (meaning: doing whatever the hell we wanted on the first day of the year, hiking the second, and finally saying – ok, I guess we have to, today) spent about an hour and a half looking up paleo recipes online. Spent 30 more minutes compiling a grocery list. Went to three different grocery stores to find all the random flours I need in my cabinet to make the good stuff. Came home stressed, had a few mini ‘why am I doing this again?’ ‘this is so difficult!!’ and ‘why is this so expensive?!’ breakdowns. Then remembered I promised myself I would figure this out. The figuring out is always the hardest, but then you know – ya know? So I decided anything worth understanding is worth a little bit of trouble. And health is important! I refuse to let society decide my priorities for me.

I’ve accepted I cannot approach this having it all together. I need to make the effort I can and keep perfecting throughout the year. This is why we are starting with food, so I have twelve months to keep honing in on optimal health for myself and my family. It will get better.

So –

Sunday posts will be dedicated to showing you what is up this week as far as dinners and some snacks. Maybe you’d like to try some of the meals we are tasting this week? I’ll reference some resources below, but won’t post recipes due to copyright. Everything this week is paleo, dairy free, gluten free.

  • Monday – broccoli chicken casserole
  • Tuesday – maple glazed salmon
  • Wednesday – paleo italian chicken fingers
  • Thursday – turkey chili
  • Friday – leftovers
  • Saturday – date night (will be determined during Friday planning)
  • Sunday – breakfast foods (will be determined during Friday planning)

a few other items on the menu: breakfast coconut pecan bars, fluffy paleo pancakes, pumpkin pie cupcakes, avocado egg salad, grilled chicken pineapple salad


grassfedgirl.com, mommayoungathome.com, tastesoflizzyt.com, theroastedroot.net, naturallyloriel.com, and lexiscleankitchen.com

ps. I don’t have my new website ready either, but it is on the way! Stay tuned!

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2016 Health Overhaul

So, I’ve never been skinny, well, aside from the short period in 7th grade pre-puberty. I was pretty lean (and completely flat) but even then, I don’t remember being very “skinny.”

After life took it’s natural course and I began more of my growing, I was a normal weight for my size. A little thicker even. But like I said, never in my life have I been skinny.

So in those last two years of high school, when I quit cross country and wasn’t at all aware of what I am aware of now regarding nutrition and intake, I started gaining fat. I involved myself in other sports to try to manage my weight, but there’s no way around it, I was thick.

Post high school, my activity plummeted and I kept accumulating fat. I started to think I wasn’t meant to be in shape, that I was only a mediocre athlete so this is what I deserved (really??)

In 2007, I competed in a work weight loss challenge, lost 30 pounds running and eating lean meats and veggies. My understanding of how to take care of myself was growing, all the while, managing my body weight was an all the time struggle. I’m thankful I’ve always had to work for it otherwise I wouldn’t have grown the discipline and attention I have towards my health.

Around this time in my life my ‘go to’ workouts were Jillian Michaels DVDs and running. I bought her book Master Your Metabolism and learned all about how our hormones play an enormous part in how we digest our food, how our body functions, and how the food like products in the American Diet were to blame for hijacking our hormones and destroying our metabolism. I gave a good effort to eat mostly organic.

However, only with my health journey in relation to Beachbody coaching has it registered that true health goes far deeper than ‘mostly organic’ and running every now and then.

With said journey, I’ve cut out dairy most of the time (no milk. first – yuck, secondly – hormones!) I don’t break out like I used to since I’ve made this shift. My workouts are short and high intensity (work smarter).  One hundred ounces of water is a daily goal. Shakeology is a must to help my body absorb the right nutrients from my food and shed the rest. Nigel and I eat mostly lean meats and veggies. With my routine of training five to six times a week, eating well most of the time, drinking mass amounts of water, sleeping eight hours, being outside often, I am still missing something. I maintain my weight and I am honestly never sick and haven’t been for the past three years or more (not including allergies).

And in light of all of this, I know I can take it one step further. I know I’m not eating the way I should because relatively healthy is not an accomplishment. I want to devote 2016 to jumping into learning about my complete health. I want to transform completely form the inside out. So with this conviction, we will begin in January by dissecting everything we know or think we know about food. We will look at elimination diets and transition into a different kind of diet than we practice currently.

Please know this effort is about education. Knowing how my own body responds to certain foods and the optimal way of caring for it will only help me be a better coach, trainer, wife, and someday mom. I know I can level up when it comes to health and push to feel exactly how I want to + finally carve that consistently lean body I know is mine.

Also know, I’m not claiming to be a nutrition expert, only sharing our journey. If you want to stay posted these are the following themes we’ll be tacking next year: 

  • Jan: food
  • Feb: supplements
  • March: skincare
  • April: hygiene
  • May: cleaning supplies
  • June: clothing
  • July: environment
  • August: plastic
  • Sept: electronics
  • Oct: shopping locally, small business
  • Nov: gratitude
  • Dec: reflection
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