Category Archives: Uncategorized

You don’t have to have stress

Think about the things that stress you out and now put them into a category: in your control and of out of your control. Sometimes it can be confusing, but be honest with yourself. 

Let’s use an example. 

 you are in the fast lane, and a car is speeding up in the slow lane. You know in about 20 seconds that car is going to cut you off because they don’t want to stay behind that semi truck in front of them.  

Option a) you speed up and the douchbag will still squeeze in to the small space in front of you. Then, You honk and yell as if it makes a difference. 

Option b) take the high freaking road. slow down. Let the douchbag in. 

You can try to defend yourself, that you aren’t in control of other drivers, which is true. However, the anxiety and stress that comes from a situation like this is preventable. Take the high road. 

You are mostly in control of your life. Decisions might be tough, sometimes out of your character or norm, but you have the ability to create an anxiety free life. 


I love song lyrics

I was just listening to the radio and there is this rapper song that explains how he works his ass off but can’t pay the bills, yet, he saves a little to party.

This isn’t just a song. This is truly a movement. You are Not entitled to have money to party. The only thing you are entitled to is breathing. There’s a mentality out there that supports an idea that you aren’t held accountable for your responsibilities; that people will pitch in to pay the rest of your bills so you can go party.

It’s not just this guy. This mentality is relevant to all areas…nutrition, jobs, parenting…yeah, I read that article that’s supposed to make me feel like “I don’t know what it’s like to have kids.” Kids are more relentless than you are. So you give in. Sugar is more relentless than you are. So you give up. Work makes you work…that’s no fun…

You are alive. That’s what you get. What are you going to do today that shows you are relentless in making it the best life possible?


For the non CrossFitters…How often do you get a PR, A personal record? …In anything.

You got the kids ready for school faster.

You got your paperwork at work done faster.

You made dinner in record time.

These things are great and all and I’m sure there’s blips of satisfaction in the routine of everyday life. …but I’m betting that after putting in a lot of work into your CrossFit workouts, your first PR will be unforgettable. It’s pure ecstasy to realize your potential and feel complete empowerment in that moment. You feel strong, bold, fearless, and quite amazing.

But it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing CrossFit. This is still how I felt after shaving 2 minutes off my Helen time from 12:30 to 10:33.

3 rounds: 400m run, 21 kb swings 35#, 12 pull-ups.

90/10, 80/20, 40/60… What’s Your Paleo Percentage?

Here is a great article from Robb Wolf about the amount of time you eat paleo vs. nonpaleo.. . food for thought:

Conversation overheard at the gym:

Ripped dude with six-pack abs and biceps that would shut down any military gun show: “Yeah, you know, I’m not like 100% paleo. I’d say I’m probably about 90/10.”

New guy with pony-keg abs, wearing Velcro tennis shoes: “Cool, so you can still have beer and pizza sometimes?”

Biceps: “Sure – and since you’re new, you might be able to start with an 80/20 split.” “You can tighten it up when you stop seeing results.”

Beer Boy: “Awesome! I’m gonna try it – thanks.”

Okay, that’s how it went down. I’m sure you’ve overheard or maybe even been on one of the ends of a conversation like that at some point in your ‘paleo career’, (and don’t even try denying the Velcro shoes…). Logically, we all ‘get’ what these paleo percentages mean, right? It’s not rocket science. You eat clean paleo (this means no paleo pancakes, paleo cookies, or other hybrid paleo creations that are showing up on some Paleo cooking blogs)a given percent of the time (like 80 or 90) and then the other 10-20 percent of the time you enjoy some non-sanctioned deliciousness. That’s really all there is to it. Everybody got that.

Wait a second, are you all sure you REALLY got that? Seriously, the more I think about it the less I actually ‘get it’. How exactly do you quantify what 80 percent and what 20 percent of what you eat actually is? Do you write down everything you plan to eat for the week and then tinker with it until you get the precise ratios? (If you do this, and there are probably some of you out there that do, I need you to pay attention here – STOP IT!!! This is NOT the Zone and there is more to life than ratios and percentages – let it go!) Or do you calculate it in ‘time’ – like there’s 352 days every year and 80 percent of 365 is – 292 days of eating clean. This leaves 73 days for the other stuff… Or maybe you break the day into hours – you’re awake for about 16 hours a day and 80 percent of 16 gives you 12.8 hours of clean eating and 3.2 hours for off-roading. Really, how the heck do you quantify this stuff? I liken it to those people (you know who you are) that are paleo during ‘challenges’ or for 21 or 30 day chunks at a time and then they go completely off the reservation until the next round. Sure, during that challenge period you feel good, your body comp starts changing and you have more energy than General Electric’s headquarters – but the entire time you’re thinking about what you’re going to ‘treat’ yourself to at the end of this little game.

Oh, and what about the food/drink choices and quantities… (Yes, we’re going to go there, and I’m going to tell you the truth. It may hurt a little, but you’ve been warned.)

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, etc. listed under the “Food Dislikes or Intolerances” section of the questionnaire I send to my new clients. And believe it or not, on the exact same questionnaire listed under “Food Musts or Favorites” things like brownies, pizza, beer, ice cream, cheese and pasta show up… So, my burning question is, if you say that wheat, gluten, dairy, etc. are things that you don’t tolerate what the H-E double hockey sticks are you doing eating them? I mean yeah, I know, they taste good – but seriously, is the pain and suffering really worth it? And did you know that one ‘off-road’ can set you back MONTHS in terms of gut healing, health and disease management? Yeah, it’s not just a two or three day misery fest but it can undo a lot of healing and hard work pretty damn quickly. So let’s say you’re doing the 80/20 thing and your gut is about as healthy as Paula Deen’s career right now, and you’re thinking pizza and beer on Friday night sounds about right. One night of fun is well within the 80/20 rule and it’s your 20 percent damn it, and you’re gonna enjoy it. Well, guess what, as good as it was and as worth it as the Saturday lethargy, headache and time spent in the oval office was, it’s highly likely that your poor innards are gonna be paying for this for a lot longer than the municipal sewer system will. Now you do this gluten/dairy intoxication thing once or twice per week and healing anything is next to impossible. So, am I telling you that you have to eat STRICT paleo with zero treats 100% of the time? YES! Okay, I’m just kidding, but you were scared, huh? I’m not saying you can never have anything that’s not a meat, vegetable or healthy fat – but if you don’t have an iron gut and know that you have adverse reactions to gluten, dairy, soy, etc., or if your gut or health in general aren’t where they should be then you need to be careful. I mean really, these days there are some damn tasty gluten, dairy, soy, etc. options. You don’t have to live in complete deprivation to be healthy! Now, if you’re not reaching your goals, getting lean, kicking ass and taking names in the gym, etc. – you may want to rethink the 80/20. If you really want to see your abs it might mean no ‘cheats’ for a while and you need to understand, that when you do stray from the meat and veggie routine that it’s going to set you back (so are crappy sleep, lots of stress and stupid exercise…).

With all that stuff on the table, I’m going to completely blow your minds with this next idea. Are you sitting down? No, seriously – SIT DOWN. Okay, what if, instead of saying 80/20, etc., or instead of having “cheat days” or “cheat meals” we try something different. First off, I HATE the word ‘cheat’, it insinuates that we’re doing something shady and eating some coconut ice cream is not shady. It’s delicious. I say we refer to ‘off eating’ as treats. That sounds happy and I like happy things… Next, there will be no “treat days” or “treat meals”, even. Why? Because, think about this for a minute, you have an entire day to completely go off the rails – you start with pancakes; move on to a cheeseburger (with the bun), fries and a Coke; and you finish the day off with pizza, beer, and ½ a package of OREO cookies. Now tell me, did you enjoy and actually taste every bite of all that or did you just keep eating because you ‘could’? It’s the same with an entire meal – you start with a margarita and the spinach and artichoke dip (with bread) appetizer; next is the 32 ounce Rib-Eye, loaded baked potato and another marg for good measure; and dessert is mandatory – I mean it’s your “treat meal” – so you go with the Molten Lava Cake and throw on a couple scoops of ice cream for good measure. You are now officially stuffed – I’m talking, let the belt out, lay down and cry a little bit full… Sure it tasted good – but did the first bite taste as good as the last and did you polish off the entire steak and dessert because you were truly enjoying it or was it more just something you do during every ‘no rules’ meal because you are entitled to it?
I’m going to challenge you to (this is going to be hard…) get rid of the cheat day or cheat meal mentality. Instead give yourself ONE ‘treat’ FOOD. Yep, I’m cruel like that. You pick ONE thing – so if it’s going to be a cheeseburger, fine, but that means no fries or coke. You SAVOR and ENJOY EVERY bite of that cheeseburger. Make it an experience – eat your ‘treat’ distraction free – no TV, no computer, nothing. SIT DOWN and have a moment. It’s just you and the burger. I want you to taste it, chew it, feel the texture and above all ENJOY EVERY bite! If that burger, brownie or ice cream stops tasting absolutely, out-of-this-world, blow your mind AWESOME, then STOP eating it. At that point it isn’t worth it anymore. The last rule, don’t ‘waste your treats’ on less than awesome foods –you know the stuff – low fat/sugar-free ice cream, cold pizza, stale potato chips, the last few bites off your kids’ plates, warm beer, etc. Make your treats, ‘treats’ – not mindless bites of less than appetizing fare.

Let’s put away the 80/20, 90/10, cheat days and cheat meals. Enjoy the foods you eat – don’t ‘choke’ something down that you don’t like. It’s not worth it. And throw out the ‘clean your plate rule’ – yes, there are starving children in Africa, but they don’t need stale French fries and melted ice cream either. Make this way of eating a ‘lifestyle’ – it’s not a diet, it’s not living from one cheat meal, carb night or 30 day challenge to the next. You’ve got 365 healthy days every year – not 292. Make each one count. (And yes, an occasional ‘treat’ is healthy – as long as it doesn’t compromise your health.)

Eat to Live. Don’t Live to Eat.

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How To Eat Paleo When Your Family Is NOT On Board

Have you decided that you want to eat a paleolithic diet but your family isn’t convinced? That’s how I started. I ate paleo for two full months before I tried to make any changes to my family’s meals and snacks. I wanted to know how I would feel eating paleo, address my own health issues, read more about it. I wanted to be convinced that it was the right way to eat before starting the monumental task of transitioning my family.

So, how do you follow a paleo diet in a household where other family members are eating neolithic foods? How do you prepare a meal that satisfies both your needs and the needs of your family? There are definitely some tricks, but I’ll be up front: if you’re going to eat paleo but have tempting neolithic foods in your fridge or pantry, you will need more discipline than the person who throws out all of the “bad stuff” before embarking on this journey. But here are some tricks to help you:

Have healthy paleo snacks and treats around at all times. Sometimes watching your kids or spouse eat something that you know you love but that you also know is not good for you can be overwhelming. If you are tired or stressed, you might not have enough discipline to abstain from eating whatever tempting food your family is enjoying. So have something paleo that you love available instead. If your family is eating cookies, have some almond butter chocolate chip cookies around (you can keep them in the freezer so you aren’t overeating them the rest of the time). You can make coconut milk ice cream or fruit sorbet. If you need something salty, you can make paleo club crackers, kale chips, or have some lightly salted nuts. If it’s the smell of bread you love, make some paleo bread (again you can slice it and then keep it in the freezer for “emergencies”; also note I have a new paleo bread recipe coming soon, the best yet). You can enjoy some 85% or higher dark chocolate (Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Bar is good, and I’ve heard that these amazing things about Domori 100% Dark Chocolate Bars and Bernard Castelain Chocolat Noir Extreme 85%). Obviously, it’s better to just not eat whatever tempting “bad food” is in front of you, but if you’re going to give in, you can still keep it paleo.

Make the neolithic part of your family’s meal easy to swap out for something paleo for yourself. For example, if you’re having pasta for supper, make the sauce paleo-friendly. You can pour it over conventional noodles for your family but use a paleo noodle substitute for yourself (great substitutes are roasted spaghetti squash, sautéed zucchini cut into strips, braised shredded cabbage, steamed broccoli slaw, or Kelp Noodles, now available with Amazon Subscribe & Save). Similarly, you can make cauliflower rice for yourself for a rice dish, you can make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, and you can use paleo bread instead of wheat bread. I also like to make several veggie side dishes for my meals, both for the variety and to make sure there’s something my picky children will eat, but also because it’s more satisfying if I’m avoiding eating something that my family is enjoying (although these days that something is usually rice for a cheat for my family or paleo bread).

Make some of your family meals paleo. Probably a lot of the meals you are cooking can be easily adapted to use paleo ingredients, without your family even noticing. Switch to Arrowroot Powder as a thickener. Switch to Almond Flour for breading and baking. Switch to Tamari Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos instead of regular soy sauce. Use Almond Milk or Coconut Milk instead of cow’s milk in your recipes. Cook with Coconut Oil instead of vegetable oils. Use Almond Butter instead of peanut butter. Maybe as time passes, you can start making more meals completely paleo. Maybe you can get your family on board without them even noticing!

It may take a bit of thought initially and some experimenting to figure out how to make this work for both you and your family. But it’s definitely doable. And chances are that once your family sees the improvement to your health, they’ll want to join you!

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Paleo…. could it be for you?

As the paleo challenge is winding down, you are most likely feeling better than you have ever felt, seeing great results in the gym, and finally have developed a routine to prepare food so you are not starving all week. So, what to do post challenge? Do you stay paleo? or go back to the way you were eating before? I came across this blog today with this same title “Paleo… could it be for you?” and I thought I would share her advice on deciding what to do post challenge.

Here are some tips and advice to help get you started.

Make the commitment-Are you truly ready to take on a nutrition or health challenge? Do you have any major events coming up like weddings or holidays that could sabotage your efforts? It is much harder to make healthy decisions when faced with too much temptation. I started mine at the end of September and it finished right before Thanksgiving. Going into the holiday season having already lost weight was motivation for me to keep it off and maintain my eating habits.

Establish a splurge rule-The old saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” unfortunately applies here. If your “cheat days” consist of alcohol, poor food choices, AND desert you are setting yourself up to fail. If you add-on top of that the fact that you didn’t exercise….well, that’s a recipe for gaining weight. When I cheat or splurge I typically pick ONE of the above items. I even remember doing this while on my honeymoon more than 8 years ago. Each day I decided if it was going to be a “drink what I want” or an “eat what I want day”. We went to one of those superinclusive resorts in Jamaica where you needed zero money and were not allowed to tip. It would have been very easy to indulge everyday. These days I would rather eat healthy and have 1-2 glasses of wine as my splurge.

Limit alcohol-Alcohol is nothing more than a bunch of empty calories. And quite frequently drinking alcohol goes hand-in-hand with poor food choices (think appetizers & drinks). I made a personal rule a while ago where I limit my drinking to social occasions only. As a mom of 2 small kids, unfortunately our social life isn’t that exciting. If I am not hanging out with friends I typically don’t drink. I was getting into the habit of having a glass of wine or two with dinner most days of the week. Not only is that a ton of extra calories that my small frame can’t handle, but I didn’t like it when my 3-year-old took her cup at dinner one night and said “Look Mommy my wine.” And ultimately I work too hard at the gym to blow it on alcohol.

Get family on board-If you are committed but members of your family are not, it will make your life harder. I remember when I got into the bad habit of having ice cream 2-3 times a week after dinner. I would see Brent serve himself a bowl of post-dinner ice cream and want some just because I saw him with it. Now mind you Brent is almost 6’2” and maybe weighs 180 pounds. He can afford to eat a huge bowl of ice cream every night and he won’t gain weight. I had to tell him that he needed to stop doing this every night in front of me. Ultimately I stopped buying ice cream every time it went on sale and that took care of that! (See sometimes is it nice when you are the one in charge of the food shopping!) Remember there is strength in numbers so get the entire family on board. Educate them as to what you are doing and why and how it is a good idea for everyone to get healthier even if not everyone needs to lose weight.

Clean Your House-No I don’t mean mop the kitchen floor! Get rid of the junk! If it’s not in the house you can’t eat it. (See ice cream example above.) If you must have certain temptation foods in your house then at least make them hard to access. For example, I put my favorite dark chocolate covered almonds either on the highest shelf or I put them in freezer in my garage. It’s one thing to mindlessly grab a handful because they are there. It’s another thing to get out the stool and climb to get them. Lately though I just haven’t been buying them. When they are not in the house I don’t crave them.

Have healthy foods readily available-“Fail to plan; plan to fail” is one of my favorite quotes. Meal planning & food prep at the beginning of the week will save you time, money, and calories. Taking the time to meal plan and prep foods for the week increases your success with staying on track and not giving in to take out or quick fixes. Sunday is my prep & plan day. We have a dry erase board in the kitchen that is used as a central place of communication; weekly meals, to-do lists, grocery list, and reminders are put there. When we make dinner we cook more than enough to ensure there will be leftovers for lunch. This allows for the assembly line that is lunch making to occur with speed and ease! It also helps me to not eat the same salad every day. If I do make a salad, I make 2 at a time so I have one ready to go for another day that week. Lately I have been buying meat specifically for lunches. I have been alternating between chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, and steak tips. I cook this all at once and use it for my salad (which lately has been broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, & shredded cabbage as my base). Or I dice it up and add some paleo mayonnaise and cubed sweet potatoes and take it as my breakfast.

Some examples of quick foods in my fridge:

Baby carrots, pre-packaged shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, cabbage, multicolored peppers, a variety of fruit, nitrate free deli meats, cooked chicken, steak, or pork, coconut milk yogurt, whole milk yogurt and string cheese for the kids, shredded coconut chips, & hard-boiled eggs.

Cook in bulk-I know I make lots of jokes about my big butt freezer in my garage but really I am not kidding. My theory is “Go Big or Go Home” when it comes to cooking and baking. If I am going to spend my time cooking, I am at a minimum, going to double the recipe so I have some to freeze for later. Let’s face it, life is busy and my life is busy too. In addition to being a wife and mom, I have a full-time teaching job, I just completed my 4th marathon this past Sunday, I CrossFit 3-4 times a week, I am co-owner of this awesome blog, and I soon will be working as a part-time massage therapist. Oh yeah, and I also have friends and family and a social life to fit in too. So yeah there are weekends that we are so busy with commitments that we don’t have time to do a perfect meal plan and grocery shop. That’s the real world-plain & simple.When this happens I don’t stress because I know that I can pull meals out of my freezer that week.

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16 Tips to Help You Handle The Holidays

Tip #1. Take your own food to a gathering.

Don’t just show up – make your own food to take to family gatherings! Not only do you ensure that you have good, wholesome paleo food to eat, but you just may convince others to give paleo eating a shot. Especially after they try some delicious gluten-free, dairy-free pies and bread-free stuffing.

Tip #2. Send notice of your dietary preferences ahead of time.

Send recipes to whoever is cooking so you can still eat and enjoy your meal. Make the traditional dishes paleo. Let whoever is cooking know so they won’t be offended if you’re not eating what is provided–with a reminder that you don’t expect them to change what is being made to accommodate your diet. (then do #1)
Tip #3. Be the host.

Host! Offer to host this year and I bet no one will even notice the white flour yeast rolls (I like to call them disease rolls) are missing! There are so many yummy paleo goods there’s no way this Christmas will mean missing out in holiday goodies.

Tip #4. Remind yourself of how bad non-paleo food makes you feel.

Stop, breathe and realize how bad you will feel if you go off the range and eat non-paleo. I drink a large glass of water walk away and distract myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes I falter. Bottom line do your best and don’t beat yourself up.

Tip #5. Plan ahead.

Shop early for ingredients in order to be prepared ahead of time. My suggestion for surviving a paleo – or any – holiday is to be involved in planning the menu for dinner. By being one of the people planning the menu, you are able to ensure that things you can eat and will enjoy will be in good supply, and that there will be fewer of the trigger foods that you are trying to stay away from. You can also ensure that your family is getting foods they enjoy and aren’t being deprived at the same time.

Tip #6. Don’t have non-paleo food available.

Make up paleo food that you like for yourself (and others.) As usual have your fridge filled with cooked, or cut Paleo foods. Make up some Paleo treats so that when everyone is having dessert at the end of the big turkey dinner…you can too! If I’m having family for any of the Holiday dinners everyone will be pure Paleo…it’s never been an issue as there are so many amazing recipes out there. Start your new Family Favorites!

Tip #7. Eat before you go.

My favorite holiday paleo tip is have a big nutritious paleo breakfast — especially if you’re going to a feast later. There is nothing that makes me so grateful, even-tempered and unlikely to fall into a SAD pecan pie as a belly full of protein and good fats and veggies.

Tip #8. Make smart choices, relax, enjoy.

Enjoy your family and don’t stress about food, make smart choices, but don’t deprive yourself. Choose the protein-rich foods at a party, like meats and eggs.
Tip #9. Make it a fun challenge.

Buy everything beforehand and make meals a challenge to create a fully paleo creation.
Tip #10. Respect others food preferences.

I found that my non-paleo family members aren’t extremely fond of paleo desserts, so one survival skill I’ll remember is that the food is not all about me. They will want to enjoy traditional pumpkin pie; and I can have an alternative, in addition to that.
Tip #11. Bake extra.

I’ve found in the last few years that the key to keeping our family on the paleo track is to do a little extra baking. There always seems to be some suitable main dish and veggie alternatives that are paleo (or near enough) but the sweets are another story! I make sure I make a few extra batches of muffins or coconut truffles or at the very least a container of dates on hand so when we’re tempted by the extra “goodies” we can eat something that’s much better for us and won’t have so many unwanted side effects!

Tip #12. Communicate your needs clearly.

I think the most important tip to surviving the Paleo Holidays is communication. In our house, we decided to stay home with just our immediate family because that way I had total control over what was being served. I know this doesn’t work for everyone (and it doesn’t work for Christmas with our family) so a person/people need to be very upfront about what their needs are. Don’t judge what others are choosing to do, and expect that they won’t judge you. Make enough to share, but be firm on what you will be eating. Be kind and loving. Have a plan ahead of time for when you are faced with foods that aren’t so good for you.

Tip #13. Set goals.

Even though we’ll travel to our family’s home and I won’t be totally in charge, my primary goal is to avoid gluten (1st) and sugar (2nd). I’m taking a couple of side dishes and a Paleo bread loaf so I don’t feel so left out and tempted to graze the dessert table!

Tip #14. Prepare mentally.

During the holidays, stick to your guns and do what you know is right for your food choices (AKA paleo) regardless of comments from friends or relatives. It’s very difficult to fight the tide (or to row up-river), but whenever I do it I am happier and feel better about myself and my food goals – regardless of comments from my mother or my aunt or my friends. They all have their varied opinions about my eating choices, but they don’t live inside my body. So, I choose to not let the hoopla of the holidays spoil my inner-self nor what I am fighting so hard to achieve.

Tip #15. Exercise in the morning

I survive by running the local Turkey Trot first thing in the morning. Then I’m much more able to say no to non-paleo temptations because I’m feeling so good from racing!
Tip #16. Offer paleo substitutions with a non-paleo ‘essence.’

When I am craving something sweet, I drink hot tea. It keeps me occupied. If I choose a “sweet” flavor it usually does the trick. And this is so easy to do in the winter, when it’s freezing outside!