Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dealing with Stress and Stress Eating

Slightly stressful day yesterday - realizing that my teaching job is coming to an end in a couple of weeks and that there aren't that many more contract projects for me to do with the company I am working with.

Jobs, finances, etc, one of the MAJOR stressors in life, right?

I took a breath, talked to Chris, tried not to get worked up into a full blown panic attack (as I have been known to do when a huge stressor settles upon my shoulders). I have savings. I am saving the money I am making from this contract job. I have several months to find a job. I will work hard at doing it. I will hope that everything works out.

I did stress eat a little yesterday - ate an extra serving of chocolate, too much sunflower seed butter, etc. I was so full by dinner time that I actually didn't make myself a meal - Chris ate leftover pulled pork and I just had a few slices of deli turkey on lettuce wraps. Definitely made the right decision to put the brakes on eating last night (though I wanted to just dive right into a huge plate of food for some temporary comfort... but that is obviously an old behavior that has never helped me in the long run!). Weighed in at 122 on the dot today :)

This link has some good advice on how to deal with stress in the short and long term: Four Ways to Deal with Stress from the American Heart Association (obviously we don't want to be stressing our hearts out, where would we be without them???).

Therapy, Buddhist thought, and careful self-examination has helped me recognize when I am getting too stressed and how to deal with it. Stressing ages us in so many ways - causes inflammation, stress on our hearts, ruins our skin, causes weight gain, etc. It also makes life suck.

Overeating is NOT the way to deal with stress - it only SEEMS to lessen stress temporarily. Then it comes back with more force than before, causing an awful cycle.

Take care of yourselves <3

At the office right now, prepping the final exam. I brought some baked chicken and sweet potatoes for my lunch:

Also feeling kind of cute today, despite a near-miss with a meltdown yesterday:

Namaste <3

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Best Paleo Pumpkin Pie recipe

I've had inquiries about the recipe for the amazing paleo pumpkin pie my husband makes for me that I just absolutely drool over.

Well, he uses this recipe: The Best Paleo Pumpkin Pie from

I'll copy it here for ease, but all credit goes to thepaleomom, without whom, I would never have found my favorite treat IN THE WORLD! - I will note here that we do NOT add the water to the filling, finding that it made the filling much too watery even after cooking. But this might be a trial and error thing for you personally!

Ingredients (Pie Crust):
  • 1 ¼ cups raw walnut halves (you could also substitute pecans)
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 egg white
  • Generous pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Grind walnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground and almost starting to turn into walnut butter (i.e., just starting to clump together).
  3. Mix walnuts, almond flour, egg white, and salt together (you can pulse in your food processor or do this by hand).
  4. Press/pinch into a 9” pie plate (an 8” deep dish pie plate will work too).
  5. Pierce the crust with a fork every ¼” or so to stop the shell from bubbling up while it bakes.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before pouring the custard in.
Ingredients (Pumpkin Pie Filling):
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree (use fresh or this is the equivalent of a 15oz can)
  • 2/3 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (if you’re making your pie right after making the crust, just reduce the temperature).
  2. Place cashews and walnuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground.  Add eggs, honey and maple syrup and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the water if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well).  It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
  4. Pour into cooled pie shell (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just cool enough to touch).  Spread the top out evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.  Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Daily weighing and 14 mile hike!

Happy Monday to everyone!!

Two things on my agenda today :)

First, I wanted to say a little more publicly than in the comments that I really think daily weighing is okay - in some circumstances. What are those circumstances?
  • it is done once a day (ideally same time every time)
  • the number does not affect mood
  • the number does not cause the weigh-er to eat differently than normal (either to starve a little or as an excuse to overeat)
Now, I didn't always fit these circumstances. Weight REALLY affected my mood and would cause me to under-eat if the number was too high. I also used to (almost a decade ago) weigh several times a day. That's not me anymore. I weigh-in once a day, it's part of my morning routine, and I take the number as information. I've been working hard to not let a high weight make me stressed or a low weight to make me happy. It's just a check in to make sure I am on the right track.

I gave up tracking my calories. That was a big step, and if I wasn't ready for it, could have caused significant weight gain. However, daily weighing would make sure that didn't happen.

I think Vickie said it best:

"I think if you are not tracking, daily weighing is really important, at least in the beginning. And that is taking into consideration how cleanly you eat. Someone eating restaurant food or a lot of processed, and not tracking can be all over the place, regain easily if they are not weighing. 

If someone is really in a groove/routine with their meals and exercise, it is possible to neither weigh nor track, but that requires a firm set of factors, in my experience. 

A lot of regainers THINK they really know, do not need to track nor weigh and end up in a very bad place.

If one uses the scale simply as a tool, to show if their food is balanced enough to maintain, in exchange for tracking, it can be a real asset."

Giving up tracking was scary for me. It was a tool I used for many, many years. I was NOT sure that I knew what I was doing and was so on point emotionally and physically that I would not regain my weight once I gave it up.

Daily weighing may eventually go the way of tracking calories for me. I might only weigh in once a week or once a month to make sure I am at a healthy weight.

But, I think I need several more months of practice till I am convinced I can not track and not weight and maintain (I always have a little voice way in the back of my head trying to convince me I can binge a little/a lot!).

Anyway - for anyone who is concerned that I am obsessive or disordered with the daily weighing, no worries! I am actually in a very good place mentally with it. I am okay with small ups and downs, I don't let it affect my mood. In fact, I am even okay with higher weights than I was before I gave up tracking. It's a barometer of my behavior.

And I did weigh in today :) At 122.2, which is very, very normal for me!

Yesterday, I definitely ate much more than normal, but I also went on a 14 mile hike - a very grueling, rocky hike with tons of elevation gain and loss. I made sure that my food was very clean and I was eating enough to fuel me for the hike and recovery (which obviously is more than a normal day!).

It felt great to challenge my body like that - haven't been on a really challenging hike in over a month (just been doing 5ish miles with minimal elevation gain lately).

Feeling good today, especially after a good night of sleep!

Picture from the goal of our hike - the point of a mountainous peninsula in Lake George (the mountain range is called the Tongue Range because it looks like a tongue sticking out into the lake!). We were half-way done here:

Namaste, my friends <3

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Umm.. ALL the stuff??

Non-stop. NON-stop.

Walk with Koda mid-day on Friday in between working at home:

Cutest buddy :D
Then Chris got home and we went for an evening walk (and swim for Koda) at a local nature preserve:

Super lucky to have this within 30 minutes of the house!
Feeling like Spring :D
Then, we woke up at 6 AM on Saturday morning to head north for some archaeology. It was crazy - a hidden site up on a mountain that we had to hike about 2 miles to get to and then crash around in thick woods all day.


But stopped by some pretty waterfalls in the Adirondacks on our way home (Split Rock Falls!):

Super, super, super pretty. Again - we are lucky.

Pretty, pretty, pretty world. Very active past couple of days.

May or may not go on the hike we planned for tomorrow (we are tired! And the weather isn't looking good, but we will decide tonight after resting and eating PULLED PORK THAT WAS COOKING ALL DAY IN THE CROCK POT WHILE WE WORKED ... smells so good, I could freak out. Okay, I am freaking out.)

Ok - a little mapping work, and I'll let you know if we decided to hike tomorrow!

Peace and Light <3

Friday, April 25, 2014

Girls' Night

Last night was a Girls' Night, and I hosted it!

Great on two counts:

1- it motivated me to clean the entire downstairs SUPER well (every nook and cranny, deep cleaned)

2- I got to choose the snacks!

Food I put out: fresh berries, carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and garlic hummus (not technically paleo but not bad- good as far as dips go, I was looking for baba ganoush but there was none at the store), and almonds!

So while I did drink wine, my dinner was basically veggies and fruit and nuts.

Same weight as yesterday: 123 :) I have a busy weekend ahead - a day of fieldwork and a day of hiking. No time or energy for bad eating choices ahead! Hoping to see 122s after an active weekend.

Short and sweet today - the dog needs walking and work needs doing.

Take care of mind, body and spirit this weekend!!

Namaste <3

Thursday, April 24, 2014



I stopped obsessively tracking and worrying about every single piece of food I had/was/would put in my mouth. I relaxed, I actively tried to let the obsession go. (Though in a healthy way where I don't just start piling on the weight)

My therapist asked "What would you do with your time if you stopped obsessing over food?"

She made the point that I was putting off meaningful conversation to obsess about party food, that I was being vain when vanity is an unattractive personality trait to me, that I was occupying my time with weight and food and body image to distract from REAL life.

And this is my only life.

So I tried really hard to let a lot of the obsessions go (not perfect, I realize I am still in danger of falling into old cycles and habits)... but I am trying, I am working.

And what happened?

Life happened!!!

I am SO BUSY - busy with school, with writing, with teaching, with my new contract job, with my husband, with my friends, with my dog and horse and cat. There is ALWAYS something to be done, things I am excited and pleased to do (even if it is work!).

What was I so scared of?

What was I so anxious of?

The reality of this life being my only chance, the reality of the FRAGILITY of this life, it made me want to stop wasting time.

Yes, I want a strong, healthy, fit, trim body. I value that. That's why I am working on mindfulness and recognizing hunger and fullness. That's why I still stay active, walk, do yoga, workout, hike. That's why I keep my food clean and paleo and whole and moderate.

But I want this life, too. I want that balance that has alluded me up until now - my 32nd year.

As a young adult, I was fat and avoiding life. As a 20-something, I was thin and avoiding life. I'm finally learning to stop avoiding life. To fully immerse - it's what seemed so impossible when I was a young, hurt, scared, shy, overweight woman.

So is it a coincidence that life really bloomed when I let go of the obsession?

I don't think so :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Things and Stuff

I had a productive day yesterday - finished two reports that should bring in a big paycheck for me and Chris (much needed!) and also ran some errands after Chris finished work (finally used a $50 reward he had at Men's Warehouse, picked up my dad's old record player that we got fixed, and went to Target to buy some shelving).

I've had a HUGE house to-do list for a long time. Little things like repainting the porch (it got messed up during the winter), putting a runner down on the porch, getting chairs for our sunroom, etc. This one has been on my agenda since October, when we got home from our honeymoon in Japan...

I wanted shelving to display my favorite souvenir!! I got these beautiful screens at the Tokyo National Museum and needed a nice place to display them. They are now prominently displayed in my dining room:

I have a little money set aside to continue chipping away at the projects (next big one: get some wedding photos printed and framed!).

Not much to tell you otherwise. Weight continues to slowly decrease (a whole 0.2 down today, haha!), but it's the right direction of recovering from a chocolate binge.

Teaching today. Eager to be done teaching... realized it's not REALLY what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it was a good experience. Been applying for a few jobs I am interested in in the area, but no bites yet. Thank goodness for this side work or else I would be looking to get ANY old job that would take me, even if I hated it. I kind of want to do something I feel at least a little interested in!

My Work Look :D

Ok, back to prepping my lecture.

Namaste <3

Monday, April 21, 2014

Super dinner: paleo shepherd's pie and blackberry/sunflower-seed-butter ice cream!!

Weighing in at 123.4... Easter weight is slowly coming off as I inundate my body with clean, fresh foods!

I love to eat tasty foods, so I've learned to create simple, fresh, clean meals with limited, colorful ingredients to make sure I get my pleasure AND my nutrition!

Shepherd's pie:

- browned ground turkey with sautéed onions and mushrooms (spices: pepper, paprika, basil, garlic powder)

- boil some organic peas (these have an AMAZING taste, no spice needed!)

- boil fresh cauliflower till very soft, used a hand blender to get it smooth and creamy with garlic and pepper and a touch of butter.

- layer it all in a casserole pan and toss in oven to broil (to get a nice browning on the mashed cauliflower and heat up the ingredients if they've cooled):

Dessert was banging, too! Fresh fruit and less than a serving of sunflower seed butter made a decadent ice cream treat!

Put in food processor frozen banana slices, frozen blackberries and a spoonful of sunflower seed butter:

Process till it turns into ice cream (it took a little longer than my earlier attempts because of the frozen raspberries)... Put a dab of sunflower seed butter on top and enjoy!

We had a really special dinner and dessert together, without a huge calorie investment and with tons of nutrition to help fuel our bodies for our lives.

It took a long time of practice, but I can eat dinner at home every night of the week for many weeks and never get bored or feel like I'm being deprived! 

Cheap and healthy :)

Enjoy your day!

Namaste <3

Chocolate Indulgence

I indulged a little too much yesterday- chocolate and dinner, my weight is up to 124 because of it. Family situations are still hard for me to navigate without anxiety and I can easily fall back into old habits of eating too much.

Got to own it and work on it!

But good news- the main course was pork roast! So my dinner was, aside from being too big, normal for me: pork, applesauce, green beans, salad. I also ate corn, which isn't paleo, but isn't the worst transgression. But then.. The chocolate. Yikes!

Well, I'll get a grip today. Normal everything - yoga, walk, veggies and fruit and protein, lots of water!

Still reveling in the nice weather and all the flowers coming back:

Pretty life :)

Off to take care of business!!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Bloom of Life

So, it's Easter! I am not religious at all and have no beliefs in any specific worship or any specific god (though I really don't care what anyone else believes... we all get through this life in the way that works for us! So please, no lectures about religion to me :) ). However, I am incredibly spiritual and believe that it is a miracle and a blessing that I get to live this life. I am grateful to whatever forces made that possible.

I will go to Easter dinner with my Catholic family because my grandmother would like me to celebrate with her. And I will gladly! Easter is a time for me to celebrate as humans have for 10s of 1000s of years - to celebrate the rebirth of the earth and the bloom of life by being with friends and family and eating a meal together!

I am not sure what they are serving for dinner... if it is lasagna and there are no other main entree options, I will have the smallest of pieces. But most of my food is going to be veggies! I am allowing myself three pieces of "Grandma" chocolate (she always have Dove candies out!) and a macaroon for dessert. But that's my treat for the celebration day.

They asked me to bring desserts. I got macaroons for myself (coconut and egg based!) and an apple crumble and cinnamon cake for the rest of the family. I could have gone the fruit route, but that wouldn't have gone over well with my family!!

Then I will go watch Game of Thrones with friends (and pawn off the leftover desserts on them so that they don't come home with me!)

Chris and I went for a hike this morning to do our own earth-rebirth celebration! Like I said... I do believe it is a miracle I am here. I am deeply, deeply moved by the beauty of this world.

Koda ended the hike in a mud puddle.. of course!

Namaste, enjoy your holiday if you celebrate! Be good to yourselves, each other and this earth <3

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Breakfast for lunch!

I'm taking an easy Saturday! Chris and I worked late yesterday and I am tired! Chris is actually off for the day and night - he's hanging with some friends at their cabin overnight and playing music with them at a venue downstate (their bass player couldn't make it to the show). I am staying home, resting, watching Koda and giving Chris some much needed "guy time."

We woke up early, did some grocery shopping, and took Koda for a family walk before Chris left. I cleaned the house up, made myself lunch and am DONE for the day by noon :D I will do some yoga later and might work a little on some reports, but at my leisure :)

Lunch was great!! I made some of the fluffiest eggs I've ever made:

Eggs (scrambled with water and spices), roasted sweet potatoes and raw tomatoes!

Thoroughly enjoyed it, mmmmm.

Obviously another clean and grain free day going down in the books today :) Weight is steady: 122.8. Tired but feeling productive, healthy and happy!

Enjoy your weekend. Stop, breathe, remember that it's beautiful and special that we are here at all. Cherish it!

Namaste <3

Friday, April 18, 2014

Night Out

I ate really well and simply yesterday because I planned on joining a group of friends for dinner out. We went to The City Beer Hall (a favorite of mine... it's where Chris and I had brunch a few weeks ago) with a group of ten, I had a great time!!

I drank a new favorite beer (Rushing Duck Bauli Saison) and had a lovely fresh salad with grilled chicken:

Beer was my treat for the night :) 

I actually didn't end the night there! It just so happened that one of my favorite bands, American Babies, was playing at a local bar last night. I had gotten a text from my friend inviting me, and last second I decided to go.

I had a dinner companion drop me off, I had another beer and danced the whole time!! 

(not used to drinking much anymore, so I was a little tipsy!)

It was an unexpected night of seeing a lot of friends, having a really great time, seen some great music, and laughing and dancing!

I haven't let loose like that in a long time. I've been very good about being moderate with my diet and my finances lately. So, last night actually felt sweeter because of my hard work!

I drank three beers, purposefully and with no regrets! I ate a balanced dinner and danced a ton- weighed 122.8 this morning, so up a pound, but I don't mind! I made the choice last night and I'd make it again :)

Now back to regularly scheduled programming: no alcohol today, that's for sure!, clean and paleo foods, dog walking, yoga, errands, and then I have another archaeology set up to do this afternoon.

Last night was great, but it was so great because it's not a typical evening for me - I really, really savored every moment!

Enjoy your moments today :)

Namaste <3

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

A short meditation for the day - one that can be applied to MANY facets of ours lives: treating others with love, doing good work, caring for our bodies, etc.

You are what you do. Your actions write your story, regardless of intentions or plans.

I will practice patience and respect and kindness today in all actions- for and to myself, my husband, friends, dog, my workout, my work, my meal preparation, my words.

It is all connected: body, brain and spirit.

I will leave it at that, take what you will from it (but know a deeper understanding of these truths has helped me become a truly healthy person, and that is what this blog is about in the end, true health).

Namaste <3

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My earliest Summer body ever!

You know how it goes: indulgences over the holidays lead to New Year's resolutions, but those don't usually work out so well, and when Spring starts so too does the flurry of "Get That Bikini Body Fast" type articles in print and online.

I fell into that cyclical loop for most of my life. Even after I had lost the bulk of my weight, I still cycled up-and-down yearly, with the seasons. It was so stressful mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This is the first year that did NOT happen, and it was worth all the mental and physical work I did to make it happen. I feel proud of my behavior for this past year. I feel like I treated my body like it deserves to be treated. I didn't abuse it over the holidays. I feel no shame, no guilt, and no crazy sense that I'm running out of time before summer to finally be who I want to be (or who I am told I want to be). 

I wish this media circus around New Year's resolutions and "getting that summer body" didn't happen. I think it helps to create the cyclical weight gain and loss that so many people experience in the year. We all know that dieting year after year, regaining and losing, is not good for the body.

It took a lot of self-reflection and work this past winter/holiday season to not gain. A true realization of WHY I want to be a healthy weight - because I want to live for a long time and I want those years to be full of energy and good health and unlimited mobility! It's for me, because I love myself and I deserve a strong, healthy body to live this life.

I've spent a decade obese, a decade losing weight and trying to find true maintenance. I don't know if this is it- but it feels like it!! It required a HUGE mental shift to doing this for me, because it's good and right. Not for anyone else, not because of media pressure to be thin, those things aren't enough.

Still not tracking, still eating clean/paleo, still active... Weighing 121.8 today. 

This is my ALWAYS body, not my Summer body! I want to treat it well year-round.

Feeling beautiful and strong when I woke up, snapped a photo before yoga:

Also- I wanted something other than fruit or dark chocolate for dessert last night with Chris, so I made a Paleo-fied dessert! Gasp!!! ;)

It's rare, but sometimes I do like to have the mouthfeel of bready/cakey things. I made this from (The Two Minute Cinnamon Banana Mug Cake (Paleo)):

I accidentally microwaved it for three minutes instead of two, so it looked like a hot mess that I don't want to show you. But it was delicious! 

I'm not a proponent of having paleo breads and paleo muffins and paleo cookies around the house on a normal basis. But it's been a while since Chris has made his famous Paleo pumpkin pie, so I indulged- mmm. And, I was hungry when I ate it (I had half and Chris had the other half), and my weight isn't up. I am still listening to my body :)

So, what's the take away from this post? That it took me a long, long, long time to get out of our society's dysfunctional weight loss propaganda and to realize that true weight loss and true maintenance would only come "easily" when I did it for me, my health, and my life solely. I hope I can urge others not to get wrapped up in the yo-yo dieting that is so common.

Have a great day!

Namaste <3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Busy-ness and Fruit

Busy Monday done! I was a little frazzled all day - but managed to get the dog walked, some yoga done, and to eat well. I can see how easy it would be, when I get super busy, to let a good diet and good habits slide. It's just something to be aware of and make sure doesn't happen.

Weight is 122.4 today. Seems that just by living moderately and clean, that's my weight! I could weigh less if I wanted to up my activity to an athletic level (like training for a marathon or triathalon or mud run... Even if I took up a sport or joined Crossfit) or get SUPER strict with food (no chocolate, no sunflower seed butter snacks, etc).

But... I don't want that. I want my walks and my yoga and my hiking. I want a sweet treat once in a while. I like where I am at and I like being this weight :)

I tend towards obsessiveness and perfectionism... So when I hear about super athletic achievements, I feel like I should be pushing myself to do those things. But, I have to admit those things wouldn't make me happy. Sure, I feel really proud about having achieve something difficult, but I have to be honest with myself and realize it's just not something I want to do. At least, not right now- I, hopefully, have many years ahead of me and I reserve the right to change my mind!! :)

My dinner last night was a huge salad:

Mushrooms, a whole tomato, beets, snap peas and romaine. I hadn't eaten a Tonna vegetables during the day, so I made sure my dinner was pure vegetables.

Been eating a lot of fruit lately - yesterday: blueberries, cantaloupe, banana... It is easy, in the spring and summer, for me to overdo the fruit servings during the day and slide a little bit on the vegetable servings (fruit is more affordable and it taste great!). Got to keep an eye on that. 

In the end, though, I always eat the minimum recommended amount of veggies. And if I eat an extra serving of fruit or so, but make room for it in my day- good!! It's all good nutrition and I don't have a super sensitivity to natural sugars (it doesn't cause my way to go up and it doesn't trigger binge feelings).

... How far I came from the young adult who ate sugar cereal, PB&J on white bread, Doritos, and cookies almost exclusively during the day! Now I am wondering if my fruit intake might be a little high, haha. 

I think I have very little to worry about - I have developed the right habits and gotten my body healthy. I've even been maintaining my weight without tracking calories for about a month now I think!!!


Lots of work to tend to today, but in a much more relaxed fashion. I don't have to lecture or bring the dog to the vet or any appointments or anything. I just have to hunker down at my home office and get some stuff accomplished!

Namaste <3

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Best workout outfit of all time!

First, I'll say that this weekend was all around great: got work done, was active MOST of the weekend (seriously, not much downtime!), hung out with my husband the whole time AND ate really clean!

My dinner on Saturday night - natural sausages roasted in the oven, organic green peas, and a yellow cauliflower mash with curry-type spices:

No picture, but my dinner on Sunday was grass-fed beef burgers in a lettuce "bun" with sweet potato wedges, raw tomato and pickles!

Breakfasts and lunches were on point, as well. I did eat a little too much chocolate on Saturday after field work because I realllllly wanted it. It was a purposeful choice, I own it!

Anyway, on to my amazing outfit.

We went to the local pine bush preserve for a hike - I thought it was going to rain because the forecast said it would (but it turned out to be the MOST PERFECT 75 degree, sunny, amazingly beautiful day I've ever experienced). So, I wore galoshes, sweatpants and a hoodie... it's a flat-ish hike that I've done a million times, so I don't usually bother with all of my actual hiking gear.

I ended up rolling my sweatpants up because it was too hot, and showing off my men's "ride the pony" mustang t-shirt. I looked ridiculous:

But, you don't need to LOOK athletic or like you know what you are doing to get a great workout. I spent most of my "workout" career looking like a crazy shlub. Only in the last few years have I built up a cool athletic wardrobe, and that is ONLY because when you hike in the elements (cold, rain, whatever), you really do need good, expensive gear to wick away your sweat, keep you warm and dry, etc.

But for running in the city, walking the dog, doing push ups in my house, etc... I look like a hot mess :D

Some pictures from the hike. I really, really love this place:

Alright - off for another busy Monday: meeting with the statistics guy in my department for help, lecturing, prepping powerpoints, walking the dog, taking the dog to the vet, then working on maps for my report!

Namaste <3

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Working hard!

Had a great day doing archaeology with my husband - dug out in a pretty farm field all day. Got home in time to take the dog out for a walk together in the bright sunlight!!

Weight is holding steady at 122.3... Even after I had beer last night! I was super active yesterday, though: walked the dog, raked the yard, did yoga, and set up the grid for our project! I was really wanting to relax with friends and savor a delicious beer after a long day, so I did!

Ate well today - packed a lunch and snacks for us while we worked (turkey lettuce wraps, sweet potatoes, bananas and paleo macaroons!).

Now for some sweet relaxation with the family (made a decision not to hang out with friends tonight, we are exhausted and want some alone time!)

Namaste <3

Friday, April 11, 2014

Enjoy the Now

I've been really contemplative lately - as I am in a good place, mentally, and making forward progress, I have room to look at myself and my life and how I live a little more objectively than when I was grieving.

I've spent a lot of time PREPARING to live life. Preparing to be the person I want to be. Whether focusing on school or saving money or working for the body I want or preparing the house to be lived in or preparing for a job or safeguarding my future health and finances and well being and family and whatever it might be...

And it struck me. I am living life RIGHT. NOW. This very moment. This is life!

This is my family I have.

This is the money I have.

This is the house I live in.

This is the body I've earned.

This is my health.

I am who I am right now.

It's all now. And it's GOOD and RIGHT that I care about these things and protecting them. It is because I cared about myself and my life in the past that I have what I have now. I have been blessed and lucky and I have worked hard, as well.

But I cannot forget to live in the moment.

The future is so totally unknown.

I must enjoy my family, my pets, my body, my house, my life... as I protect and safeguard them for the future, I must be here now, too.

My point?

I didn't do that for a long time. I was obese and I didn't enjoy my body, even as I changed it. I was lonely, and I didn't enjoy the people I DID know as I looked for something more. I was always looking to the END of school, without realizing it is the PROCESS of finishing school that educates me, not the final degree.

I've learned a lesson. I sometimes forget it and get wrapped up in what COULD be and what MIGHT happen - always planning, looking forward, worrying.

Maybe someone reading this will stop and think, and maybe enjoy the now a little deeper, be a little more present, because I should have done that more (some times of great joy, I was completely present... the most I have ever been completely present and IN the moment was my wedding day!).

Being in the moment, being present ... there is joy in that. Joy in what your body CAN do right now. Joy in what you have right now. Joy in the people you love right this moment. No matter if things are not how you want them to be right now... there is still joy in them.

That joy, that being present, it helps me to be good to myself. To be healthy. To do good things naturally. Because I am not sabotaging myself, as I am wont to do :)

Sorry for the philosophy today, as we go into the weekend.

I need to remind myself of these things. Especially as I go into a very frenzied, busy weekend!!

I will enjoy the archaeology I do tomorrow, the holes I dig, the notes I take. I will take pleasure in a job well done, without stressing about the final report that needs to go out or the paycheck I am looking forward to.

Namaste, my friends, enjoy the weekend <3

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What a difference Spring makes!

Long walk by the river with Koda today - getting some sun on my skin for the first time in a very long time:

Things are going well - my side job (subcontracting for an archaeology firm) is coming together.. We already have two well-paying jobs lined up! Busy with school and teaching. Working out every day (yoga and a little strength training) and finding moments to relax with Chris or friends.

Spring is a really welcome change. It's amazing the effect that seasons can have on us. This cold, blustery, long winter was really dragging on my spirit. But sun on my skin changed that all in a heart beat!!

Short today - I have a lot to do, working on my lecture and hopefully going over the job I'm doing this weekend.

Namaste <3

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ditching the scale?

Things are going well in this neck of the woods:

- starting a side job soon that will bring in some much needed $$$ (and I get to be my own boss!)

- learning to not take angry/failing students and their rants personally

- I enjoyed a beautiful spring day yesterday, visited my horse and took a long walk with Koda

- no tracking is still going great!

- food has been fresh, delicious and clean :)

- weighed in at 121.8 this morning - low end of my range!!

Like Gwen at has been experimenting with, I wonder if/when I'll ever reduce my weigh-ins! 

I can't go cold turkey with it like I did when I stopped tracking my calories. But, I weigh in every day right now (just once, in the morning, right after I wake up... So not obsessively throughout the day, but definitely everyday). I could see an experiment in my future where I only weigh in once or twice a week, then less than that if that's successful.

However, not tracking is still a very new and tentative thing for me. And while I trust in the process and I'm learning to trust myself, I want some more time to build more confidence in myself before I drop the scale as well as my tracking.

Don't want to get ahead of myself!!

It has just been so freeing to not be tied to my calorie app all day- now, don't get me wrong, it's a great tool that I would recommend anybody who is trying to get a handle on learning about portion sizes or how much food they should be eating. It help me lose weight and keep the weight off for a long time.

But, I don't think it's the right tool for me for the rest of my life! It's exciting to see that I simply don't need it right now.

Ok - I will leave you with a picture of my horse and a picture of the first flower I've seen this Spring AND a wish that you have a gorgeous day!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Crazy Monday!

Yesterday was a crazy, busy, stressful day! Just lots of little life loose ends to tie up and work to be done. I was a little frazzled! But I am down a pound from my Game of Thrones feast gain, so that's nice. Didn't do anything different yesterday, just went back to normal. Betting I will be back to 122 tomorrow, as I will be eating and exercising normally today, as well.

I didn't get a walk in yesterday, though, because I was so busy (I did do a quick 15 minute leg strength workout). Someone came to my door (loooong story - but basically I stupidly fell for a energy provider switch because they presented themselves like they were MY energy company, and I was so stressed and frazzled, I gave them my info... in the process of canceling that now, once I realized they were a SEPARATE company. I can't believe I fell for the sneaky sales pitch!!) and while I was dealing with them, Koda ate my lunch I had set up on the counter! Nooo - goodbye beautiful roast chicken :(

I was NOT happy! I was starving, because it was late (2 PM) and all I had eaten that day was cottage cheese and berries and coffee!! I had been so busy, lunch was delayed. And, wah, my protein source was gone (rare time where my fridge wasn't stocked with pre-cooked protein sources! Makes me remember why I always prep in advance... to avoid freak outs!)

I couldn't take him on a walk (too busy AND a little POed!), so he had to wait for Chris to come home to get his walk, hahha.

But I got everything taken care of (teaching, bills, copays, lecture notes, assignments, picking up wedding dress, banking, insane emails, paperwork for new job me and Chris will be working on, etc, etc, etc nonstop all day crazy) and just chilled out after a late dinner.

I forgot to show you this fun picture from a hike we did this weekend - Koda found a perfectly sized toy for himself!!

And here's my wedding dress all cleaned and preserved!

I am now off to visit my horse, run a couple errands, come home and finally give Koda a long walk (hahaha, now we have made up after the great lunch debacle) :D

Have a great day! I am hoping for a much calmer day then I had yesterday!

Namaste <3

Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones Feast

If you knew me in real life, you would know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Game of Thrones is the MOST perfect television show ever for me. I have been a fantasy nerd since I started reading young adult fiction in my early teens, I've had this weird fascination with wolves (in that I truly believe the wolf is my totem animal) for as long as I can remember, I love me some eye candy (males and females, preferably dressed in armor and medieval-type gowns!) and I read the Song of Fire and Ice series before the show even aired. Die-hard fan.

Well, last night was the Season 4 premiere!

About 15 of us gathered at a friend's house who has a huge TV and HBO, had a Game of Thrones-styled dinner together and watched the opener together. So much fun! I had a blast, loved the episode and am REALLY excited for this season (as I said, I read the books, so I know what's coming, but I won't spoil it for you guys).

What is great about having the Game of Thrones style feast is that the food is not very processed and is very simple with bold flavors (they take recipes out of old medieval cookbooks and remake them in the Inn at the Crossroads Cookbook, which was used for this dinner!).

So what was on the menu?

ROAST TURKEY!!!, salad with greens/figs/nuts, beets prepared two ways, deviled eggs, chips/pitas with hummus, a sweet potato/quinoa salad, meat pies, a veggie platter and lemoncakes.

If you notice, there are only three things on that list that are huge no-nos for me: meat pies (because of the crust), the chips/pitas and lemoncakes.

I didn't eat any of those things :)

And I didn't drink last night!

But I did eat more than a normal meal for myself (I planned to, it was my indulgence for the week!) and ate a lot of turkey with gravy, a huge plate of salad and beets, and a big portion of the sweet potato salad. I also ate this food LATE AT NIGHT, like whoa.... I usually eat between 5:30 and 6:30. We started dinner around 7:30, but really ate more like 8 PM.

So I am up two pounds, no big surprise there - extra food, salty gravy, eating late.

Not stressed out about it. I am finally learning to trust my body. I KNOW my weight will drop in the next day or two as I return to my normal schedule and foods.

But I am proud I didn't eat any of the bread. That was my main goal - no bread or chips. I've been good about not eating chips, but I have been eating too much bread socially. But not last night.

It felt awesome to be social, allow myself in indulge in a few healthy, paleo foods, and feel good the next day.

This is my goal, this is what I am working towards.

Started my day off with my normal berries/cottage cheese breakfast and coffee. The dog is getting a loooooooong walk on this gorgeous Spring day when I am done teaching. I have sweet potatoes as a snack here at work and will eat some lovely pork chops with a big old salad for dinner!

Valar Morghulis ;)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Roast Chicken, Banana "Ice Cream"

A few food firsts last night:

Usually Chris makes the roast chicken around here (I find whole raw chicken gross haha), but he was busy installing new flooring. So I tried my hand at it. It turned out beautifully:

AND tasty! Tender, juicy, flavorful. 

Still learning about cooking over here :) I defer to Chris for roasting chicken and cooking fish... He's really good at both, but I need to make sure my skills are up for when he's traveling! As I said, I really hate handling raw chicken. Especially the whole raw carcass!!! Giblets are gross. But, since I'm a meat eater, I have to learn to be a grown-up and deal with the squick factor of my food.

Other first: I finally attempted to make that Paleo banana "ice cream" everybody's been talking about! You basically slice up a banana per person, let it freeze for about two hours, throw it in the food processor and purée it till becomes ice cream. It really did seem like magic, haha!!

I added a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter and a dash of honey, it was a decadent, lovely treat.

No picture because it got eaten way too fast. Also, its not the most beautiful looking thing. Especially my dull brown sunflower seed butter flavor!

It will definitely be added to our summer treat rotation. It has minimal ingredients, is totally clean, and absolutely Paleo!! Frozen stuff is nice to eat in the heat. Also looking forward to creating new flavors with the banana base.

Usually not a fan of SAD desserts recreated in a Paleo way, but this was way too simple to not try. Totally worth it! As I said in a previous post, I do think it's important to enjoy your food and take pleasure from it, otherwise you don't feel satiated, which can lead to over eating. I eat a banana with sunflower seed butter almost every day anyway, why not freeze it up and make it fun :)

Down to 121.8 .... !!!!! Without even TRYING! Not tracking has been amazing (as long as I do the work about recognizing true hunger and emotional hunger, and being realistic about what is healthy and what is not). 

I'm staying active every day, eating when hungry - and eating whatever I crave (in the house stocked with Paleo food only haha... So my "cravings" aren't junk food but I try to listen to my body and see if it needs a salad or if it needs protein or if it needs some fruit.)

I just can't express to you guys how much my disordered mind is shocked that I CAN trust my body and my mind to regulate naturally. So thankful I'm doing the emotional work right, removing that stressor is allowing my eating to happen naturally for the first time in 22 years.

Excited for this beautiful Spring Sunday- off to the co-op I go!!


Friday, April 4, 2014

No Grains, No Gains - topic: eating out!

No Grains, No Gains - Coping With Eating Out!


The topic of the month for our paleo/primal blogging group is how we deal with eating out (I will abstain from commenting on how I deal with eating at work, because my schedule really allows me to eat at home most of the time).

When I first sat down to write, I imagined a post full of pointers about how to stay Paleo in a restaurant.

But, as I sat with that idea, I realized it would not be truthful to who I am. I'll tell you my real deal and how I really deal with this:

My biggest rule for eating out: don't do it too often!

I know that might seem trite or simple or a blow off of this topic, but it's not. Seriously, unless you have an amazing restaurant nearby that serves local, fresh, (hopefully) organic food, you just do NOT know what is in your food when you eat out.

Now- I'm not saying never eat out. There is something delightfully wonderful about sitting down in a beautiful room, at a really nice table, with a pleasant waiter coming to take your order, and a talented chef preparing your food for you. I love when dinner takes a really long time, and I get to sit and chat over a glass of wine and really enjoy the experience. I love cool places with fun art or architecture (my favorite room in my favorite restaurant is covered wall and ceiling with antique mirrors!!!)

We eat out very rarely. About once a month, as a date night. Or sometimes, low on time or energy, we go to Chipotle to grab a salad (they actually use great ingredients, and I keep my choices paleo) or grab salads from our local co-op. Sometimes we treat ourselves to lunch at the Farmer's Market (where we get great local, grass fed meats and beautiful organic produce). We also have some cute little local cafes around us that serve quality, well prepared food.

Still, about 90-95% of our meals are eaten at home. We also bring food when traveling so we don't have to deal with being forced to eat somewhere we normally wouldn't and get sub-quality food or have to eat non-Paleo when we weren't planning on it.

We put a LOT of time and energy into our food preparation at home. We just really don't like to undo all that work by eating out a lot. We eat the way we do for health - so eating out too often would be putting too much of the unknown into our bodies.

I try and keep true to what I believe: keeping my food fresh, quality, whole, clean and paleo. That is REALLY had to do when you eat out, no matter how much you ask about the food or ask for it to be prepared a certain way. (And I already struggle with social eating!) And when you CAN find a great, little place that serves farm-to-table, organic, clean food... well, it costs a hell of a lot.

Eating out does happen, though. Sometimes as a celebration for a friend's birthday, sometimes as a date night. So what do I do at these times?

Well... I eat whatever I feel the whim to. I could lie and say I stick to paleo, but since I eat out so rarely, I put my eating out into the 5-10% non-Paleo food I consume in a month. (I was only 100% Paleo for the first month when I was doing the Whole30, now I have some small deviances). A night out is often preceded and followed by strict Paleo eating to compensate.

Now, eating what I feel the whim to....  let's clarify: I still try and make good decisions. Most of the time I *do* pick a paleo option. Or I will ask for the starch to be replaced by extra vegetables, etc. We will ask the waiter not to bring bread to the table. The typical sorts of advice you will find all over the internet.

Once or twice a year I might really, really indulge. For Valentine's this year, I had bread pudding for dessert and lots of cocktails. BREAD pudding. Not Paleo, huh? It's alright. It was one day, one meal, and it didn't derail me. Got right back to where I wanted to be the next day by eating clean.

Setting down limits is what helps. We just simply do not go out a lot - meaning we just do not have to deal with the Standard American food choices and trying to turn them into something better. No asking the chef to change things. No worrying about bad oils used or hidden gluten. That stuff cannot slip into my diet because *I* prepare my food.

I know I might seem like an alien with four heads, but I really wish eating out was a special thing to everyone. Chris and I put so much effort into our grocery shopping, food prep and meal times, that the times we DO go out are really, really special. We get dressed nice and really enjoy each other's company. We go to nice places to enjoy the atmosphere and the people. We treat ourselves.

Treated like a experience, eating out loses the ability to be a crazy binge, eat-all-the-wrong-things situation for me.

If it's about the experience, there is no worrying about getting our money's worth- we GET our money's worth by just being there, together or with others who we love.

If you want to see how other women who follow a paleo/primal template have dealt with eating out, give my fellow bloggers a read: