Salad minus lettuce?

Is that even possible or REAL?

Sure why not?  I mean, who really makes the rules and aren’t some meant to be bent?

Have you ever had a day when you pack a salad for lunch and the salad sounds good?  Well it sounds good when you pack it, but as the day goes on it sounds less appealing? esp the spinach part. I mean, a big pile of veggies and beans is still a salad right?

Today is one of those days for me.

Sitting in the fridge is a wonderful green smoothie.  Ingredients include: SPINACH, blueberries, strawberries and a banana.  Part of it was my breakfast and the rest will be my snack later. So when lunch rolled around, I was planning on eating a salad. (I am really working on fueling my body with the nutrients it needs.) I piled a large stack of veggies from our cafeteria on a plate and sat down at my desk and took a bite before adding the spinach.

In the words of a great co-worker, it tasted good, really, really good.

IMG_0074

I tore up my spinach and started to mix it in.

Took a bit.

Salad

Decided– I liked my salad without the spinach.  I did not even want dressing either.

Started picking out the lettuce.

Took another bite… better.

Removed 90% of the spinach… even better.

IMG_0076

My spinach sat in a pile… discarded.  I may return to it later– or maybe I will drink my smoothie and call it good!

So yes, today I ate a salad minus one key ingredient. Sometimes you just have to go with how your body is feeling and what sounds good.

Some days, a salad minus the spinach is better.  Do you ever have days that a salad minus the spinach or lettuce tastes better?

I challenge you to enjoy the day and be ready to think out of the box when it comes to your food.  Make a salad minus the lettuce.  Forget a key ingredient and see where life takes you!

Blessed Beyond Belief

Tonight while out in a field on the farm, I lost one of my pearl earrings!  I was  in knee deep grass and weeds playing with Teague my 6 1/2 month old Great Dane when I realized it was gone.  My heart sunk.  My pearls were a present from my dad my senior year of college.  I am pretty sure I was in shock.  I thought to myself, “how will I ever find a single pearl in the middle of a 10 acre field that was knee high?”  I had my checkbook in my pocket, so  I dropped where I thought my earring fell out.  With a heavy heart, I went to feed the horses.   While at the horses, I called a very special guy quickly to calm me down.

After feeding the horses, I decided that I would head back to my checkbook and look for my earring until dark.  I figured that I had about 45 minutes, being generous to myself. It took me 10 mins to find my checkbook in the grass.  Only a few minutes later, dad pulled in the driveway and he came out to help look.

My dad is the earring whisperer in the family.  He has always been able to help me find a missing earing and I was hoping this times was no different.  When I first got my ears pierced he taught me a trick– one that has come in very handy!  When looking for a missing earring, take the remaining earring and place it on the same flooring.  Your eyes will see how the earing looks on the floor.  Keep scanning the floor. AND BAM!  All of the sudden– there it is!  That missing earring.

I had gently placed the remaining earring in the grass to see if dad’s trick would work.  We were both crawling around on our knees, praying, and looking for the missing earring.  I thought I caught a glimpse of the earing but it turned out to be a bug, my heart dropped a little more.  We were discussing getting a weed eater and systematically working through the area…when the earring was spotted.

I carefully dug it out of the weeds it was hiding.  Instantly, I  felt  feel completely blessed. I have a dad that is willing to come help search for a lost earring and a Heavenly Father that showed us it’s hiding spot.

earringMy earrings safely in the house tonight with one back missing!

What are some of your blessings?

Nash in the field after my earring earing, both enjoying the sunset!

field

I am Habit

Life is one big habit… It can change, evolve, morph– but when you step back and really look, we live by habits. They can be long term habits or short term. We all live by them.

Don’t get me started on how hard it is to change them… 21 days to establish a new one or break an old one! That takes dedication.

I have a habit of staying snuggled in bed, enjoying the cool fall air, and my warm blankets.

I develop new ones and retire old ones.  I have  had a habit called, the “just one” habit but it had to go. This habit was my,  just one cookie now, just one cookie later, just one more… You are smart, you get the picture and can see my waist line growing by the second. This is why the just one habit was retired.

Out with the old bad habit–in with the new healthy one. One habit I am in the process of making a staple in my life is Foundation Training. Have you heard of Foundation Training? Feel free to ask what it is. You (reader), “What’s Foundation Training?” I am so glad you asked! Foundation Training or FT is a workout that strengthens your lower back through a combination of yoga and squats. Sounds weird huh? I thought so too. In fact, the first couple of times I saw it, I thought to myself, “1. That does not look hard. 2. Does that really work? 3. I don’t really need to work on my lower back- or do I?”

Out of curiosity, I tried the FT video found on YouTube, check it out below!  I do the workout that is just shy of 12 minutes.  The first time I tried this training,  I learned a couple of quick hard lessons.

FT11. It may not look hard, but it IS most definitely challenging.
2. It really does work. My lower back had never really experienced that type of concentrated workout. I was expecting to be sore after a workout like that. BUT, I was super surprised to realize I was standing up straighter, and my lower back was not nearly as sore at the end of a workday.
3. Uhm YES dummy- your lower back needs work. In the words of Toby Keith, “I am not as good as I once was.”

Me really enjoying FT Time! –>

Honestly, it did not take me long to realize that I needed to add this healthy habit to my daily schedule. I can tell you that when I do FT in the morning before work, I feel 10 times better throughout the day. I have also noticed that my tennis game has improved. Double bonus. I have even gone to the park on my lunch and done FT. I hope no one was watching me

The day I gave up COFFEE!!!!

IMG_0041I have yet to pull my hair out or gone insane. Well anymore insane than normal. However, I am pretty sure hell might have actually froze over this week because I gave up coffee pretty much cold turkey.  I am the type of person that would live with a coffee mug in hand with plenty of coffee, a little almond milk and stevia.  I am pretty sure that my coffee mug was my adult security blanket. I have to admit that it’s been a little freeing not carrying it with me everywhere.

I am not even sure how my body decided it wanted to give up coffee, but it did!  All I know is that while doing the “Green Smoothie Girl’s” detox program last month, I was not refilling my coffee cup like normal. Some days I was not even finishing the original coffee I started with in the morning. During a visit, my boyfriend went old school mom on me and checked my temperature on my forehead when I dumped coffee out of my mug. Yes, it was the original coffee from the morning.  I promised him that I was okay. I filled up my mug the next morning and still could not finish it. This happened for about a week.

Then three days ago, I took one sip of my coffee on my way to work  and found my mug full under the backseat of my car when I got home later that night. Thank God the lid stayed closed. Although a car that smells like coffee would not be the worst thing in the world.

Friday, I did not even take my mug in with me. It sat empty and lonely in the car.

IMG_0040

I can tell you it’s really weird to wake up and not crave coffee.

I will be honest… I am not sure how long I will be 100% coffee free… I really enjoy the taste but I know that my coffee consumption was not healthy.

Here are a couple of reasons that I am okay with not drinking coffee.
* Coffee is acidic and I want to keep my body alkalized to help prevent cancer growing. So I will probably be coffee free for a while.
* Coffee stains your teeth… and a white smile is more attractive than a yellow smile.
* Coffee breath smells. Let’s be real… after drinking coffee we have all looked for gum or mouthwash!

Last night, before my sister’s college volleyball match I missed an iced coffee for a minute, but then realized, I was going to live without it.

So here is to living coffee free… or freer.

What’s one thing you want to give up?  I would love to hear what it is and what your game plan is to make it happen 🙂

Ps. I found the cup of coffee picture one day on Facebook and it sums up well how I have lived my life the last couple of years. I have had this pic saved on my computer for months.  Now I need to find that picture with the empty cup.

 

Why must you judged… me?

Why must you judged me? I don’t judge you…  I am a little confused why you feel the need to make faces at me, the comments behind my back,  or even to my face?  I choose to live my lifestyle, just like you choose to live yours.  Don’t you know that your snide comments and dirty looks can hurt even a tough professional?  Because, deep down,  I am just like every other human… I am vulnerable too!

Insert disclaimer here: Do me a favor and hang with me for this post… I just need to get this off my chest.

jar

I carry my water in glass jars.  Okay, I carry lots of water in my glass jars.  I tend to take about 100 ounces with me to work everyday. Believe me, people have noticed my glass jars that go everywhere with me.  They may be kind of hard to hide–because, let’s be real, a  34 ounce jar is enormous and not easily hidden in a meeting room.   Sometimes they are even filled with a green smoothie, then they are really hard to miss. I have been told that my green smoothies are great for keeping  my team from munching at work.   I guess not everyone thinks it’s normal to drink a green or sometimes deep purple drink.  I am so glad to help my team stay away from sugar filled snacks while I enjoy a super nutrition-packed smoothie.
The looks and comments that were made when I brought in a real knife to cut my apples… I remember them every time you ask to borrow it to cut your apples. Amazing how handy that real knife really is, huh?  (I hope I am not coming off too sassy.)   appleI find it very ironic how you tend to pick apart my life and my efforts to live healthy; while I don’t say a word to you about your choices.  Do you need to make the comments about my food  because I don’t go running to the vending machines for a snack? Instead, daily I bring my fruit, veggies, and my beloved peanut butter hummus. (If you are looking for the recipe… Click: HERE!)  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I desperately want to break down and buy one of everything in the machine, but I don’t!  It’s my choice. It’s my life… my beliefs, and I want to live a healthy life. Don’t you realize that my healthy lifestyle has helped me fight Lyme’s Disease quickly this summer?  I have only missed a few days of work, like 4 full days and a couple of halves since being diagnosed. Most would have ended up on short term disability…  Instead, I am almost all the way back! Considering it affected my liver and heart functionality, I am feeling pretty blessed!  Seeing the fast results from the Lyme’s recovery only makes me want to continue my healthy lifestyle and improve it even more.

Why do you make faces when I use my toaster oven instead of the microwave?  Thanks to my brother, J, who gave me the oven for my birthday this summer.IMG_7344

(I must be a super nerd if I get excited over a toaster oven!)  Now I can get a warm meal at work without using my little crockpot, or heating it on my running engine.  engineJust kidding about the engine.  I do warm my food in a toaster oven because when you use a microwave it changes your food on a molecular level.  I don’t look at you cross-eyed when you use the microwave so do you really need to make the comments about how I warm my food?

 

Recently, I changed how I carry everything into work. Because of the weight of the jars and the amount of food I take with me,  I bought a small hiking backpack. One with a waistband, to take the weight off my shoulders…so that my back can get some relief.  I will show it to you later this week.    I am super excited about it, and It’s a super cool blue color!  It also makes my eyes pop!  In all seriousness, my back is really grateful for the new bag.

Okay, every so often I will say something about a co-worker’s cologne or perfume…  I am not perfect, if I were I would be sitting at Jesus’ right hand… but I am not.  So, I guess for now, you will have to put up with me.   I probably should be better and not make a comment. Note to self, no more perfume comments, even when I turn green and want to throw up.  This might be hard, because I have lived fragrance free for over 2 years now and perfumes can make me turn really cool shares of greeeeeen. We can talk about that later. I do use essential oils, and they smell so amazing. They are a great alternative to the chemical filled fragrances common in society.

I am different from your average person…  I know it.  I accept it. In a weird way, I enjoy it!  I hope that by walking what I talk people will start to realize that living a healthy lifestyle is not hard. It’s completely obtainable. You can eat organically without breaking the bank.  It’s why I started this blog to share with you, as a young professional, how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  I used to think that junior high girls were the worst when it came to judgment against each other, but I am beginning to think that professionals are worse.  Maybe I am over-reacting. Maybe I am completely wrong.  All I know is that the comments that others make to me based on my lifestyle is getting old and won’t change my mind. Instead, they strengthen my resolve to continue to live an organic lifestyle.

 Don’t judge me for doing… because I don’t judge you.

judge

Just a little cursed…

My family has a little secret, okay maybe not a secret but a history, more like a pattern…

Almost every time my mother catches up on paperwork– like does not need to think about it for a while; pat herself on the back; award winning amount of paperwork completed we end up being challenged as a family.  I am not talking about little bumps in the road that as you pass them you barely notice the car of life shake,  or even the speed bumps that you have to slow down for.  I am talking about the speed moguls of Speed bumplife. I equate these speed bumps to the ones that  the city put on the access road during my senior year of high school. This was the city’s attempt to slow the speed racers trying to escape from school, and the super-speed racers trying to beat the morning bell to avoid detention by adding the biggest speed bumps to the only road that lead to the school.  These speed bumps are the king’s of speed bumps, you can ask my sister… after taking hitting one at 35mph in the truck she blew out a tire and broke the radiator.  My family has been cruising through life when mom catches up on the family business paperwork, the family paperwork and is all around ready to relax when we encounter the king of all life speed bumps like the one pictured right.

F TruckIn August 2001, she caught up on the paperwork in the middle of the night and mid-morning the next day our house caught on fire.  This was probably on the biggest bump we took as a family.  Because of that fire,  I learned a lot about insurance, organization, living without my belonging, construction projects and you guessed it,  fires.  I feel pretty lucky, no one was injured in our fire and one of my uncles by marriage was one of the responding firefighters.  Thanks TFD for being awesome that day and taking care of our family.
Photo of Toledo Fire Truck.

In the mid 1990’s, we tragically lost an office manager shortly after mom was caught up on everything.

I am pretty sure that in 2008, she had caught up on her paperwork just before we had a pipe break in a the kitchen and flood the house.

I am sure that there are old ones that I can’t remember, but those are the main ones that come to mind.

Mom’s paperwork curse struck again late last week.  This time, unfortunately, my brother received the brunt end.  At 5:15 pm on Friday, my dad received a phone call that my brother had broken his leg at a local wakeboarding park.  Well it was localfor my brother, but 2 hours away from our family homestead.  Needless to say, the family has rallied around my brother and his hurt leg, making sure that he is well taken care of right now and will continue as he heals.  The X-ray is pretty gnarly.  He not only broke his leg, but severely dislocated the ankle.  If you get queasy look away because here is a pic:

OUCH!
OUCH!

Okay it’s safe to look again!

Every time we are challenged with a new speed bump, we rally as a family.  Normally, this means making a game plan and tackling one little part until we are once again in control of our life.  To be 100% honest, every once in a while, I ask God why he feels our family can handle so much?  I know He only gives each of us only as much as we can handle, but that does not stop my from wondering why we get challenged this way. I am always looking to grow and be better… stretch myself, but sometimes the stretching that occurs because of the speed bumps hurts more than I would like.  But just because it hurts does not mean that I need get angry or bitter… I choose to grow through each situation.

Now you may be wondering how in the world would you ever notice a pattern of hitting speed moguls after paperwork was caught up on? To be honest, I am not sure.  We were sitting in church and mom leaned over and told us she had caught up on her paperwork the night before J broke his leg.

Have you noticed any patterns in your life like this?

Do you have any family superstitions?

How do you handle your family speed bumps?

I can tell you this we, as a family, have requested that she NEVER be caught up 100% again.  She can leave one piece of paper untouched! At minimum, she can warn us that she is up to date on everything!  That way, I can wrap myself in bubble wrap… or I can plan on arming myself with tools that will make me strong and ready to handle any challenge that comes my way!

Oh and I am arranging for a token stack of “paperwork” to stay on mom’s desk:Paper_Stacks_Desk

 

Chilling on the couch…

Today I hurt.

It’s not normal for me to share openly that I am not 100% okay. I am just stuck on the couch sick and feeling like a 5 year old that is cranky and crabby.

I shared with about a month ago that I was diagnosed with Lymes Disease earlier this summer and despite being religious with my supplements; a fanatic about the food I am eating; and making sure my body rests–today is a down day. Yesterday was a great day. Mentally I felt great, and physically was a pretty good day too. But this morning, it was like a switch flipped. My whole body aches, my head is pounding and staying awake is a challenge.

Idk about you, but when I hit a wall like today and I am extremely mentally fatigued, and the frustration of not getting better results faster makes me want to drown my sorrows with a chocolate, gooey brownie. Oh, or I could totally go for spinach pie from my favorite local Mediterranean restaurant, Zingo’s. Chinese food sounds pretty good right about now. BUT! (Yes it’s an all caps kind of BUT). If I break down and eat anything not on the meal plan I will not only undo all the good work that I have been building on but I will probably feel even worse.

So instead of breaking down and falling off my healthy bandwagon I will stay strong and if I eat, it will be foods
I am supposed to eat. I will continue with the liver detox program because I DO see results and I am winning overall. I guess I am pretty fortunate that leaving the couch today does not seem to be happening. This will definitely keep me away from Chinese food, chocolate brownie and Zingos… None of which are in my house at this time 🙂

When do you feel closest to giving up? What do you do to keep yourself away from temptations when you don’t feel good?  Currently, I am curled up on a couch counting my blessings and listening to the bugs chirp in the woods by the house.  I live in the county and its pretty cool to just sit and listen.

Day 31: Until next year… goodbye birthday month

finish-lineThank you! Thank you, Thank You….  As I say goodbye to my birthday month, we crossed the finish line!
Please let me take a moment share what I have been thankful for this month.
  • To all of you that have put up with my birthday month challenge!
  • To all of my new followers!
  • To each and everyone that liked words that came out of my brain.
  • To my birthday Twin for inspiring me to do this!  Be sure to check her out HERE!!!!!!!
  • To friends that helped clean my room… you may think I am kidding but getting sick has made this borderline impossible this summer.
  • The new puppy that makes me smile.
  • To my old dog that makes old age look good.
  • My job, I am always challenged to new tasks.
  • All the fresh foods available  in the summer!
 I am so thankful for you all.  As a new blogger, I thought this would be a great way for me to get into the habit of writing my thoughts down on paper on a blog.  This month I have learned a lot about myself and you.  I know it sounds funny but I have found great blogs to follow and bloggers that really feel like new friends. Shout out to some of the people that I :  Mama AmesMy Simple Life, Caged ButterflyMy Renaissance Blog,  and last but certainly not least The Outstanding Bachelor. I really have had a blast reading these guys and gals.
Some things that I have learned throughout this month include:
  • I need to have a game plan– I will be working on my plan for the next couple of weeks.  In fact, it I will start focusing my topics more on the reason that I started it in the first place 😉
  • I do so much better if I write the next days post the night before.
  • Most of the time I need someone to proof things…. and I have found a great proofer… and the editor might be the inspiration for some of my posts.  I might share more about my editor later 😉
  • I am enjoying blogging… way more than I thought.  I am a nerd and I am okay with it but most nights I look forward to writing.

So once again, THANK YOU for participating in my birthday month challenge! I will see everyone soon.  I will do my best to post over the next couple of days but my sister has her high school graduation party this weekend and I will be enslaved to the cause 😉

 

 

Day 29… Fall… Fall… Fall into my arms!

plies of leavesCool crisp air, fierce red sunsets, combines in the field, the sounds of laughter at gatherings… one of the favorite things about the best season of all is sports! Football is on in the house or blasting out of a truck as I work outside; I get to watch my sister’s college volleyball team; and the US Open tennis tournament is on… Ahhhhh so many wonderful sports to catch.  I love that during the day I can be in a tank top and shorts; but in the evening, I can put on a cuddly sweatshirt and jeans, grab a glass of wine and chill by a fire. But I think my absolute favorite thing about this time of year after the fruits and veggies is LOVE… yes Love.  It seems like so many people talk about falling in love in the spring or summer romance, but I think fall is a better time to find love.  I mean seriously, what a better reason to snuggle with someone than a good bonfire?  For me it always seems that love or at least like waltzes into my life during the fall. It’s like a my fresh start point of the year. It makes me so happy 😉 Falling in love is like falling into a fresh pile of leaves! Have you ever watched a kid fall or get thrown into a pile of leaves?  They get the biggest smile, giggle and squeal.  Very similar, at the start of a new relationship one giggles, smiles and laughs a lot. So yes, I am excited for fall… and maybe because I have reasons to smile and giggle like a kid again.

What’s your favorite season?

 

Day 28. Smoke signals and soup

I love to cook, bake, and grill. I have made some master pieces and some flops. No matter what happens in my kitchen I normally enjoy it! Worst case scenario, Chipotle should be open if I make something that is not edible. But that has only happened one or two times in my life.

How can I pick a favorite appliance when each has a great purpose? The grill? I perfected sending smoke signals from my childhood grill. That’s super fun. The stove? I can make a mean blacked skillet. The oven? That ones pretty boring? The juicer? I can dye things all kinds of great colors! Juicing beets is a great way to finish off a gory Halloween costume. The blender? What a great way to explain a volcano and a tornado in one piece! Hmmm so may great choices.

The piece that I love the most is probably my most versatile piece and that’s my food processor. I used to think food processors were for house moms. I was soooo wrong they are for everyone! Including this hippie!!!!!

I love using it to make soap, make cookie dough, make soup, date bars… Hmmm I wonder if I make date bars if I can get a date with Prince Charming? Sorry bad pun. Anyway, today I choose my food processor. I its a newer addition to my kitchen. But it is one of the more used pieces.

What’s your favorite kitchen piece?
20140728-211757-76677643.jpg

20140728-211929-76769368.jpg