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Smiling when you fucking want to and also Protein Bars


Warning:  I’m pissed and I am going to say “Fuck“.  A lot.

Men need to stop telling women they see on the street to smile.

If they like smiling so much, then maybe they should walk down the street smiling for absolutely no fucking reason at all.  At least then women will know from a safe distance that the man is a lunatic and should be avoided because who else but a wack job would just be walking down the street with a smile on their face?






smīl/e  verb

form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed.

So here is the breakdown of why  I am cracking down on this thing of men telling women they should smile:

  1. They don’t deserve it.

Okay so who in the hell are you that you think just because you are on the street at the same time that I am that I would be pleased and amused and want to express that toward you?  Unless you are Bradley Cooper, Daniel Craig or David Beckham, who I also don’t personally know, then I am not going to smile at you as I walk down the street by myself just because you said so.  You  deserve a throat punch from me not a smile.

  1.  It is harassment.

Shouting to a stranger “You’re not even going to smile for me?!”  Is not less offensive than shouting, “You’re a bitch!”  because both make a woman feel unsafe.  

  1.  You don’t get to tell me what to do.

This is a command to perform something, a smile.  It is saying, “Show me you are pleased with me even though you don’t even know who the hell I am.”   No.   I smile when I want to.  

  1.  It’s rapey.  There I said it.  Do women ever do this?  Hell no! It is a domination thing, an intimidation thing.  We do not tell men to smile.  We do not randomly tell each other to smile. Men do not do this to other men.

Okay okay, so here’s what happened:  

When this happened to me recently,  my mind was on the spin training I was on my way to so of course I didn’t expect the shout directed at me, “What you’re not even going to smile for me?”  and I simply brushed it off and ignored the asshole but the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off.   If this ever happens to me again,  Here is what they will get:   

TeethSo how do you like me now? Huh?  Am I prettier now?

I wonder how this will make him feel?  Maybe horrified?  Maybe a little bit attacked?  Maybe he will think twice before doing it again to another woman?  Maybe it will piss him off, I don’t know but I am not going to do what this person says and I am not going to give them the satisfaction of thinking that they intimidated me.  Also, fuck him.

I also hate that my daughters will have to deal with this.  In fact, they already do.  I also hate that much worse happens to women each and every day.  This one thing is enough to make my blood boil.

So for the record it is not okay when a man does this to a woman.  Just in case anyone thought so.  It is straight up harassment and it makes a woman feel unsafe.  Also, even if you know the person, it is still rude because you are actually just calling her a bitch whether you know her or not.

And now here is something to really smile about!  You may be walking down the street and remember you have one of these chocolaty satisfying snacks in your bag for later and then you won’t be able to help but smile!

Protein Bar





Protein Bars recipe

  • 2  1/4 cups whey protein
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup coconut unsweetened
  • 4 tbs raw honey
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt divided into 3/4 tsp and 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 of an 85% – 90% dark chocolate bar.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend till combined.
  2. Pour and mold into a 7 x 5 x 1.5 inch glass container lined with wax paper
  3. Melt half a 85% or 95% dark chocolate bar in the microwave and spread all over the top and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt.
  4. Refrigerate for a couple of hours at least and then cut into ten pieces.  Wrap individually in wax lined foil paper and store in the refrigerator.


  • Total Protein   17.6
  • Total Carbs  15.82 
  • Total Fat 22.44
  • Total Calories  317.7
  • 7 grams of sugar 

People are Awesome!





Sometimes someone you may not really know can totally make your day.

I freaking love that.

If you ever have the urge to say something kind and encouraging to someone or to give them a random compliment, I say do it.

You never know how much that will help someone with whatever it is that they are going through.

I have this tendency to hurt myself with little yet devastating injuries from working out.  I am not usually one you need to push to do more.  If you do push me, I will totally smash myself.  It isn’t smart but I will do it nonetheless.  I am on a journey to learn how to push myself without hurting myself.  To train smart and not just hard.  I just get into a sort of “beast mode” and will do things that maybe I shouldn’t do.  It is now my official quest to learn this delicate important balance.  

My latest injury has been a hip flexor strain.  Long story short, I over did it with many fast v sits and jumped right into sprints and  found myself racing a man who is fast and fit and winning and getting really freakin pumped over it so yeah!  Go bitch go! A switch went off and well, 2 days later all the DOMS you can imagine but I kept on going because stupid.  A week later, I strained my right hip flexor.  So there I was with a stupid injury and a certification training in 2 weeks.  Needless to say, I was pissed at myself.  Ice, ibuprofen and total rest for a few days.  I got checked out by my physical therapist.  I love her.  I was good to go but not so fast.  Got back to a spin class on Friday and was feeling great.  Next day, however, a little sore and a little tight so I headed to Sunday yoga class.  

I realized that I was stressing about not going to my classes and if my girl crush instructors were going to be disappointed and think I was a slacker for not showing up to my 5:30 a.m. classes all week.  This has been causing me anxiety as silly as that may sound.  I know strong women are not supposed to care what other people think of them but I’m being completely honest here.  While I couldn’t give a flying frog about what a lot of people think about me, I do care about what the people who matter think and the people who matter in this situation are the ones that I either consider my mentors, coaches and role models or peers who have similar interests and values.  I read somewhere that this has something to do with my birth order.  I am the oldest child of six and they say that makes me a “pleaser”.  In my case it’s true.  I am not only dedicated to my own fitness, but I am dedicated to classes, the instructors, the group, the routine, the community of it all.  It’s a big part of my world and when I can’t do it I am not happy.  Now here’s the part where someone totally made my day today.

I saw one of my early bird classmates at yoga and she said that she missed me in pump.  I was so happy to hear that and to have an opportunity to explain why I wasn’t there all week and that I absolutely HATE to miss my classes.  She was super kind, compassionate and encouraging and it totally lifted a burden off of me.  She encouraged me to rest it and not further injure it, which I already know I should to.  Hearing it from a classmate gave me such a relief and made me feel supported.  It may seem like a little thing, but it made me feel like a huge weight had been lifted.  

My plan this week leading up to my training is going to be to not do early classes and get sleep to heal.  I will do upper body strength exercises such as push ups, planks, dips and chin ups and for cardio I will do jump rope.  I will get to another yoga class and maybe some Pilates.  I will spend my evenings studying my Spin manual and taking notes and come Saturday, I will be ready for that training.  I will schedule a massage for Sunday.

Now I am really feeling positive about the week ahead!  

So thank you gym friend!  You made my day!

People are awesome.

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Gym friend who made my day is 5th from left. I’m second from the right and one of my girl crush instructors is in front. I want to be just like her when I grow up.  And yeah, it was St. Patrick’s Day so that’s why the green.


Mothers of girls… This one’s for you!

Parenting Advice for Mothers of Teenage Girls:

FullSizeRender (25)Drink.

Seriously, sometimes you just have to drink and hope for the best.

These bitches will wreck you!

They will take all of your advice and flush it down the toilet.

They will not understand that what they do to themselves hurts you.

They will not really understand how carrying them in your uterus and then constantly tending to their every need when they were utterly helpless little bundles of human flesh, makes you love them with the most powerful love in the entire universe. IMG_0336IMG_0707

Nope.  They will not understand how they are your everything.  And this is why they don’t really care how their bad choices cause you pain.  They obviously don’t do it for the purpose of hurting you.  It may seem like they are incredibly self-centered, but they are only working on their own independence.

You will want them to grow up and be the independent strong women you know they can be, but they will be dependent where they ought to be independent and attempt to be independent where they haven’t a clue.

They will mock your warnings for their safety because they know everything but they are about as ready for the world as a housebroken puppy is to go live in the wild.

They will not really understand what would drive you to go all “mama bear” on their behalf, and how your maternal instincts to protect them from the harm that young women can fall prey to would drive you to get right up in someone’s face and verbally emasculate them; but that’s another story for another time.   I will say this, however, “Mama Bear Mode”, it’s a real thing and you do not want to be on the receiving end of that.


Other times you may lose your shit on them, feel terrible and have to apologize.  It happens.  You may lose your mind a little because of all this crazy mama love.FullSizeRender (21)

So drink!  Drink plenty of strong coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, green smoothies and maca in your workout smoothies, because you will need to be strong for this!  Then, at the end of the day, when you have given all you can and you still feel like you’re getting absolutely nowhere, it’s okay, have a glass of wine, even if it’s from a box.  FullSizeRender (22)Give yourself a break because after all, as much as you want to prevent your daughter from ruining her life, you have to let her make her own choices, fall down and learn from her own mistakes because that is the only way she will truly grow.

Remember how frustrating letting her tie her own shoes was when she was 4? Well it’s a lot like that except as she gets older the more damage “doing it by herself” can cause.  The frustration you felt letting her tie her own shoes and wipe her own butt was just practice for you for later.  You have to let her do it.  IMG_0292

That doesn’t mean you let her walk all over you or let her run wild. You need to set boundaries.  You do not have to put up with blatant disrespect or allowing something totally unacceptable to go on without consequence.

In the process of learning from mistakes, absent the “I told you so” from you, she will gain confidence knowing that she figured things out on her own. If you are hoping for a “You were right, Mom”, you may be waiting forever.  Get over it.  Some day she may realize it but right now her growth is what is important, so try to encourage her as much as possible.IMG_0425

Above all, even if you don’t always get along and your relationship suffers for a while, make sure to tell her that no matter what you will always love her for the person she is inside and out.   She may not fully comprehend what that means right now but some day she will.

Some day, when she is up at 2 a.m. and her nipples are bleeding but she could not be more in love with this screaming poopy baby, or 18 years later, and she is at once so proud of yet so sad for her own stubborn daughter, foolishly determined to head down the path to heartbreak, maybe then she will understand and maybe then she will feel the depth and strength of your love.

Coffee daughterFinally, remember to lead by example because even though we all become our own unique selves,  whether we like it or not,  we all become our mothers.

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Batch cooking and stuffed chicken thighs

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Batch Cooking.  I have to admit that it intimidates me.  I spend a little too long getting ready to get ready to do it knowing that I’m going to be in the kitchen a looooong ass time but just like everything else, I have learned that you just have to get started and do one task at a time and get done what you get done and not get all stressy.  At least that’s what I tell myself to do.

This Sunday I spent 6 hours in my kitchen making a ton of food.  I am hoping that it will pay off and that I won’t have to do any cooking for at least the next 4 days.

Here’s what I made:

Cooked 3 boneless chicken breasts

Cooked 2 packages of chicken tenders

Butternut squash soup.

Roasted cauliflower

Cooked 2 pounds of ground turkey with an onion and then mixed some with bacon and mushrooms and tomato sauce and made 4 stuffed peppers ready to heat in the oven


I peeled and cut up a bag of carrots


By 8:30 I was ready to jump out of my kitchen window but at least now I don’t have to cook and I can just eat and relax the rest of the week. Well, I never relax but at least the food is cooked.

While I did all of that stuff, I also made a big batch of Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs.  It was enough for my family of 4 adult sized people for dinner for 2 nights and an extra for my lunch.

Now, a week later, I am glad that I invested the time.  However, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and I don’t want to spend all day in my kitchen today.  Now that I have it down, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get this all done in less time today.  We shall see.

Also, instead of making a dinner for tonight that is more complicated and time consuming, I will pan sear some lamb leg and serve with a couple of veggies.  You can look at this a couple of different ways.  Either you decide you are going to be making a huge mess in your kitchen anyway, so you may as well just make a big dinner too, or you can make a simpler dinner and save this one for when you have a little less going on.  Either way, these chicken thighs are delicious and definitely worth making!

Paleo Stuffed Chicken Thighs


2 packages of boneless chicken thighs

1 lb of thinly sliced prosciutto

2 red bell peppers, roasted and sliced into 1/4 inch strips.  (Do this first).

2 eggs, beaten


24 sun dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups almond meal

1 tbs nutritional yeast

dried oregano

Himalayan Salt

ground black pepper

garlic powder

Tapioca flour

Coconut oil for frying

Pasta sauce of choice


2 cups or 2 hand fulls of baby spinach

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)

1 tbs nutritional yeast

¼ cup pine nuts

2 pinches of Himalayan Salt

ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add it all to your food processor except the olive oil and pulse till well-blended.

Slowly add the olive oil and pulse until a pesto paste like consistency.


First mix together the almond meal, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Next, open up and lightly pound the chicken thighs with a meat tenderizing mallet.

Set up your assembly line:  Chicken thighs, tapioca flour, pesto, prosciutto, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and dried oregano, beat eggs and almond meal mixture.

Assemble each chicken thigh by opening up, spreading a tablespoon of pesto on the inside of each, laying on a slice of prosciutto, topping that with about 2 or 3 tomatoes and a couple slices of pepper, sprinkle with oregano, roll up as tightly as possible without losing the goodies inside, and place in a baking dish.

Once they are all assembled, dust each with tapioca flour, dip in egg and roll in the almond meal mixture.

Then when they are all assembled, dusted, dipped and rolled, they are ready to brown.

Heat a tablespoon or more of coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Place the chicken in the pan and lightly brown on each side.  Transfer back to the baking dish.FullSizeRender (4)

Bake covered on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink.

While that is baking you can heat up your sauce and prep a green salad. A dinner without some greens isn’t dinner as far as I’m concerned and it looks great next to the red sauce!

Serve with sauce and salad and enjoy!

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K.I.S.S. and Chicken Milanese

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.  You’re not stupid. It’s simple stupid, uncomplicated.  Oftentimes, the simpler something is, the better it is.

Chicken Milanese and tomato (2)Sometimes when we consider making healthy changes in our lives it can seem overwhelming.  It can be hard to wrap our brain around changing the routine that we have spent years doing, to a new one.  When “grass-fed”, “free-range” ,“organic” and “gluten-free” are all being thrown at you and you hear things like “Ghee”, “Maca”, “Chia”,  “Nutritional Yeast”, and “Grass-Fed Gelatin”, you may have no idea what any of that stuff is, where to buy it and what in the hell you would do with it anyway.   And smoothies?  What do you put in them?   You may feel you don’t know where to start.  You also know that it’s more expensive to buy all this fancy stuff and you know your kids will protest, so once again, you throw the Easy Mac and frozen chicken fingers, cereal, chips and soda into your shopping cart and call it a day.

So here it is straight and simple.  This is in no way meant to be condescending because I know from experience how changing your life can seem overwhelming, but if you just make one change at a time, you can improve your health and your life over time.image

All you have to do is go to the store.  When you are there, buy meat, vegetables and fruit.  Bring that shit home.  When you get home eat it. Don’t over think it.image

Take those chicken breasts you just bought, put some salt, pepper and maybe some butter on them, bake them or cut them up and cook them on the stove with some butter or olive oil.  Take that broccoli you just bought, steam it in the microwave.  Take the sweet potato you just bought and bake it.  Now eat those 3 things together.  Make a whole bunch of that simple meal at once so you have left overs to take for lunch.

Now next time you need to cook, just take another meat you bought.  Ground beef perhaps, make burgers out of them.  Put them on top of lettuce.  Put a tomato and a slice of avocado on top.  Maybe fry some bacon too.  Eat it.  It’s freakin’ delicious!

If you know you won’t have time to cook but you are all out of leftovers, take a whole bunch of pork chops, or a pork shoulder and put it in your crock pot.  Stick a bunch of garlic in it and season it with salt and pepper. Let the crock pot do it’s thing for 8-10 hours.  When you get home, you can take that box of baby spinach you bought and put some on your plate.  Put the pork stuff on top of that.  Dinner is done.

After you eat all this good food, go for a walk.

And that’s how it starts.  Don’t over think it.  Just start.  You will be so glad you did!  As you do more of this, you will do less of the stuff you did before and it will not seem like a big deal at all.

Here’s a really easy and delicious recipe.  My family told me that this is their favorite and it really is the easiest one too.   There are a few extra things in it that you may not have on hand.  No worries.  Just make it with what you have.

Chicken Milanese

Here’s what you need:

4 or 5 Boneless Chicken Breasts

1 cup almond meal – Bob’s Red Mill is good and you can get it in the health food part of any store

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dried basil

1 tbs Nutritional Yeast  (optional) nuritional yeast and almond flour (1)

1 tbs fresh chopped parsley

2 tbs coconut oil or bacon fat, You can use olive oil if that’s what you have

salt and pepper to taste


Box of cherry tomatoes – sliced in half

Olive oil

1 whole lemon

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make a dressing by mixing together lemon juice from half of the lemon, 2 tbs olive oil, salt, pepper and ½ tsp onion powder

Pour it on top of your arugula and toss together.  Set aside.

Arugula Salad

  1. Take the chicken breasts and turn upright on the side, then slice them through the center widthwise but don’t slice all the way through so that you can open it up like a book.  Cover with plastic and pound out to ¼ inch thickness or a little bigger is fine.  If you don’t have time or don’t want to pound them out, that’s fine too, but I think it comes out better if you do.  Set aside.
  1. Make a coating for the chicken by putting the almond meal in a bowl, then add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and nutritional yeast and mix together.
  1. Melt a tbs of coconut oil or fat in a large skillet over medium heat.
  1. Drag the chicken breasts through the almond meal mixture and fry in the skillet until lightly browned then turn and repeat on the other side about 2-3 mins on each side.  Reduce the heat slightly and continue to turn and cook them a couple more minutes until they are cooked through the meat is no longer pink inside.  The thinner you pound it out, the faster it will cook.

You may need to do one at a time or in a couple of pans at once if your pieces are very large and keep them warm in the oven on 200 degrees until all the chicken breasts are done.

  1. Set it up.  Place the chicken breasts on plates, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.  Then top it with the arugula salad and tomatoes, more salt and pepper and some fresh parsley.
  1. Eat and accept praise from your family!

Chicken Milanese




Lucky in Love Lamb Shoulder


Lamb ShoulderA very special day was approaching and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special dish.  I wanted to impress someone very special to me and make a meal that was elegant, savory and a little bit different than my usual.

The very special day was our seventh wedding anniversary and the someone very special was obviously my husband.   For some reason, our seventh anniversary seemed like a big one.  Why?  Well maybe because the number seven is supposed to be lucky, or because of that old movie with the seductive Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, about getting  all “itchy” after seven years of marriage.  Well, thanks to this freezing weather, I have been moisturizing like crazy and have avoided getting itchy.  I suspect that my husband has also been using my moisturizer, so thank goodness, we should not have to worry about either one of us getting the “itch”!

Each year we have been exchanging gifts pursuant to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts as set forth by those sentimental folks at Hallmark.  One year it was wood.  I quickly found a wooden handled spatula at a local discount store and he gave me diamond earrings.  I know.  He reaalllly messed that up big time.  How could he forget about our Hallmark tradition?! I don’t know what he was thinking buying me diamond earrings, but I’m pretty sure Marilyn would have forgiven him so I did too.  Lucky him.

This year the traditional gift was wool.  Good grief!  Wouldn’t that exacerbate the whole itching thing!? Was Hallmark deliberately trying to sabotage my marriage?   A tradition is a tradition so I went ahead and bought him two wool sweaters that don’t fit and he gave me a wool scarf that doesn’t match my coat.  Fail.

Then we decided maybe we could try our luck on a Lucky 7’s scratch off game from the New York Lottery!   It seemed appropriate for the 7 years and to satisfy our supposed need to scratch something at this point in our marriage.  No luck there either.Lucky 7s game

Finally, we came to the conclusion that we did not need any of these things to feel lucky.  What is lucky is that we found each other in this world and fit so perfectly together.  And that our love for each other is so strong, so true and so unconditional that we have so far been able to make seven great years together! For that, we toasted to being lucky in love and not the least bit itchy!

This dish was a success and not very difficult to prepare.  It presented very nicely and my groom and I loved it.   It’s elegant, but it should only take at the most a couple of hours to totally prepare so you could make it for a special occasion or any night of the week.  If you made it during the week, I would suggest having your herbs and veggies cleaned and chopped up ahead of time.

Seventh Anniversary Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary Balsamic Reduction, Roasted Rosemary Carrots and Beets on Beet GreensLamb Shoulder

What you will need:

2 Lamb shoulders about .75 lbs each

½ yellow onion – sliced thin or about 4 small shallots ( I didn’t have any so I used a regular yellow onion but shallots would probably have been a nicer)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and minced

2 tbs fresh rosemary finely chopped

1 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 bunch of beets with greens – about 4-5 beets – thoroughly rinsed

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbs fat of choice (I used bacon, but coconut oil works too)

Himalayan Salt

Ground black pepper

1 cup balsamic vinegar


This is how you do it:

Take the lamb shoulders out about an hour or more before you start to cook so the meat is closer to room temperature.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

After rinsing the dirt off the beets, remove the stems and set aside. Then cut into 1 inch pieces

1.  Start with the veggies – Place cut-up beets, half of your prepared onion and the carrots in a shallow glass baking pan and generously salt and pepper them.  Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the rosemary on them. Drizzle about 2 tbs of olive oil on them and stir around to evenly coat.  Bake at 450 for ½ hour.

Then grab those beet greens and rinse off the leaves.   Carefully tear the leaves off from the hard stems and rinse well again.  Nothing grosser than taking a bite and getting some dirt!  I know cavemen inadvertently ate some dirt but my paleo approach is not about re-enacting the Paleolithic Era because that is obviously impossible and stupid.  It’s about emulating the basic diet of vegetables and meat with the goal to consume anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense food, but I digress… Okay, off my paleo soap-box and back to the beets.

Add a tablespoon of fat to a dutch oven on medium heat.  Once hot and melted, add the beet greens and stir and cook a few minutes.  Add some salt and pepper to season, stir and cook and then about a tablespoon or 2 of chicken broth.  Turn down the heat to low and keep covered.

After a half hour stir the veggies around and check to see if they are done.  They should need a few more minutes at that point.  Turn the heat down to 400 and give them another 10 minutes.  If they are done, take out and set aside.  You can pop them back in at the end to heat them up.

2.  For the Lamb – Heat half a tablespoon of fat in a cast iron pan on medium high heat.  Salt, Pepper and put a pinch of rosemary on each side of the lamb.  Once hot, sear the lamb on each side for about 3 minutes and then turn the heat down just a little and turn and cook on each side about 2 minutes.  Add a little olive oil on top and finish it in the oven on 400 degrees for up to 5 minutes for medium well.  If you want it more rare, after searing, give it one minute each side and finish in the oven for about 4 minutes.  Just keep the searing time the same.

3.  For the Balsamic Glaze – Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a new pan on medium low heat and the rest of your prepared onion or shallots.  Saute’ a minute or 2 and then add the garlic for another minute.  Keep it on low.  When your lamb is finishing in the oven, turn up the heat  on the onion and garlic.  Add the rosemary and parsley and the balsamic.  Bring to a boil and stir.  Cook it down to about ¼ less balsamic and simmer about 10 minutes.

Once the lamb is done take out to rest about 5 minutes.

Place some beet greens on your plate, put the carrots and beets on top and the lamb shoulder along side it.

Pour the balsamic on top of the lamb.  Give it a little bit more salt and pepper if you like.  In my photo above I did not drown the lamb in the balsamic but after the shot I totally did and I suggest that you do too because it’s freakin’ delicious!




It’s a Wonder Womanful Life!

lrgscaleu_20260840_Half Moon Bay_Homewares_Coasters_wonder-woman-action-hero-coasterThe New Year.  A blank page.  What have we learned from 2014 that we can bring with us into 2015 and what do we want to leave behind?  What people influenced us and in what way?  Did we make new friends on our journey toward our goals? Which friends, old or new encouraged us or did they discourage us?

One lesson that hit me in the face this year was a meme I came across which said, “Don’t chase people.  Do your own thing and work HARD.  The right people will come into your life and stay.”  I saw this about half way through this year and I decided to take it seriously because I realized that in my efforts to keep certain relationships going and to be accepted by certain people, I was chasing, and that made me feel like a lonely fool.  I decided that I was okay with being alone more, but not okay with wasting my time and the part about being a fool, well, when you are with those few special people who love and accept you for who you are, that can be wicked fun!

So I focused more on my own family and my own interests.  I had a wonderful vacation in the Adirondacks with my husband and kids,  I grew even closer to my daughters and husband and continued to work on my health.  I started the paleo life, worked out a lot more and harder, I made a PR and got a medal in a 5K, I did more yoga and worked on some meditation. I was able to stick with it and resist a lot of foods that I thought I couldn’t live without.  Like this hot delicious looking and smelling pizza.  That was not easy man.  Do you see this pizza?!  See that sauce and cheese? Ridiculous.IMG_0020I count it a victory that the only “cheat” i made over the last 9 months of paleo was a piece of birthday cake for my daughter Claire’s 13th birthday. IMG_0021 If it weren’t a beautiful work of art,  homemade by a friend with fresh and real food ingredients, I may have resisted, but I didn’t and I don’t even consider it a failure because it was the most delicious piece of cake I have ever had and I don’t regret it.  I simply file it under “Holiday Gift to Myself”, and move forward.  Also, this year,  I started this blog, which is something I never thought I would have time for.  I decided to make the best of things that I cannot change.  I stopped chasing.  I started being in the moment.  I enjoyed a quiet and beautiful Christmas with just my husband and girls.  It was agreed by all that it was the best ever and we will continue to do it every year.  I learned that I have the power to be happy.

On my journey of focusing on my own health and fitness, I made a few new friends. I am happy to surround myself with people who encourage and inspire me to be the best I can be and whom I can encourage as well.   I also realized that the old friends who are encouraging and supportive have not left me and those who are not have more or less faded out of my life.  Life is short.  It’s not worth your precious time suffering with people who bring you down or just don’t make you happy anymore.  You may always love them and care about them, but you don’t have to chase them or try to make them understand and accept you.

Looking ahead to 2015, I am taking the accomplishments, encouragement and gratefulness I have gained in 2014 with me and leaving behind what doesn’t serve me anymore.

Someone very cool made a new years resolution for me and invited me to do 27 push ups (or more) a day so that by the end of 2015, we will have each done about 10,000 push ups!  I never thought I would be able to hold a plank with good form for 10 minutes straight but I worked on that all year and by Thanksgiving, there we were, our little “plank club” holding it up for 10 minutes!

Other goals include less caffeine.  That one seems to creep up on me.  It needs to be a little boost, a treat and not a crutch.  Also, getting more consistent sleep, Eating more vegetables and a little less meat.  I want to do more consistent reading of paper books because it is so good for my mind and keeps me off the constant chatter of social media, which wastes time and energy.  I am going to make it a priority to be to work on time.  I have allowed that to get away from me because I try to fit too much into my morning.  It will require me to be more disciplined with my time.  My fitness goals include steady, consistent gains in strength.  I’d like to add more weight to my bar for squats, lunges and presses.  This time last year, my squat weight was 40% lower than it is now.  I am glad I kept a record of that so I could see my progress in a realistic way.  I worried it seemed a little obsessive to do so, but those were the voices of the haters, the eye rollers, the people who don’t get it and don’t get me and now I simply don’t care what they think.

This year I would absolutely love to have people in my life whose goals are similar to mine.  It’s been a little bit of a lonely paleo life thus far, aside from my husband and kids, the only “paleo friends” I have are on the internet,  but even so, I am going to keep with it because I thoroughly enjoy it and feel stronger and healthier as a result.  I have learned a lot about nutrition and fitness that I was clueless to before.  My family has been great and encouraging and that is a lot to say for 2 teenage girls and a man who was in passionate love with Italian bread!  I am also going to be patient with myself as I build this blog.  It is not as sophisticated as many of the great food blogs out there, but those (mostly women) have been an inspiration to me as I forge ahead with my own recipes and build my blogging skills.

I look back at 2014 with gratefulness for all I have been given and learned and improved in and I look ahead to 2015 with optimism, patience and confidence, knowing that slow and steady progress is the most successful, that being here now and mindful of the moment, doing the task at hand, and seeing the beauty right now is the best way to live and to grow.

Also, these shhhweeet adult sized Wonder Woman Underoos that my daughter gave me for Christmas, will remind me that the ones who matter most totally get me, to have fun and not to take myself too seriously.  Also to stay positive because even though I may be a middle-aged mother of 2, working at a desk all day, folding laundry, schlepping around in a 17 year old Subaru and grocery shopping, underneath it all, I know that I am freakin’ Wonder Woman!!   FullSizeRender