Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Being Worthy, The Other Side of Loneliness, An Unfortunate Human Condition

Have you ever sat down in a dimly lit room, after the house becomes eerily quiet and realize that ideas you once believed simply no longer apply to your life? I once believed a shared history could make a friendship; a friendship entrenched in such deep ways that it would always be a part of my life. Many times over the years, I allowed myself to feel hurt and encumbered by people. People I led myself to believe were in my life with good intentions, coming from a place of wholeheartedness, and trueness, but the rays of goodness never could quite outshine an inescapable heaviness. Sometimes the heaviness is recognized rather quickly and other times it can take years to see the light. 

In an utmost moment of clarity, I found myself caught completely off guard. I was simply sitting in my favorite chair, my feet kicked up on the ottoman, I was enjoying a gentle sip of hot tea from the ceramic mug that was warming my hands, and the truth began to speak like whispers in my mind. I grappled with the notion that things weren't quite right. I contemplated the ways to let go the numerous times I have felt saddened by actions. I held onto a smile, a kind gesture, but realized the whispers were more than that. I often allowed myself to come back time and time again, only to recognize the actions were the same. The whispers were no longer as quiet and I found I didn't have the will to ignore them. The patterns led me to a place that is all too often hard to see when you're holding onto the hope that things may be different someday. I pushed away what my mind did not want to let go. Love doesn't feel this way, love is not intentionally making one hurt in an attempt to break free of them with out doing the work, of saying why and how we've arrived at this place of an unforgeable future. But often times what my mind believes is reasonable is not how life unfolds. 

Sometimes I find the courage to set myself free on a path that allows new opportunities to come into my life. I like the courage I feel. I recognize letting go isn't easy and precise, but a slipping away over time. I often remind myself to be kind within because when I am seeking kindness from others with out growing a good intention, there's often potholes in my path. 

I rarely feel sorry for myself, but recognize that loneliness is a human condition. A condition that isn't as scary as allowing room for misguided relationships to flourish. I did remind myself before I arrived at my very last sip of tea, that I will find the goodness I want to nurture me through my life and expecting it to present itself easily is all too storybook for me. 

[on womanhood and friendships]

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mind + Body Challenge Created Changes Within...

I'm not sure if you remember in January when I posted a video explaining the single best thing you could do for your health? If not, go watch this, and then come back. Well, I really took that video to heart. I made it a point to go out and walk every single day for at least 30 minutes, but I found it was difficult to navigate the sidewalks that were ice packed especially in the dark. I typically find my window of opportunity to work out at night after dinner and the weather was getting me down.

Let's face it, weather is an excuse. I don't make excuses anymore, so I needed to figure out Plan B.

I was casually chatting up a friend about how I need to join a gym because I was sick of walking outside in the winter and just the right person overheard me. On the spot I was offered a trade situation, 7 hours of my time, for a membership at my neighborhood gym. I couldn't say no! Thank you universe!

Introduce the treadmill to my life...

Even though for years and years I believed I couldn't work out on a treadmill because I would feel dizzy, I have grown to love the treadmill! A really great tip a trainer gave me was to spend 5 minutes to slowly cool down and I haven't felt dizzy at all after trying that technique. The photo above shows the miles I've put in the past week. I don't always run, I run about 1/2 the time when I'm on the treadmill. I'm one heck of a speed walker, sometimes my walking is faster than my running. 

Little added bonus of all this time on the treadmill? I've lost weight and I went and tried on bathing suits today, IN FEBRUARY! All 3 of them fit me and they were adorable. I was just "window shopping". What a fabulous year 2012 is turning out to be. I owe it all to one simple pinky swear with friends. 


Skiing 101, Follow Your Big Sister! Her In The Pink...

I'm so happy J captured this moment on the hill because I have a feeling that it's fleeting. Sj is a great teacher, I'm proud of her! In proper cheeky fashion, G kinda has to let it rip a bit at the end. Soon enough they'll be racing each other down the hill.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Gluten Free Pizza Crust, High Protein and Paleo Friendly!

After finishing the cleanse, my husband decided he was going to continue staying wheat free. While I have returned to some foods with wheat, for the most part I've replaced everyday go to items with wheat free alternatives. For example I have a corn tortilla in the morning instead of toast with an egg. I just prefer how I feel eating limited amounts of wheat/gluten and I notice I am not as bloated come the day's end.

As many of you already know, in our house we have a Pizza Friday tradition. It's been in my family for close to 50 years. I make the dough every week for our pizza, but J has been longing for a wheat free alternative. Today I picked up two cornmeal pizza crusts at Whole Foods only to arrive home and learn the first ingredient was wheat flour. I was frustrated.

While searching for gluten free pizza crust recipes, I was really turned off by the ingredients and complex list of items you need to make it. Immediately I searched Elana's Pantry to see if she had a pizza crust recipe and to my excitement she did! The recipe featured below in the video, is from Elana's The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. To me, Elana is an amazing resource for gluten free living, especially if you want to skip the endless carbs and pack your meals with protein. Almond flour is the key to achieving that! The best part to me, I didn't feel like I was missing a thing. I absolutely loved this crust.

I was so excited with how easy this crust was to make and how well it held up to our piles of toppings. We topped this pizza with broccoli, garlic, onions, zucchini, sauce, and walnuts. J isn't eating dairy right now either, so I simply added some Pecorino Romano to mine after it came out of the oven. Below you will find the adjustments I made to the crust.

The almond flour was found at Whole Foods in bulk. I believe you can search out tutorials online on how to make it as home if you can't find it in a store near you.

Variations from video:
I used a spring form pan brushed with olive oil and then coconut oil in place of where she uses the butter, I substituted olive oil in the dough for grapeseed oil, I also added herbs, basil, parsley, and oregano.

Enjoy! Please share some of your favorite pizza toppings, we are always trying to find ways to switch things up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh My Goodness... I'm here, I'm there, and I am no where.

While my absence was hardly planned, I was definitely not on a beach sipping fruity cocktails being delivered by sun kissed cabana boys. Instead, life just happened. A cold virus moved through our house, started with one, went to another, then me, then onto J. Somewhere in there we also had a stomach bug, which I had a few days later complete with a fever for like 12 hours and woke up the next day, fine. Very odd. The only one to escape that bug has been J. Fingers crossed for him, he's spared the stomach bug.

When everyone was doing well enough that I did not have to monitor them after bedtime, I have been escaping to the gym. Yes, me at a gym! I know it sounds odd to say, but I'm loving the ability to walk out the door and work out in a controlled environment. I was so set on "hiking everyday", but the cold and wind and ice were getting tiresome. I wasn't able to workout at a pace I wanted to because I was navigating the icy trails. I'm doing a trade at the local gym, so my membership is free, which is really a win-win situation for me.

On a related note, I'm digging the treadmill.

Let's see, viruses galore getting passed around the house, a new gym membership, hitting the treadmill, some big school changes next year (totally unexpected, but GOOD), a job interview and an email stating the position has been filled, lots of contemplating about the future and how our decisions now will affect our girls. I also got hooked on the show The Vampire Diaries.

Life is not short on excitement these days. I'm back. I'll fill in all those gaps, I swear.