Listen while you work!

I spend most of my day outdoors & working solo – from humans at least ;) which leaves a ton of time for listening to podcasts, audio books & music – which I devour on a daily basis!

In no particular order (but basic genre) here are the podcasts I love & recommend:

Investigative Journalism/True Crime

Pop Culture

Storytelling

Economics/Science/Technology

Game Show/Trivia/Fun

I only finished a few audio books last year, but I highly recommend each of them. I lean toward autobiographies, but joining a book club last year helped me venture out of my comfort zone a bit!

 

…do you listen while you work? ;) What are your favorite podcasts?

Mission accomplished!

WE DID IT! 21 days sugar free, dairy free & starch/sugar carbohydrates free! It wasn’t as difficult as we initially thought it would be (don’t get me wrong – it was challenging, just easier to change habits than we feared) but the last 5 days or so were definitely the toughest – yay teamwork!

My husband lost a whopping 13lbs during our 3 weeks- woohoo! I am so incredibly proud of him – his enthusiasm towards healthy eating and cooking is new, but oh so welcomed!

I lost 4lbs in the last two weeks of the cleanse (from when I started tracking) & am 8lbs down since November (the last time I weighed myself). We’re riding the momentum and committed to continuing to follow the same plan during the week (& weekends), but allowing ourselves a few days off a week – as long as the days “on” are greater than the days “off”. We each have a goal for ourselves in mind and will keep on truckin’ so to say, to help each other hit our next goals! I can’t express how liberating it is to see progress without counting or limiting calories – total game changer. Hip-hip-hooray to eating clean!

The last week we stuck to the recipes I shared previously, but I threw in a few new ones and changed a few up for variety ;) From left to right: Mustard lime chicken with vegetable frittata (leek, kale, tomato & avocado), grass-fed hanger steak with kale, roasted chickpeas (I made 1/2 the recipe & forgot the lime zest – oopsie!) & coconut bread and blueberry waffles with soft scrambled eggs and turkey/sage breakfast sausage.

…how was your January? Did you hit your goals, develop any new habits or have new recipes to share?!

21 days of good old fashioned fun!

What to do on the weekends when you remove going out to eat & social drinking from your routine (and you’re off work an unprecedented three weekends in a row)? In our lovely city – the possibilities are endless!

Weekend 1: express manicure at Retreat Nail Bar, movie at Violet Crown (The Big Short), back to back yoga classes at my home away from home Sukha Yoga, art exhibit at Laguna Gloria, a walk around Mayfield Park & a hike up the overlook at Mt. Bonnell

Weekend 2: 2 hour Bakasana workshop at Sukha Yoga, lunch with a girlfriend at Picnik (Austin’s only paleo cafe!), 2 hour AcroYoga workshop (with the hubby!) – also at Sukha ;) another movie at Violet Crown (Spotlight) and the art exhibit at The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center

Weekend 3: deluxe mani/pedi at Retreat, putt putt at Peter Pan mini golf with friends & their kiddos, The Art of Star Wars exhibit at Art on 5th. Those last two aren’t until tomorrow, but I had to fill the void of our missed dance classes tonight – a part of Austin’s Free Day of Dance. We had a midday appointment run way over and missed both the classes we planned for – eeep!

Weekdays kept me busy too – between work, meal planning, shopping & cooking I also filled my days with M/W/F boot camp and yoga 4-7 times a week. This month is the first in many that I stuck to my workout goals & for that I am proud!

*Bonus event* I saw this amazing show at the Institution Theater on Thursday 1/21

…what activities have filled your January?

 

Correction: Carbohydrates, good vs. bad

I realized yesterday I inaccurately described the Candida Cleanse when saying we cut out all carbs. To clarify, we’ve cut out starch & sugar carbohydrates and we’ve kept limited fiber carbohydrates in our diet, mainly in the form of: almonds, almond milk, walnuts, shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut flour, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, avocados and leafy greens. There is a great article on Understanding Carbohydrates on the American Diabetes Association website found here. Sorry for my confusion – I learn more & more about nutrition daily :)

Two weeks down, one to go!

…so, what is there left to eat when you remove sugar (natural sugars occurring in fruits & vegetables included), dairy, carbohydrates & grains? Actually more than you think ;)

Full list of foods allowed can be found here. We’ve followed it by the book with just a few exceptions: 1) we cut out dairy completely, so we have not incorporated the live yogurt cultures allowed (taking daily probiotic capsules instead) 2) we’ve also not used stevia or xylitol as sweeteners. I still see those as processed & they are empty calories (no nutritional value) so we didn’t see the need.

Full list of foods to avoid can be found here. Again, we’ve followed this very closely with a few exceptions: (there is conflicting information out there on chickpeas & low sugar berries) 1) we’ve kept hummus in our diet 2) I’ve allowed myself a daily espresso 3) on day 14 we treated ourselves to raspberries (a low sugar fruit).

Back to the food! We’ve had so much fun cooking and will definitely keep these recipes in weekly rotation post cleanse!

Breakfast

I’ve been alternating between the following recipes to start my day:

Kale breakfast bowl (soft scrambled eggs, kale & avocado/kale pesto) The pesto is a variation of this recipe, omitting the pine nuts & yeast: kale, olive oil, avocado, basil, lemon juice, garlic)

Avocado pancakes w/egg (sunny side up) I followed this recipe exactly, but omitted the lemon parsley butter. My husband is not a huge avocado fan & he loves these too! Especially great after a big workout & totally satisfied my “carb craving” around day 3 or 4 of the cleanse. Highly recommend! (more deets on the turkey sausage in last photo ahead!)

 

Turkey & sage breakfast patties I followed this recipe exactly too, with just a few additions (paprika & cinnamon). These have been our “weekend treat” during the cleanse & also very tasty! I’ve never used ground turkey in recipes, but now have a whole new appreciation for it!

Re-purposed dinner leftovers (recipes to follow in the dinner section) My theory? Have dinner leftovers? Add an egg to it an make it breakfast the next day! Throw in some avocado if you’re feeling decadent :)

Snacks

Snacks have been pretty straight forward – a combo of celery & hummus and wild caught salmon salad on endive spears (with apple cider vinegar dijon mustard)

Lunch/Dinner

Lunch has been mainly dinner or breakfast leftovers, so I’ll just include dinner recipes here, divided by protein.

  • Grass fed beef (from left to right)
    • Kale glow bowl (using coconut oil, beef instead of tempeh & coconut aminos in lieu of tamari/soy sauce)
    • Steak w/kale, cauliflower “faux mashers” & coconut bread (faux mashers: 1 head of cauliflower steamed, blended with fresh horseradish, chicken broth, salt & pepper to taste)
    • Thai red curry (we made it with chicken first, but preferred it with beef)

Dessert

I tried 3 or 4 recipes and they were fails – it’s near impossible to make a dessert without refined sugar, natural sugar, sugar substitutes or natural sugar fruits :( We did find success with this recipe though!

13

 

*Bonus breakfast!*

  • Gluten free waffles w/”cacao” sauce (I only made 1/4 of this recipe, omitted the stevia & used almond butter to make the sauce), raspberry “syrup” (one package fresh raspberries food processed & lightly heated with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1-2 tbsp of filtered water) & coconut “cream” (full fat coconut milk, refrigerate overnight, scoop off the thick cream on top & just whisk!)

Whew ;) I think that covers it all! What are your favorite/go-to recipes so far in 2016?

 

21 days sans sugar, dairy & carbs

I kinda hate the word cleanse – it seems like such a temporary solution. The practice I’m currently mid-way through (YAY!) is more to help restructure the way we look at food, eat healthier and undo some of the “damage” of the past few months (or year if I’m being totally honest).

We delved into this by way of a Candida Cleanse. Full details on Candida can be found here, but basically we all have it in our bellies – it’s a microorganism that is naturally present, but overgrowth can cause very uncomfortable symptoms. Candida is fed by sugar & in order to kill it, you have to starve it – hence the special diet. My husband actually suggested this particular diet & (as previously mentioned) I love challenges & was 100% on board!

Sugar is bad y’all – don’t get me wrong, I love it too – but more & more studies are proving that diets high in sugar are toxic to our bodies. Will I eat sugar again? Yes! Will I be much more cautious of what I’m putting in my body, how much sugar it contains & limit additional consumption as much as possible? Hell yes.

We’re on day 10 & I feel amazing! By day 3 I could already feel a change in my energy level (I typically have a ton of energy anyway, so this was crazy!), my stomach feels flatter, I’m sleeping better, we aren’t wasting/throwing out hardly any food and I’m not craving the food & drinks we omitted from our diet like I thought I would. We’re also learning new, delicious recipes that we will totally keep in rotation, after our 21 days are complete!

I didn’t weigh myself when we started (I’ll get back to that) but my husband has shed 6 lbs already, which is crazy – especially since this doesn’t feel like a diet or restricting calories at all! In the past 8 years or so I’ve done my fair share of challenges, diets, weight loss contests, etc. and while I definitely had my fair share of success, it also created a very unhealthy relationship between my mind, body & the scale. As to not get too wrapped up in what the scale reads & too hard on myself if my progress isn’t what I “think” it should be, this time I took a before photo and had my husband take a photo of the scale, but not tell me what it read and I’m going to just focus on eating clean & my reflection in the mirror, how my clothes fit, etc. I’ll probably do another photo & blindfold scale reading at the end (for curiosity’s sake) but I’m not going to let that me my main focus.

So, what have we been eating?! …full details with recipes and photos next time!

 

 

…a lot has happened in 4 years :)

Life happens y’all! My very short lived attempt at a blog got put on the back burner for my nuptials, our honeymoon, starting a business, exercise, yoga, friends weddings, travel, birthdays, work, more travel, holidays, yoga, exercise, more travel, etc., etc. – you know life :) I’ll run through summaries of those in future posts, but today I want to focus on the now & the future. 2016 is just a few weeks underway & I am still vibrating with energy – I LOVE new beginnings!

My intentions for 2016 are as follows:

Mind

  • Journal daily (blogging counts, right?)
  • Meditate daily
  • Yoga – 4 days a week
  • Read 12 books (at least one a month)

Body

  • Cook at least 4 days a week
  • Exercise (cardio/weights) 3 days a week
  • No smoking (shameful, but the occasional “social” smoke was still a thing for me in 2015)
  • Conceive a healthy baby! (& safely give birth to a healthy baby – should I get pregnant fast!)

Old housekeeping

  • Clean out closets/drawers – purge clothes
  • Clean out pantry – reorganization overhaul

New housekeeping

  • Bathroom “face lift” (floor tile, sink/cabinets)
  • Kitchen “face lift” (new countertops/bar)
  • Finish home office
  • Clean out/reorganize garage

2015 intentions were similar, but different and I did a fairly good job of accomplishing them all! My main focus was growing my business & traveling (I called it my baby bucket list – destinations that were my must see – or visit again – before life changes drastically).

My list was: Costa Rica, Mexico & France.

My 2015 travel list ended up being (in chronological order): Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Fredericksburg, Texas; Arenal, Costa Rica; Nice, France; Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Stowe, Vermont; Bristol, Maine; Portland, Maine; Sedona, Arizona & Phoenix, Arizona. Not too shabby!

Business continued to thrive in 2015 and I have an awesome team that enabled me to take so much time off, while not letting our clients feel any impact from my absence. Very, very cool.

Do you have intentions, resolutions or a plan for 2016?

…until next time!