Monday, July 28, 2014

Putting yourself out there...

Lately, I've been in the business of putting myself out there! I've actually started a very small business. As if I don't have enough on my plate. This full time mom gig is 24/7 (no breaks, no joke) but it is so important to me that I have something I can call my own.

I took my small business to it's first gig this past weekend. I spent weeks getting product ready and packaged, and practiced what I would say and how I would set up my shop. I was nervous. Will they like my stuff? Will they like me? What if no one buys anything? I'm never going to break even on this.

Fear of judgement and failure have a way of sneaking into my subconscious when I'm doing something new. It can be hard to ignore these feelings but I remind myself they are normal. As a matter of fact, I have learned that if they aren't there, I'm not doing it right.

Before I left for the market my husband kissed me on the cheek and told me he was proud of me for "putting myself out there." It was just the reminder I needed, the moment I needed it. Damn right, I'm putting myself out there! I can't make my dreams come true by doing nothing.

How are you putting yourself out there, this week? What actions can you take on a goal you've been sitting on for a while? Let's get a little uncomfortable and be a little unreasonable in going after what we want.

If you're not putting yourself out there, you're missing out.

Debuting SOAK Shoppe at the 002 Houston Magazine's Summer Market
The event was great! I met tons of new people and had several buyers. I'm very excited to see where I take this next.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

feeling whole30...

Alright, alright, alright, I am a little behind with the spring cleaning. It is time to get my act together. I'm not reffering to cleaning house. I'm talking mind, body, soul clean up time! 

Reflecting on the past eight months, it really shouldn't have come as a surprise that I had hit a roadblock. I was working out harder and harder to shed the remaining baby weight but kept eating like I was pregnant. All of the workouts in the world won't help you if you're eating junk. Emotionally, I hadn't been feeling great either. When you don't feel good in your body, you can't feel good in your mind.

It is time for another round of Whole30. I achieved so much success a few years ago when I tried it and felt so incredibly empowered that it wasn't a difficult decision to do it again. I started on a Tuesday. If I waited until the following Monday I would only be delaying feeling better about myself. So... I prepped my house on a Monday and I started on a Tuesday! (you can buy the book here)

Day 1: Woke up excited and ready to take on the challenge. Dinner was so yummy I could do this forever. I was watching Mad Men and really wanted more to eat. I determined I was "first world hungry" which means you're not physically hungry, you just want more food. Good distinction.

Day 2: I kept myself busy with errands and packed almond butter in my diaper bag. Never be unprepared! Brett came home "hangry" and we got into an argument over who could season sweet potato hash better. I ate about 400 nuts and then went to bed.

Day 3: I woke up and my stomach already feels flatter. Brett seems a little depressed. I'm not sure he is going to make it. I'm still nursing and my milk supply seems to be taking a slight hit. I've decided I need to snack more.

Day 4: Holy sh*t, this sweet potato breakfast is delicious. I think I'll have this every morning for the rest of my life. Feeling tired in the afternoon so I made myself a cup of green tea.

Day 5: Brett is not going to quit Woo! We invited a few of our friends over for dinner. Since it is hard for us to eat out right now this is a great way for us to remain social for 30 days. We grilled steaks and I made baked sweet potato fries and roasted brussel sprots with butternut squash. Yum.

Day 6: Didn't... plan... well. hungry, hungry, hippos over here.

Day 7: I FEEL AMAZING. Brett noticed a change in my body (score!) and I'm feeling extra creative today.

Day 8: truckin' along...

Day 9: didn't make enough food last night for Brett to have lunch to take and he left his wallet at home. I met him for lunch and it was surprising easily to order grilled chicken breast with double veggies.

Day 10: is my breast milk Whole 30 approved? Don't worry... I didn't.

Day 11: Brett quit. Cue music...Here I go again on my own...

Day 12: Brett decided not to quit! I don't know if I could do this alone. Either I am developing an eating disorder or is my body is finally learning that it doesn't have to be eating all of the time. I didn't realize I skipped lunch until bedtime. My stomach feels empty.

Day 13: Every commercial on TV is for food...

Day 14: I stayed up late last night watching a Naked and Afraid marathon. Whole 30 doesn't seem so rough now. I took selfie body shots on day 1 and again this morning. I don't see a whole lot of difference but I FEEL it. I'll be weighing myself tomorrow morning (against the advice of Whole30 creators)

Day 15: 7lbs in 2 weeks. Soild. Saw an Oreo commercial that almost put me over the edge...

Day 16: I'm so tired of eating ground meat that I would honestly rather not eat.

Day 17: I have a horrible headache. Not sure if it is food related?

Day 18: Went to a friends's house for a July 4th BBQ and survived without tackling the dessert table.

Day 19: Went blueberry picking (ate a ton of berries) and had friends over for dinner. The same friends who came over on Day 5 and are super supportive of our clean eating.


Day 21: If this were Naked and Afraid we would be finished today... but it isn't.

Day 22: My face looks and feels thinner. I haven't lost any more weight since last week which pisses me off because I feel like I'm starving. I realize this is not the goal of Whole30. What am I doing wrong? I remind myself this isn't just about losing weight. This is about clean eating, conscious eating. I can endure. We're almost there.

Day 23: homemade sweet potato chips are the only thing getting me through this.

Day 24: I ate too many pecans. I can't wait for next Thursday. I'll be eating cake for breakfast.

Day 25: Ordered from our favorite noodle place. Instead of noodles or rice I requested double chicken and double veggies. Why haven't we ordered from here the past few weeks. This was awesome!

Day 26: Ran into a friend at the grocery store and she said I looked really good. I know it's a little vain but compliments like this on Whole30 help! Weekend tradition of having friends over for dinner. Made fajitas and guacamole with homemade sweet potato chips.

Day 27: See photo. Bought this. My absolute favorite adult beverage. 3 days and it will be mine. I stored it in my daughter's closet so I wouldn't be tempted. #momoftheyear

Day 28: I'm feeling a little blue. Not going to look too much into this. I'm sure it's because we are so close to finishing. I wish I could take a pill and sleep until Thursday, wake up and eat cake.

Day 29: Time couldn't move slower if it tried.

We did it! It was so great having my husband as a compainion on this journey. I couldn't have done it if he was going to be eating cheeseburgers every night while I dined on spinach and ground beef. I've learned so much about myself and my relationship with food. I was able to distinguish actual hunger from what I call "first world hunger." More importantly, I feel empowered! I put down the wine bottle and sugary desserts for 30 days, y'all! I have a mean, mean sweet tooth so this is a BIG deal. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minor feat, but it has proven my ability to exercise control in any situation.

My husband, Brett, had a different experience being at work and going out to eat with co-workers a few days a week. In the beginning, he was avoiding social situations all-together. He dreaded having to make excuses for why he was doing this and didn't want to have to face the menu to make new and different choices. A little over half way he realized that he enjoyed making better decisions at restaurants and didn't feel like he needed to make excuses for eating healthy. For the record... you can order grilled chicken and veggies practically anywhere you go!

I lost 11lbs and several inches. I'm pleased with the physical results and more jazzed about the confidence, control, and self-discipline I gained. If you're on the fence about trying Whole30 my advice is to go for it! Don't view it as a diet! It is a life style shift and it can help you make healthy, life changing decisions about what you eat. It isn't about cutting out junk forever, just 30 days. Trust me, I'm about to dive head first into a piece of cake right now and then I'll happily, and powerfully decide to get back to eating healthy. It's totally ok to have the fun foods... just in moderation!

And that ladies and gentlemen, is our experience with Whole30.

Must share favorites sorry, I don't really "do" measuring.
Sweet potato breakfast (pictured)- diced and roasted sweet pototoes with ground turkey, sautéed onions, and green peppers. Seasoned with S&P, paprika, and cinnamon. Topped with a fried egg.

Spicy Chilli for a week- bacon, 2lbs ground beef, jalenpenos, red and green pepper, onion, garlic, carrot, diced tomatos, tomato paste, chillie powder, S&P. Top that sh*t with an egg for breakfast oran avocado   anytime.

Chicken Nuggets- grab your favorite nuts (I used pistachios, cashews, and pecans) and grind them in a blender or vitamix until they look like breadcrumbs. Cut up chicken breast into bite size chunks. Beat two eggs in a bowl. Place nuts in another bowl and season with S&P and maybe some red pepper flakes. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mix and then roll and cover in nuts. Palce on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 30mins.

Mango Banana Ice Cream- frozen organic mango chucks + frozen banana in a food processor. Boom. Ice cream. Kinda.

Chicken Fried Veggies (pictured)- My take on Chicken Fried Rice. Pan fry diced chicken with EVOO. In separate skillet sautee carrots and green peas. Scramble 3 eggs and once the veggies are cooked to your liking pour in beaten eggs. As soon as the eggs are cooked toss veggies into the cooked chicken skillet. Done!

Jerkish Pork- For the seasoning: blend off black pepper, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, paprikia, salt + fresh hot peppers, garlic, onions, and a little bit of apple cider vineager with EVOO. Buy a Vitamix. Best thing ever. Skewer the pork between pineapple and grill that DELICIOUSNESS.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


a selfie before it was a selfie

I'm writing from the couch today and on the TV I'm running an old home movie from 1986. WOW...

My dad bought a brand new video camera when I was born. It was huge and expensive and worth every penny becuase now we can travel back in time whenever we please and remember the good old days.

My parent's house was out in the "country." The driveway was composed of rocks. It was a new build and my folks hadn't even installed the back deck yet. We had a great, big back yard and a second garage out back for my dad's cars. Beyond that, there was a good sized field with horses and only a few neighboring houses. Today, it's full on suburbia out there. Most of the orginal houses have been torn down and I remember the fire department burning one down for practice. The field was replaced with a neighborhood...

It always felt so quiet in the house. Like, Christmas morning quiet, everyday. I miss it. I rarely experience that type of quiet anymore. I live in a big, busy city now. I've got new constrution going up next door, big Texas trucks roaring by every few minutes, and somewhere nearby is a heliocoptor landing pad I only seem to notice in the middle of the night.

Watching this home video makes 1986 feel quiet...clam... slow... peaceful. Maybe that was just my Dad's filming style or maybe that is how it really was but it has me thinking...

Can we slow it all down or are we permantenlty on fast forward from here on out? Is this just a perception we have as our youth begins to dwindle, that things were simpler or slower when our lives began? Older readers, has the past decade really incresed the pace of life or is it all a perception of our generation embracing adulthood? I remember reading American transcendentalist writing, focused on breaking away from the "busy life" in modern society. If similar feelings were present then, can the technology of the past couple decades really be the culprit of our always-on mind sets? It seems like we just adapt at a young age to keep up with the ever increasing pace during our own lives, only to have the next generaion pick up where we left off, speeding ahead faster and faster.

Transcendentalists believe that society is what corrupts the purity of indivduals. Everything seems to be "on-the-go." There are times when I don't even sit down to eat a meal. I have to have the latest version of this electronic or that new car, or else! More, more, more. Quicker, better, faster, stronger. Good isn't good enough anymore. It can't be a quaint, simple house. It's a McMansion or bust.

If I have a point to make in all of this reminiscing and blabber it is this: stop and smell the freaking roses every once in a while. Cultivate peace and quiet however it works for you. We can't slow down time, but we can down slow ourselves.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

sunday mantra...

I sigh, as I begin this particular Sunday, that also happens to be Day 27 of Whole30. I really want to be brunching. Like, full-on greasy-eggs and potatos, cheese, and mimosa style brunch. Quitting now is not an option. I've worked hard and set a strict set of instructions to give up sugar, dairy, gluten, wheat, ALCOHOL, all for 30 days. Just as I wouldn't quit a marathon at mile 25, I won't back down now. The sweet taste of the finish will serve as the confidence boost I need to reassure myself that I am living MY life. I'm in control. In a world where we don't always have a say in what's happening outside of our front door it's important to remember we have the freedom to control our thoughts, emotions, actions, and reactions.