Running for Pound Cake (my plan for holiday eating)

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So isn’t a secret that I take exercise and nutrition seriously. For me, it is about way more than getting into skinny jeans (what brainiac thought those were a good idea anyway?); it is a matter of life (full and vibrant) or death (lack of mobility and functionality).  However, I certainly appreciate flat abs and a nice tush as much as the next lady AND I realize how holiday indulging can sabotage the best of efforts.

Therefore, I present to you my Thanksgiving —–> Christmas plan.  I’ve broken it into three sections:

IN MY BELLY

MOVE  MY A**

AND SAVASANA

In My Belly:

The hubster makes my grandmother’s pound cake twice a year. Once at Thanksgiving and once at Christmas. Yeah, sure, it might be better to break it up with more months in between but that’s another thing about me;  I don’t mess with tradition. 😉 I also make sweet potato pies every Thanksgiving and freeze a couple for Christmas. These I don’t eat; so it is not a real problem.  However there is also dressing and macaroni and cheese to consider. 🙂 Truthfully, I can forgo all of it with the exception of grandmas cake. It’s going in my belly. twice. And by twice I mean four times: two slices around Thanksgiving and two around Christmas.

Here is what I will consume everyday between these must-have experiences:

1) Drink 16-20 ounces green smoothie. My standard recipe is: kale, cucumber, beets, organic frozen mixed berries, pineapple, coconut water and ginger root.

2) Drink bone broth/ homemade stock. This is en vogue right now so I’ve been playing around with it a bit more. However, my mother and grandmother always made their own stock.  Sometimes I stew some veggies in my stock but mostly I drink 4-6 ounces of it a day. Straight. No chaser. Chock full of nutrients.

3) Eat/drink fermented foods. Now I’ve mentioned my kombucha consumption before but during the holidays there are no missed days. I also have one serving of homemade yogurt and occasionally I will have kefir or kimchi (more about those later). I am a huge fan of probiotics especially for those of us with inflammation and/or gut issues.  Particularly if you occasionally eat pound cake (or something like it) like me.

4) No simple carbs (with the exception of the aforementioned)

5)Complex carbs are limited to the vegetable variety. And a few low glycemic fruits. 🙂

You can see how these five rules give significant structure to my eating.  There are other things that are not mentioned here that are understood no-no’s on any day: no junk food, no fried foods, no fast food, no fake food.

Move My  A**

Here is what I’ve committed to (minimum):

2 days of running (10 miles minimum a week, includes HITT workout and hill repeats)

2 days of CrossFit

2 days of yoga

Bottom line: If you are going to do the crime, you gotta do the time. I’m willing to move my a**. Are you?

Here is a handy chart that can help you figure out how to make up yesterday’s damage:

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Savasana

This is the hardest part for me. Finding that quiet, stress free place in my head to go to when life is a bit squirrely. In the past, nothing got stressed out quite like the holidays. Especially when I was hosting. This year however things were different.  But it took lots of effort. When one of the boys left the water on in an upstairs bathroom and the tub overflowed leaving water stains on the kitchen ceiling, I just took a deep breath. Namaste. We fixed the plumbing side of things but the aesthetics remain. *sigh*. When my daughter accidentally soaked the sifter Thanksgiving morning almost making said pound cake not happen, I kept my cool and called my neighbor for a replacement. Aside from the 10 minutes we all held our breath until I reached her on the phone; no harm no foul.  I plan to go to my special place often in the next 3 weeks. Life in my house can get more than just squirrely. It’s a down right jungle.

So there you have it. Do a recommend you do what I do? Not exactly. We are all different. You need to find what works for you. For example, I don’t have weight loss or weight/muscle gain goals at the moment. If I did, this would look very different. What I do recommend is that you take the time to come up with a plan. Standing over a table full of carbs at the company pasta competition (I just heard about such shenanigans from a client) is NOT the time to negotiate with yourself. Before temptation arrises, find a quiet place and consider your goals. Be honest with yourself about what you are willing to do to get there. Write down your plan and share it with someone; accountability is very important!

One last thing:

STICK TO THE PLAN.

Now take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.

Namaste

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Beyond Thankful

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My daughter recently landed a small solo part in her school’s upcoming Winter showcase.  It is all of about 10 seconds of singing but she is practicing as if she is going to sing in front of a crowd in Washington D.C.  Mahalia Jackson style.

I totally get it.

When I was just about her age, I secured my own little spot in my school’s Thanksgiving program.  We sang  Hap Palmer’s “Things I’m Thankful For”. I’ve highlighted my part. 🙂

There are many things I’m thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things I’m thankful for
Let me tell you what they are

I am thankful for the earth
I am thankful for the sea
I am thankful for my friends
And I’m thankful to be me

There are many things I’m thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things I’m thankful for
Let me tell you what they are

I’m thankful for the sun
I am thankful for each tree
I am thankful for my home
I am thankful to be me

There are many things I’m thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things I’m thankful for
Let me tell you what they are

I am thankful for my food
I am thankful to be free
I am thankful for the stars
And I’m thankful to be me

Yes. That’s right. I had one line. But I couldn’t have been prouder.

Every Thanksgiving since then that song rings in my head and actually reminds me of my blessings.  I have the most amazing friends that function as family for me.  I am so very thankful for my home and my hubster and kiddos who share it with me. My sister has tries her best to fill our mother’s shoes on Thanksgiving ( I try too but she’s better at it) and my love her for her grows every year.  I am thankful for the Earth, the Sun, the stars and the trees; pure evidence of God’s love.  I am thankful for my freedom and those who fight/fought on my behalf.

Most of all, I am thankful to be me.  Imperfect, quirky, flawed me. Just the way God created me to be. Turning 40 brought a liberation that I was not prepared for and I bask in it!

Don’t get me wrong, I continue to be a work in progress… never-ending growth mode over here!

But I can finally say that I am my own best friend (thanks for that Beyoncé’).

And that feels, well, real nice.

Speaking of Mahalia Jackson, if you’ve never heard her sing Amazing Grace. Take a moment and receive her gift to the world.

Happy Thanksgiving.

What in the heck is Kombucha?

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I’m addicted to a delicious brew call kombucha. I’ve kept it hush-hush because AGAIN, folks don’t need any more evidence that I am wack-a-doo.  I’ve mentioned it on the blog before but I’ve held back in telling you guys how MUCH I drink it. I’ve been brewing and drinking kombucha daily for over a year. It has changed my life.  I’ll tell you how in a minute but first… what is this stuff?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. It is made when a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is added to brewed tea and allowed to ‘feed’ off the sugar. It kinda looks like a mixture of a mushroom and a jellyfish (Ew I know, but whateves I eat sushi :)).  The culture ferments for about a two weeks and a fizzy  tonic is created. It tastes like a cross between apple cider and vinegar. Very unique drinking experience.  You can add spices (ginger, mint, and lemon grass all work great) or organic juices (pomegranate, apple and berry juices are my favorite) to your brew and create a ton of different flavor options!

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My beautiful ‘momma’ scoby, my tea brewing nicely, and the finished product.

One cool thing about Kombucha is that no one is 100% certain where/how it started.  Some say Manchuria (Northern China), others Russia… what we do know is drinking it does require a bit of a leap of faith.  So why do I (and countless others) keep tipping back our glasses? Well, it’s in the probiotics baby!

While there is little ‘proof’ of the healing properties many claim kombucha has, the probiotic content cannot be denied.  The evidence that probiotics are instrumental in restoring gut flora is mounting.  However, those of us who believe in it don’t need scientific research, we have our own experience that speaks for itself.  Given my history of digestive issues, I know almost immediately how something affects my belly. When I drink kombucha regularly, my stomach is calm… even when I am less than 100% with my diet. I have also noticed that I have more energy, my skin is clearer and I have almost no sugar cravings.   I also have endometriosis that at times takes me from washboard abs to the protruding stomach of a second trimester expecting mother overnight. There is lots of pain and misery that comes along with that as well.  When I drink my kombucha daily, that just doesn’t happen. After two trips without it, I’ve decided that I will no longer travel without kombucha. It is just that serious to me.

So how do you get your hands on some? I brew my own. I will tell you in a future article how you can do that as well. In the meantime, swing by your local natural foods store. If they don’t carry it, I guarantee they can tell you how to get it!  My local Whole Foods carries it on tap. It is made in North Carolina called a company called Buchi. Once I had to resuscitate my scoby (long story) and I was without brew for several weeks. Buchi was just starting to be offered so  I bought a couple of growlers. Thank you baby Jesus for small blessings. Their stuff is really very good! My favorite flavor is ‘Fire’ with ‘Earth’ coming in second.  I’ve heard they have a new holiday brew (site says it has cloves, vanilla and cranberries- ummm… yes please!) I’m excited to try that during my next shopping trip.

A word about the bottles they offer in the refrigerated section. Typically, I am not a huge fan. They are really over priced in my opinion. A serving of my brew costs me less than $.50 to make using all organic ingredients. Buchi is $11 for 64ounces (first time the refillable growler is $4 extra). The 16-20 ounce bottles I’ve seen costs $5-6 dollars a piece!  I have also not found one that comes close to the yummy taste of my brew.

Yeah… I know I quickly becoming one of ‘those’. I’m cool with that. I’m realizing that ‘those’ folks are my kinda of people. After all,  I married one of ‘those’.  He is thrilled to see me come around.  He’s wanted to go off the grid for some time.  Not kidding.  Also not going to happen. When it comes to food and nutrition, I’m sold.  I’ll  even give up cable… just as soon as he figures out how I can continue to get the OWN network.  Solar energy and water collecting are up for discussion but I will always need to make my way to my waxonista for routine eyebrow control and make a pit stop at the nail salon for a mani/ pedi. This wild woman will can only take this thing so far!

P.S. If you are in the Atlanta area: I am co-hosting a Kombucha tasting party with my friend Pilar of Rancho Alegre Farm. Let me know if you are interested and I will put you on the invitation list!

Healing Juice (quick post)

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My sister/friend Tomorrow got married on Monday. We’ve been pretty adjoined at the hip since age 11 despite the fact that we lived in the same state for only 4 years total. She has been there from my highs of giving birth to my ultimate low: losing my mother.

When she told me a couple of weeks ago that her fiance was going to make an honest woman out of her (ha!), I had to be there. We are “Beaches” close. All jokes aside. That’s our movie.

The beautiful bride.

The beautiful bride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So one very beautiful wedding, a few celebratory drinks, and several bites of delicious cheesecake later… I present my recovery juice.

Also perfect for those digging through their kiddos candy bag as I type. Caught you, huh?

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  • a fist full of wheatgrass
  • a notch of ginger
  • handful of spinach
  • two small beets
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 pineapple
  • 1 lime
  • half a cucumber

I gave the Vitamix a break and brought out my juicer. I am planning on juicing for the number of days I was ony my trip. My toes looked like cocktail sausages when I got home and my gluten belly returned with a vengence. I started yesterday so I’ll come up for air on Saturday. 🙂