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The world didn’t end….suppose I should blog!

21 Dec

Well folks, that whole 12/21 thing didn’t quite pan out, which means it’s time for me to get back to this ol’ blogging gig. Any of you track that? I literally paid no attention to it until I watched some crazy film on History channel last night. For a moment, I questioned my apathy. I was going to feel pretty dumb for being utterly unprepared if something happened. Luckily for me, I was on the winning (unprepared, non-caring) side of things when I awoke today. But, enough with that – onward and upward. 🙂

…To say that I’ve just been off the grid for the past few months would be a total understatement. A LOT has been going on and changing in my life which left me feeling a little exhausted and not the least bit motivated. I have spent most of the past months lounging, sleeping, and eating food not prepared in my kitchen. Perhaps this was a funk, or a bout of depression (hehe!), or just seasonal effective disorder?!?! Whatever it was, I feel like I’m on the other side. Woo hoo! That means, I should most definitely get back to the blog.

For those of you who actually know me and read this blog to keep up with my life, let me bring you up to speed.

Mr Military Man!

The hubs is in the Advanced stage of flight school right now, learning to fly the TH-57B (helicopter). He basically spends Monday – Friday just flying and studying. It’s a pretty intense schedule but he’s a trooper and keeps up with it all flawlessly. Thankfully he LOVES flying helicopters (way more than he ever liked flying the T6 in Primary), which is just awesome. I guess when you truly enjoy what you’re doing all of the work doesn’t really seem that bad. As of right now, he has just 4 flights left before he will have his first SOLO flight in the helo. How cool is that?

My job!

So, I have changed my professional life up a bit yet again. I took a job at a doctor’s practice doing Nutritional Counseling. I love, love, love my job! The office is quite small (only 5 of us) and the people I work with are amazing! We all get along so well, which makes the days fly by. And, I love WHAT I’m doing. When I decided to get into nutrition, I really wanted to do it from a weight loss point of view. I struggled with my weight for about 20 years before I finally got all the pieces together and learned how to get to and maintain a healthy weight. Each and every day, my job is to education and motivate others to accomplish the same. While I’ve learned that I can’t change everyone, I’ve also learned that it feels spectacular when you DO make a difference in someone’s life. Weight is such a game-changer. People’s lives change 100% when they shed excess pounds and open themselves up to possibility. My goal with this job is to learn all I can from a clinic/medical/professional point of view to apply to my own business down the road.

Simply You Health & Wellness

Simply You is my passion and my long-term goal, but for now, it’s on hold while I get all I can out of this experience. I first considered continuing to see clients through my business while working for this doctor. However, I quickly realized that it is very difficult to separate the two and ensure no conflict of interest. So, I’ve decided to take full advantage of the opportunity I have right now to learn and build my confidence in a new career. Everything I’m learning here will help to ensure that I am well trained and properly skilled to help clients when I return to Simply You Health & Wellness. As of now, we’re slated to leave Pensacola in June, which means Simply You Health & Wellness should be running full-steam-ahead by August. 🙂 Stay tuned!

Food!

Um…..errrr….well, my kitchen and I had a horrible break-up. Ok, I mean, it wasn’t all drama ridden with shattered appliances and sauce strewn across the cupboards. I guess, to be more accurate, I walked out on my kitchen. For about 10 weeks straight, I didn’t do much grocery shopping, turn on my oven, or whip up any fun dinners. Rather, we lived on greek yogurt and coffee at breakfast, tuna and cheese for lunch, and restaurants for dinner. Let me tell you folks, this wasn’t good our overall wellness, or our pocket books. Sheesh! You don’t realize how much better homemade food is until you remove yourself from it completely. I felt like a bloated, lethargic mess 24/7. Ick! And, our budget for food went right out the window. Eating out gets expensive! But, I am happy to report that I have successfully prepared meals each and every day this week which means new recipes should be making an appearance on the blog soon. Woo hooooooo for nom noms!

Education!

Just last week, I officially completed my program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and am officially a Certified Holistic Health Coach! Woot!!! The journey was so amazing and I am excited to apply all that I learned. But, it’s not over just yet. I actually enrolled in a 6-month Immersion program with the school to continue my studies with more focus on a target market/goal. Excited to see what that brings! Also, I recently completed a Graduate Certificate Program in Graphic Design through Ashworth University – with HONORS! What, what?! It was a lot of fun, but so much harder than I anticipated. I’m not quite ready to take the design world by storm just yet, but I did learn some fun things that should help me with the blog and photography. Currently, I’m exploring the possibility of enrolling in a Nutrition program through the University of Alabama or getting my certification as a Personal Trainer. I need to make a decision on this by mid-January, so I’ve got to start listing out some pros and cons to get there! (For those of you who think I’m just crazy for continuously taking classes and pursuing certificates, I’m simply taking advantage of the free educational opportunities provided to military spouses. How cool is the opportunity to study for free? And, even if the things I do aren’t applicable at this exact moment, they may be the difference between my dream job and unemployment down the line!)

Our dogs!

Our girls are just as cuddly and playful as ever. Violet has learned the art of playing with squeaky toys 24/7 (thank you Duchess!), so our house is generally full of squeaks and running dogs. They girls absolutely LOVE playing at the dog park and hanging out downtown. We’ve discovered a handful of dog friendly restaurants and bars so we take the girls out with us as much as we can. 🙂 I’ll be sure to get some updated photos up soon.

Alright folks, well, with that, I must run. I have a few appointments today (the first in :30 minutes), and I look a mess. To shower and run! I’ll be back with more interesting, and photo-filled, posts soon!

Happy Friday (with a side of my *happy Friday dance*)

Day 1 Down. Here’s to Day 2!

23 Aug

Good morning friends.

Just a quick stop on the blog this AM to update you on my day 1 progress on this 3-day cleanse of mine.

I wasn’t perfect, but the first half of my day was stellar!

It went like this:

Lots and lots and LOTS of room temp lemon water. After my first cup, I felt really thirst which tells me I’m a bit more dehydrated that I thought, and according to Ayurveda, this could also demonstrate the need for lymph support to stimulate lymph drainage.

A smoothie to start the day. I sure wanted some of Mr. Military Man’s bagel with cream cheese, but with a smoothie I went. Good choice.

Lunch was a big ol’ green salad with some soaked white beans and raw mushrooms. I drizzled a bit of olive oil and lime juice on top. It was really good and so big that I was actually full before I could finish it all.

Dinner….oh, bother. This is where my success hit a speed bump. After a really crummy day at work, I felt like poo. I had intentions of coming home to a light workout and a juice. However, I was easily pursuaded into homemade mac n’ cheese and a glass of wine. Remember, I’m not perfect! 🙂 Dinner was delish and I offset things a bit by putting the cheese sauce on a big bowl of broccoli and white beans instead of pasta pasta pasta. Definitely not a cleanse friendly dinner, but what’s done is done.

On the physical activity side of things, I did get in a 40 minute swim and a 20 minute bike ride. Check that off the to-do list for this cleanse. Woot!

So, here’s to Day 2. I think I can, I think I can. So far, lemon water and a smoothie down the hatch.

I’ll keep you posted.

For now, I’ll leave you with my salad from yesterday. Green goodness, eh? (Don’t be fooled by the photo, that yellow bowl is HUGE!!!)

 

 

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

20 Aug

Top o’ the morning to ya! It’s Monday again. Doesn’t Monday always seem to come so quickly? I think so. The start of a new week means thinking about prepping meals for the hubs and me to take on the go to and from work. Breakfast and dinner always run smoothly in our house (hooray!), but lunch is always a big ol’ pain in the butt! In the morning, I’m good with a quick smoothie, some oatmeal, or a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana. And, dinner is always some combination of veggies from our fridge with whatever sounds good. But, lunch, oh lunch. What to eat? I don’t like to eat anything too warm, heavy, and comforting because I just want to sleep. But, I do need something substantial enough to carry me through to dinner without constantly snacking to satisfy my hunger. If you’re like Mr. Military Man, you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t this girl just eat a sandwich for lunch?!”. Well, folks, I am not a sandwich girl. Never have been really. I’m not sure why. I don’t really remember eating a lot of them growing up, so perhaps that’s part of it. Secondly, I don’t eat meat on the regular which eliminates the go-to sandwich fillings. And, constantly keeping an array of fresh veggies and spreads on hand to make a filling veggie sandwich isn’t always realistic given time and budget restraints. All of that said, lunch is just a weird middle ground of eating. But, luckily, with make ahead “salad” type dishes, I’ve sort of solved my “what the heck to have for lunch” dilemma. Here’s one of my current favs. I’m a sucker for Mexican seasonings (LOVE ME SOME CUMIN!) and black beans, so the base is just perfect. I hope you try this and enjoy some for lunch too! Plus, unless I’m overlooking something, this dish is totally Vegan too. Woot!!!

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

2 cups cooked brown rice (okay if you have it in your fridge from a couple of days ago when you cooked it…)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 cup frozen corn (Canned corn will also work – just be sure to drain and rinse. And, buy ORGANIC corn. If you aren’t sure why, look up genetically modified corn and spend your afternoon reading. I trust you will then understand.)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp taco seasoning (buy the stuff withOUT MSG!)

1 lime

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add diced onions. Stir onions occasionally until soft and transparent. Add red pepper, corn, and black beans. Stir occasionally until red pepper and corn are cooked (soft, perhaps slightly browned) and all is combined (about 5-10 minutes). Lastly, add taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, combine rice (cold or room temp is fine here) with onion, red pepper, corn, black bean, tomato mixture. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and stir again. Note: If you prefer things a bit heavier on the seasoning, go ahead and add another Tbsp of taco seasoning at this point so that the rice is more heavily coated. 🙂

Place in refrigerator and scoop out to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.

Because I am not always good at slowing down completely at lunch time, I typically eat this on its own, straight out of the fridge (cold). But, you could most definitely throw this on top of a bed of  lettuce and drizzle with a lime vinaigrette for a festive green salad, or heat it up for a more comforting meal feel. Oh! And, to make this more kid friendly, you could stir in some chunked or shredded cheddar cheese – about 1 cup. Cheese is always a winner with the younger crowd!

In other news, Mr. Military Man and I decided we should work on a puzzle yesterday. Like a 1,000 piece, Thomas Kinkade, puzzle. Doh! 1,000 pieces is a lot, and my attention span is short. It’s currently taking up my entire dining room table (which double as my office currently), and probably will be until we move. I really suck at puzzles. I’ve been blaming poor lighting for my lack of puzzle skill. So far, the Mr is buying it! 😉

Have a magnificent Monday. It’s the start of a BRAND. NEW. WEEK! What possibility!!!

here’s to the last day of my past, and the first day of my future…

1 Jun

Well, folks, the day has arrived. This day being my very last day in my current job. I have to tell you, I’m a bit of a mess. I really thought I’d be bouncing off of the walls, excited for what’s next. But, instead, I’m on the verge of tears. I have been going over this in my head – attempting to sort out why the heck I’m such a girl this morning. But, I’m just not sure where to begin.

I’m 100% burned-out. No doubt about it. And, this change is definitely for the best. But, my career has been my identity for a long time. I’m sort of the competitive/over-achiever type when it comes to work and I’ve chased down promotion after promotion and am pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished in my twenties. So, giving that up to work part-time at a summer only job is crazy, intensely overwhelming. I mean, now when people ask me what I do, I get to say “I work part-time at a summer camp”. Then I just sound like a typical military wife who refuses to work and job-hops through seemingly pointless ventures. But, then again, putting that on paper makes me realize I’m somehow letting how I think people will respond impact how I feel about what I am doing. That has to stop, doesn’t it? Because, after all, we each get only one life (or at least, I think that’s the case…) and it is OURS to live. We have to stop living for others’ expectation, others’ happiness, others’ desires. Instead, let’s strive to live our best life and organically make those around us happy!

Leaving my job feels like giving up a security blanket. I was good at my job. I accomplished a lot and have a long list of contacts with whom I’ve become very close over the past 3.5 years. Not working with these people each week is going to be quite the adjustment, and there is something about that thought that instantly makes me feel lonely. Isn’t it odd how our work so often does become our world?

Now I have to learn something new and adapt to working with new people who may or may not decide to like and accept me. My skills, experience, and education mean nothing in this new adventure. I really have to stand on my personality and my heart here. (Doesn’t this sound a bit like I’m worried about my first day of highschool? Sheesh!)

And then…there is the money. I am literally going to make about 1/10 of what I make now – and that’s on a good week when I’m schedule for a lot of hours. Most of the time, my income will be negligible. That is a bit scary. I tell you what – I’ve read and read and read about how money doesn’t make happiness. That you must create a life you love regardless of money, and somehow things work out. I’ve prayed, meditated, and talked about this. When I made the final decision to leave a real job for a part-time summer gig, I felt that this was 100% the right thing and didn’t once stop to worry about money (which is soooo unlike me. I am a crazy worrying psycho when it comes to money. I’m often convinced the whole world is falling on me when I make a budget, regardless of how much money I do or do not have….). I absolutely HAD to follow my heart and gut and do something I felt good about. In theory, this big job change sounded like the perfect life-altering plan. In application, it’s terrifying, and quite frankly, I feel physically ill. Or dizzy. Yes, more of a dizzy feeling, most definitely.

At the end of the day – or perhaps just this post – it’s all about FAITH, isn’t it? It all comes down to faith. Faith that God does in fact have a plan. That God’s way is different than my way. Faith that my gut is leading me in the right direction. And, faith in myself. That’s a hard one. Going out on a limb and completing turning my life – and my poor  husband’s too – upside down so that I can ultimately pursue health and nutrition feels like a grey area, and I’m more of a black and white girl myself. But, surely there is a reason this passion is in me and has begun to fill every inch of my life.

I must not waiver on my belief that I am meant to do great things. That I am here to help others. That life is a never-ending process of learning and growing. I must be my biggest fan. I must persevere. I must keep believing that life is an adventure, and money is not a god.

So here’s to the last day of my past, and the first day of my future. Here’s to walking the plank and diving in. Here’s to endless possibility. And, here’s to happiness! Thanks to all of you who follow along here in my little blog world and have offered support over the past few weeks as I’m making all of these big changes. Your kind words mean so much, and help to keep my eyes focused on what’s to come!

Happy Friday everyone! Today, let us not forget that we are uniquely amazing, and here to do great things. 🙂

Life doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by change!

16 May

Some may recall reading in previous posts about my dissatisfaction with my current career. I work for a great company and with some awesome people, but I just don’t like what I’m doing and it’s been totally draining for a while now. Well, big news, folks.

As of June 1st (eek, so soon!!!), I will no longer work in this job! What, what!!! That’s right.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out from another military spouse about a summer camp counselor opportunity right up the road from my house at an awesome sports facility, Gulf Breeze Funplex/Gulf Breeze Gymnastics. Back in the day, I loved working with kids (tutoring, coaching, babysitting, nannying); and, remembering this made me want this job ASAP. So, I called up the Director of the camp looking for an interview. Luckily, that’s exactly what I got. Hooray, hoorah!

And, can I just tell you that I loved every minute of the interview. It was so awesome to talk about sports, games, dancing, and kids. What a huge change from my normal path of focus. When I left, I felt energized. I really really really wanted this job.

Luckily….last Wednesday, the Director, Sydney, offered me the job. Later that day, I resigned from my current position. 🙂

Without a freakin’ doubt, resigning was the most exhilarating thing I’ve done in years. I immediately felt a weight lift off of me and a renewed sense of excitement and joy fill me up. I literally giggled for a good three hours just thinking of everything else I can now spend my time and energy on. How awesome!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a little terrified about leaving a salaried, full-time job for a 30 hour per week camp counselor summer job. But, I’m super stoked about doing something FUN! I’m also super-stoked that this is the first big step toward making Simply You Health & Wellness work. If it doesn’t, I won’t be able to pay the bills. Haha!

However, fear cannot determine the path of my life. And, after nearly a full year of praying, meditating, journaling, and blogging about the topic (oh – and trying to convince my husband that me not having a long-term steady income is totally a good idea), I know that I’m making the right “career” choice for me. Everything in my life is moving towards people, creativity, and health. So, I need to align MY WHOLE LIFE with that. Duh, right? 🙂

Sometimes a jump off of the cliff lands you RIGHT where you are supposed to be. In only one week, I’ve met multiple new people (more than since moving here!), volunteered for a couple exciting events, finally started back running, and gotten my house in prime spring clean order. Good things, folks. Good things!!!

When you are on the right path in life, it’s pretty dang undeniable, eh? I can’t wait to share all of the adventures of this new chapter with y’all. It’s going to sound so different, and totally AWESOME! 😉 No doubt!

 

So, how about you? Is there something in life that you know you need to get right, or change direction on? Perhaps it’s a fitness routine gone stale (or gone non-existent), a relationship that’s sucking the life out of you, or living in a place you don’t love! Whatever it may be, remember this:  Life doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by CHANGE! You have the power to create a life you love. One (sometimes baby) step at a time, you can redesign your life into something you are proud to call your own. A life that LIGHTS YOU UP from the inside out each and every day.

Don’t settle. We are forever a work in progress, which is pretty nifty if you ask me.

Well, off to fulfill one of my last work commitments this AM in Dallas, Texas. While it’s always best to be home with the hubs and doggies, I’m lucky to be able to spend this week with my Aunt Alex here in Dallas. I haven’t seen her since our wedding last May so this visit is WAY OVER DUE! Looking forward to good talks, lots of laughing, and time by the pool.

Happy Hump Day little blog family! Make today something worth remembering!!! 🙂

 

There’s no Chipotle near you either? Don’t panic!

1 May

Ok, don’t panic. Got it. But, I mean, really….What do you do when you find out there is not a single Chipotle within reasonable driving distance of your new place of residence? Well, you complain each time you have a craving for it of course (which may be almost daily…). But, once you realize that your complaining yields nothing more than your own misery, you decide to take action. That’s when I decided it was time for Chipotle-esque burrito bowls at home. Nom, nom, and some more nom. So yummy. I was “fuller than a deer tick” (sorry, had to use that expression) when dinner was done.

So, let’s break it down.

I love love LOVE Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime rice, which means that definitely had to happen. We don’t have white rice in this house, so brown it was. I had Mr. Military Man cook it up according to the package. When it was done cooking, we fluffed it and added a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice of a lime. The flavor was terrific. Who knew these two tiny additions could transform the flavor of rice so much? Impressed!

Next, the beans. I’m a huge fan of beans – especially black beans. A can of those (rinsed!) and a cup of corn went into the pot with about a tbsp of cumin and 1/2 cup of homemade roasted salsa (more on that below) and just simmered away.

On yet another burner, I sauteed onions and peppers in a bit of grapeseed oil with some roasted salsa made for us by our friend Michelle (she substituted beer for the chicken stock and it came out great – need to try this!). I just cooked ’em over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until everything was softened up.

Oh yes, and lastly, on the stove top, I had some wannabe taco meat. What I mean by that is that I cooked up tempeh crumbles with taco seasoning. As weird as it may seem, I actually crave the flavor of these things from time-to-time. I get the flavor and texture of ground beef without the heavy, full feeling of meat. Good stuff.

False alarm. Looks like I’m actually not done yet, because there was also guacamole – best part, duh!. I mean, c’mon, what’s a mexican meal without guac? Sheesh! That was super simple. Avocado, lime juice, cilantro. Mash everything together and you’re in business. (if you aren’t piling it onto other salty things, you may want to add a touch of salt and pepper!)

Once your stove is exhausted from using every square inch cooking your meal (aka everything is cooked), get out the bowls and prepare to pile. My preference? Rice, beans/corn, onion/peppers, guacamole, salsa, cheeeeese!

Looks pretty yummy, doesn’t it? And, it was. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I outdid Chipotle because I am pretty certain that will never happen (especially when I have to do the dishes after my version…). However, it was scrumptious and warm and comforting and flavorful – just as my Chipotle meals always are.

So, friend, should you also find yourself in such an unfortunate no-Chipotle situation in the future, doesn’t waste your time complaining. You can make your own version at home to keep those cravings at bay (at least for a few days). If you DO try this, let me know. I’d love to hear how it turns out and what variation(s) you tried. 🙂

In other, non-food news, our puppies were in a made game of fetch the crazy-annoying-squeeky-toy yesterday and Violet accidentally bounded off the couch and crash landed on Duchess. OUCH! Duchess suffered a left shoulder injury for which she is now hopped-up with pain pills. Poor baby hasn’t been able to move on her own since yesterday afternoon. Makes me so sad. But, I’m going to have mad arm muscles when this is done. We may be feeding her too many treats… So, my life for now involves staying close to the couch and nursing my little puppy back to health. Hopefully she recovers soon. It’s so sad to see her. She and my husband have the most saddening “pitiful” looks ever. That, or I’m just super sensitive. I suppose the jury is out on that one. 😉

Okie dokie. That does it for me. I’m a wee bit behind with my classes right now. I’ve been so so so so drained by my job lately that I haven’t really been able to scrape together energy for much else. But, I’m trying. Promise! I hope each of you have a terrific Tuesday. If you’re bored at home, watch New Girl tonight. It’s the best thing on TV right now, hands down. 🙂

Toodles!

The scale

25 Apr

So, I think this is going to be sort of a rant of a post, and will have nothing to do with food. Just letting you know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I own a scale.

For much of my life, I have obsessively weighed myself.

For the past few months, I have hardly stepped on the scale.

Today…I got on the scale.

For some reason, mid-morning, I decided I needed to weigh myself. Not thinking much of it, I did. I stepped onto the scale and hesitantly stood staring at the digital display.

Down 5 pounds. What? Huh? How’d that happen?

So, of course. I rejoiced and decided that I am totally awesome. Somehow, I was instantly more worthwhile than before that number appeared on my bathroom scale.

And, that folks, brings me to the point of this blog entry. Why in the heck does the number on the scale have such a mental and emotional hold on me? I am a logical, sane, holistically-minded person who is controlled by numbers on a scale. Nothing else can so predictably and instantly change my perception of myself. If I get on and see a number higher than what I “expect”, well then, the day is ruined. All of the sudden I feel “fat” and bloated and can’t find a thing to wear. As if my body somehow morphed into some hideous form during my 10 seconds on the scale. And, if, like today, I get on the scale and see a number lower than I expect, all of the sudden I freakin’ rock. And, I look awesome. And, I should totally find a reason to wear that short little summer dress that hasn’t found it’s way out of my closet yet.

It’s just dumb! So, today, I vow to recognize this craziness and make a change. I vow to not allow myself to be ruled by a number on a bathroom scale. I vow to gauge my value and “appeal” by my health and wellness. If my legs carried me through a run, my arms furiously scrubbed floors all morning, and my core got me through the toughest yoga class known to man, then I am AWESOME, regardless of any dang number on a scale. I vow to allow myself to love and accept my body without looking for validation on a scale. I vow to love myself  by choosing true health over a number deemed acceptable by society. I vow to fill my body up with whole foods, fresh air, positive thoughts, and exercise.

There you have it friends, my vow to BREAK FREE of the scale and love myself, my body, for REAL and RIGHT reasons. This won’t be the easiest thing to retrain my mind, and it will surely be an emotional process; I mean, somewhere along the way, these thoughts and reactions settled deep into my mind and my soul, and I doubt they’re giving up without a fight. But, I’m excited to come out on the other side of the battle with the scale.

To those of you who don’t have a scale ghost in your closet, you’re probably convinced that I am legit insane. But, I have a feeling I’m not alone, and that somebody who reads this totally gets what I’m saying.

Thanks for hanging out on my blog today. Peace, friends! 🙂