“Well Fed” is here!

My long awaited copy of “Well Fed” arrived last Friday and it is by far the best paleo cookbook I have come across. It is a full-on, no messing around, paleo love fest. Melissa Joulwan got it right! She is also a local Austinite so she scores extra points for that. My favorite thing about the cookbook is that you are given step by step instructions on how to prep all of your veggies, cook your meat and plan your meals for the entire week. I went over all the recipes on Saturday, made my menu for the week, wrote out my grocery list and hit the store on Sunday. I ended up spending less than I normally do, bought only exactly what I needed minus the chicken. I stocked up awhile back so I was good to go.

Everything that I made during the week reheated perfectly. I have training twice a week that runs until about 6:30 so Sean heats up dinner when he gets home. I’ve linked the recipes that she has on her site. You’ll have to buy the cookbook to get all the rest! My menu for the week was this:

Best Ever Chicken – it was pretty dang good. You brine it for a couple of hours before grilling so it’s super tender. You can brine it on Sunday, take it out of brine, wrap it up in plastic and it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days before you need to grill it.
Coconut almond green beans. In the description of the recipe she says, “Trust me. Make a double batch.” I didn’t believe her but I should have. These were AWESOME.

I love Chinese and Thai food more than anything. Tuesday was my birthday and there just happened to be a couple of recipes for both of these! Bam! Happy birthday to me! I have to say we blew this paleo meal by having cupcakes from Delish and a key lime pie from Central Market. The strawberry champagne cupcakes were crazy good. Totally worth it.
Pad Thai – made with spaghetti squash noodles and almond butter. I’ve made it twice this week. It’s that good and that easy.
Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) – AH-mazing. I couldn’t find a 4lb boneless pork shoulder so I used pork for carnitas. Super tender. I did add a little bit of honey to the bbq sauce to sweeten it up.

Leftover Char Siu and BBQ Pork Fried Rice. The rice is actually cauliflower that has been chopped up in the food processor to the consistency of rice. My kids went crazy over it! Score!

BIG leftover night. I’m pretty amazed at how much food we ended up with and how it all still tastes really good. We had pad thai (batch #2), spaghetti squash with leftover marinara and garlic ground beef, fried “rice”, big salad and avocado.

My plan was to make Stovetop Carnitas but we still have food! I may save it for Sunday.

Here’s what I did to prepare for the week. My main goal was to make food that Sean could take for lunch every day this week. I can eat pretty much the same thing every day but he needs more variety. I grilled seasoned chicken thighs, browned two pounds of garlic ground beef, roasted a spaghetti squash and made 8 Scotch Eggs. Scotch eggs are crazy! The recipe for the eggs in the cookbook is slightly different than the one online but I’m sure it tastes awesome. It’s a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, rolled in egg and crushed up pork rinds and then baked in the oven. Sounds so weird but they are so good!

I could have done more prep work than I did to get ready for the week but I was happy with all that I accomplished. All of the food has been so good and there isn’t a recipe that I won’t make a second time. That’s pretty rare! My family ate everything and my kids even asked for seconds. I’m excited to try everything in the book and on her website.

That’s my menu recap for the week! I highly recommend “Well Fed” and you can download a PDF sampler. Check it out! Happy eating!


The good, the bad and the reality.

Let’s just start with the bad and get it out of the way. I fell of the good nutrition wagon and landed smack dab in the middle of a taco trailer. One breakfast taco was all it took and it was all over. It actually wasn’t that bad. It just felt like it. A couple of tortillas, couple of cookies, an onion ring and 3 beers. But that was all it took for me to feel like I had been hit by a truck and my mood was taken over by my evil twin.

It gets better. About a month ago I made some awesome sauteed cabbage. I love cabbage but I found out the next day that my body hates it. I’m really sensitive to night shades – tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, spinach and eggplant – so I stay away from most of them. They can cause lectin deposits in the tissue that surrounds joints. They make my joints hurt like there’s no tomorrow. Tomatoes and spinach are the biggest offenders for me. I think I would just stop eating all together if I had to get rid of sweet potatoes and peppers. Turns out that cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are in a class of vegetables from the Brassica family and they cause the same problems as nightshades. I decided to experiment with some purple cabbage. I think purple food is the coolest thing ever. Bad idea. Very bad but it tasted so good. I roasted some in the oven with sea salt and coconut oil. Delicious. Unfortunately it affected me worse than the green cabbage. I had terrible leg cramps during the night and I could barely move when I woke up. I had sharp shooting pains in my arms and wrists the entire next day. It took me a few days to recover from that. So far, broccoli and cauliflower don’t affect me the same way. I hope it stays that way.

While my body is revolting against the things I put into it, it’s also freaking out because of what I’m not putting into it. At least, I think that’s what is going on. Nutrition and exercise combined are one big experiment for me. Lately, after a couple of really hard workouts, I’ve almost hit the floor from being really lightheaded. It usually happens a couple of hours after. The first time it happened, I figured it was from lack of food after my workout. My recovery time is taking a lot longer as well. I know I’m working out harder so I’ll be sorer than I’m used to but I feel like it’s taking too long to get back to myself. I increased my protein intake immediately after my workouts and that worked pretty well for awhile. I started taking Vitamin D and fish oil regularly along with amino acids. But now it’s starting up again so I’m switching things up. More protein and amino acid before my workout and a protein shake after. Hopefully that will work. Fingers crossed.

My training over the last couple of weeks has really suffered during all of this. It’s been so bad that I haven’t even kept track of it because it has just sucked. I know that the next time I do any of those workouts again, they will be better than the last. I’m ready to start feeling like myself again so I can start hitting it hard.

On to the good! My daughter’s school is having a 5k and health and fitness fair on March 3rd so I signed up to have a booth. I’m pretty excited about it. There are quite a few of us in our neighborhood who are trainers of one type or another so it will be pretty cool to have us all in one place. Our community out here is huge so the more information we can get out to everyone on all of their options on leading a healthy life, the better! I’m putting together a 6-week challenge as one of my programs that I offer. It’s going to be awesome!

More good stuff! I turned my Wednesday boot camp into a group workout class. Woop! I’m very excited about being able to use my garage for full on classes. I can’t wait to see the progress my ladies make by taking their training to the next level.

I finally got my copy of “Well Fed” and I cannot wait to try the recipes. This week I have been using “Everyday Paleo” as my cookbook and so far it has been really good. I’ll post a recap of this week’s food in my next blog post. My crock pot is my new best friend – when I remember to put things in it. Minor detail.

The reality is that things are going to happen to knock you off course but you have the choice to get back on. I’ve had two weeks from hell both mentally and physically but I’m over it. I realized that I can’t eat breakfast tacos and drink beer and function like I want to these days. Maybe the old me but not the me I am now. I’m not giving it 100% if I feel like I’m only 10%.

Check out this killer purple broccoli! I can’t wait to eat it. Power to the purple food!

This is it.

This sleepy little guy is one of the reasons why I do what I do. Why I chose to work for myself and am determined more than ever to make it work.

Our neighborhood has Toddler Time (TT) every six weeks or so and Preston and I checked it out on Tuesday. Preston is 3 1/2 and it has taken me this long to do something like this. I’ve never been good at going to things where I don’t know a single person. It’s way out of my comfort zone. Once I get there, I always have a great time. Getting there is the hard part. Needless to say we had a great time and met some awesome people.

A couple of days before TT, I had been contemplating on whether or not to go. I sometimes have to think about things a lot before I decide to do them. I get a note from The Universe every day in my email and sometimes it completely freaks me out how spot on the message is. This came the day before TT:

“Get out, get out even more, Wendy! Because there are people you’ve yet to meet, laughs you’ve yet to share, stories you’ve yet to live, and riches you’ve yet to tap into, that will not find you under any other circumstances.

Besides, how else can I shower you with surprises?

The Universe”

Crazy, huh? If you don’t already get a daily message from the universe, I highly recommend it. I’m all about daily affirmations and these are wonderful.

I’m getting out of my box, sharing my story, meeting new people along the way and having a fabulous time. Sometimes you just have to jump and trust that you will land on your feet.


What price would you pay to look better?

I cleaned out my drawers on Saturday and had a moment when I realized how many body shapers I owned. That pile of shapers in that picture all belong to me. Belly shapers, butt lifters, thigh smoothers, Spanx, Jockey, Flexees, ShaToBu, you name it, I have it. Let’s think about those words for a minute and what they mean: body shaper. A piece of clothing that you use to shape your body differently than what it already is. You squeeze into this piece of clothing and it smooths out your rough or problem spots and your clothes fit and look better. Sounded pretty good to me. Some of these suckers are so freaking tight that they are really uncomfortable not to mention that if they happen to get out of place, you are cutting of circulation to some pretty important body parts. Spanx was created by a woman who wanted her clothes to look better so she came up with this idea on how to create a smoother look. Pretty genius and I’m pretty sure she is a billionaire by now. Everyone wants to look better in their clothes, right? I’m all for looking better but not for temporary fixes. The reason I have so many different types of shapers says something about me. I was looking for something to give me that perfect body. I’ve always thought my problems areas were my stomach and my thighs. I needed to flatten my stomach, lift my butt and make my thighs thinner. If I had only known then that lunges, squats and situps would do all of that for me and they are FREE! One of my goals was to never have to wear Spanx or the like again. As I was looking at the pile of shapers and realized that I had probably spent well over $300 on those things (for you dudes, those things can cost up to $100 each), I thought about how many extra personal training sessions I could have had instead of those shapers. They are a temporary fix for a bigger problem. I liked the way I looked when I wore them but hated my body when I took them off. So ladies and guys too because there is now Spanx for men, the next time you are trying to find something to help you fit into your clothes, consider spending that money on a trainer, classes at your local CrossFit gym or joining your local Y. You can even start doing those lunges, squats and situps and save your money for that pair of new jeans of swim suit you have had your eye on. Take back the power of body shapers and use it to your advantage!

Time management and patience.

These are two things that I really need to improve on. Pisces are not known for their organizational skills or their ability to prioritize things. I blame it on my birth sign. When I get really unorganized, my patience with everything goes out the window. Up until this week, I pretty much had a full day to get everything done that needed to get done and that included personal training sessions, boot camp classes and freelance design projects. Looking back, I was really, really lucky. Then my world was turned upside down. We decided to switch Preston to half-days at his preschool to save some money. Budgets have been slashed in this household until my business is rockin’ and rollin’. It’s a good thing I wear workout clothes to the office everyday or I’d be having a major shopping withdrawl. Now I have exactly FOUR hours in the morning to get everything done that absolutely has to get done that day. An afternoon with a three year old is subject to all kinds of madness so I’m not taking any chances on putting things off. Now I have to plan my day like a responsible adult.

When I was working in advertising, I had traffic managers who told me exactly what had to get done and when it was due. I had schedules made for me so I never missed a thing. I loved my traffic managers. They were lifesavers. I need them now. In order to try and do this and not have a panic attack, I’ve resorted to a whiteboard calendar. I’ve always resisted the calendar because I’ve been able to remember everything that I’m doing. I felt it took more time to write it down that I had to spend. Occasionally I would check Sean’s calendar to see what he had going on but that’s about it. Everything is on a schedule now. Sheets and towels get washed on Wednesdays. Bathrooms cleaned on Thursdays. The only thing that has happened on schedule so far is one set of sheets made into the wash, into the dryer and back onto the bed. I have yet to embrace the power of the calendar. I find it very difficult to focus on one thing when it comes to getting stuff done in the house so I hope that the calendar can help me. It takes my entire being to clean one room before moving onto something else. For example, if I am cleaning the bedroom and there is a glass of water that needs to go into the kitchen, I will take it to the kitchen and while I am in the kitchen I will see something that needs to be put away. I’ll put it in the fridge and notice that there are some containers of food that are old so I’ll take them out. Next thing I know I am cleaning the fridge and kitchen and I haven’t finished the bedroom.

In order to make sure I get at least one thing done everyday, I’ve started making the bed each morning. I used to have to make my bed when I was a kid every morning and I get why, but I think that’s why I resisted doing it as an adult. I’m going to prioritize my day with the most important thing gets done first and I work my way down the list. Right now, the most important thing is my own training. In order to make sure I am getting this done, I’m going to get it done at 5am before anyone else is up. Nothing stresses me out more than making my way through my day with my workout looming over my head.

This brings me to patience. My kids have been driving me crazy lately and I have no patience left. I am really happy that I am able to spend more time with them these days but MY GOD, they are still driving me crazy. I swear some days I feel like I have lost all control. A 3-year old boy and an 8-year old girl makes for nonstop drama. I figure if I can get my day scheduled, stay on schedule and not stress out if I get off schedule, I might have some more patience. I’m pretty much open to trying anything at this point. Xanax is already an option but I save those for the really crazy days. I’m sure my kids and Sean would enjoy the relaxed version of me more than the freaking out, stress ball, head exploding version of me. I just have to put it all into perspective. Not getting the laundry done on schedule is quite alright if it means I’m getting to spend more time with my kids. I just have to tell myself that when I start to wig out about things not getting done. It’s just laundry.

For everyone that is struggling with the same thing, hang in there. We are all in this together.