10.23.2012

Moments of Zen for My 90 Day Cleanse - #8

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#8
Go for more walks with the dogs.

I'm a terrible doggy parent.  I've taught my not-so-little furry babies that eating carrots and apples from my cutting board and lounging around the house is perfectly acceptable dog behavior.  The carrots and apples, perhaps... but the lounging has gotten out of hand lately.


In an effort to get myself and my dogs moving more, we've started taking frequent and brisk morning walks.  Volt enjoys getting to visit with the school children waiting for the bus or playing on the playground and Ellie can't get enough of lunging at the rabbits sprinting across her path on their way out into the desert.  I just enjoy traveling around the block at a near sprint when 150 pounds of pup pull hard enough to nearly dislocate my shoulders.  I must say, the much cooler morning weather has certainly made leaving the house more desirable.  55 degrees at 6:30 am sure beats an early morning 88 degrees and an overheated dog.

Hooray for fall weather and 2+ miles a day of walking!

10.20.2012

Moments of Zen for My 90 Day Cleanse - #7

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#7
Celebrate Big Events Without A Self-Imposed Guilt Trip.

October 10 is Matt's and my wedding anniversary.  This year we celebrated three wonderful years of (mostly) joyful matrimony.  I told myself that for the one evening we chose to celebrate, I would make peace with my conscious decision over unhealthy food and drink and then move right along without waking up the next day burdened by a self-imposed guilt trip.  I tend to be incredibly hard on myself about these things.  I think we all know that by now.

So on the evening of 10/10/12, Matt and I delighted in a bottle of champagne and toasted to another fabulous three years together.  After that, we'll reevaluate and see if we want to keep going.


Cheers!





10.18.2012

Moments of Zen for My 90 Day Cleanse - #6

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#6

Eat more fish.

Look.  I'll be straight up honest with y'all.  I don't like cooked fish.  I don't like eating it.  I don't like the texture of it.  I hate cooking it because it is either overdone and dry or undercooked and creepily nothing like good sushi.  And don't get me started on the micro bones that show up on the second to last bite and ruin the whole meal.

BUT... I know fish is good for me.  I know fish is a stockpiled haven of healthy Omega-3 oils.  I know it is a solid source of lean protein.  So every now and then I bite the bone and cook fish at home.

What helps is having a fabulously easy recipe on hand to assure that my fish experience is not soiled by bad flavor.  Here is how my most recent fish experience panned out...

Lemon Baked Cod (adapted from original recipe HERE)

1 lb wild-caught cod fish fillets
1/4 cup grass-fed Kerrygold butter (or Grassfed Organic Ghee if you are currently on a Whole30)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup almond meal/almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika + additional for flavor
fresh ground black pepper

Set the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt the butter/ghee and mix together with lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.  In another bowl of similar size, blend the almond meal, salt, paprika, and pepper until evenly combined.  Rinse and thoroughly dry each fish fillet.  One at a time, dip the fillets into the lemon butter then place in the almond mixture bowl and coat the fillet completely with the seasoned almond flour mixture.  Really use hands and fingers to sprinkle and place the flour onto the fish.  Place each fillet into an ungreased baking dish and slowly pour remaining lemon butter over the fish, being careful to not disturb the flour coating.  Sprinkle with additional paprika.  Cook uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

I also tried this recipe using an egg to hold the batter and then double dipping into the lemon juice after being coated.  Don't do that.  Just ignore the egg bowl in the picture below.


I happened to have a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme that I placed on top of each fillet during cooking.  Nice addition if you have it, not necessary if you don't.


Serve the cod with a few slices of lemon and a crisp carrot salad.  


Overall, I wasn't too grossed out.  This is about the only fish recipe I will use in our house.  My first attempt at this recipe was with a different flavor back in April.  To keep it interesting, I will continue to change up the seasoning blends and may even get a 4th fishy meal in before the end of the year.  Maybe.





10.16.2012

Moments of Zen For My 90 Day Cleanse - #5

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#5

Have plenty of protein "at the ready".

Matt and I like to defrost a mountain of meat on one day of the week and grill, grill, grill until the refrigerator is stocked full of meats for quick eats.  Matt has plenty of chicken for lunch and I have chicken and grass-fed hamburger patties ready for breakfasts, lunch, or snacks.  No effort in defrosting.  Fun times with sampling different Penzeys seasoning blends.  And less than 30 minutes of grilling time.  A little manual effort and we're set with meat for a week!  No excuses for crummy habits when we're locked and loaded with a hearty arsenal of protein.


Some of our favorite Penzeys blends for the grill?

Fox Point
Herbes de Provence
Turkish Seasoning
BBQ 3000




10.13.2012

Moments of Zen For My 90 Day Cleanse - #4

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#4

Nap.

Dogs and cats have the right idea.  Nap it out.  When I'm tired, it means I need more sleep - NOT more caffeine.  Not 5-Hour Energy.  Just good hearty sleep.  I like to take the advice of Volt, who seems to have perfected the concept, and find a comfortable spot to allow my body and brain some down time to recuperate and re-energize.



Want more deets around the benefits of napping?  Check out this article: Unleash The Power of The Nap.  For an even more in-depth understanding of how and when to make nice with the Zzzzz Monster, have a peeksie at this graphic from The Boston Globe:


(click to enlarge)
Image source: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/naps/






10.11.2012

Moments of Zen For My 90 Day Cleanse - #3

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#3

Have plenty of vegetables "at the ready".

215 in³ of cabbage to be specific.  I cored and shredded two heads of cabbage.  I heated two tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  I wilted and stirred that cabbage around in the hot coconut oil, adding a healthy sprinkling of Penzeys Turkish Seasoning halfway through cooking.  Then I piled all the brightly colored tastiness into a large container to keep in the fridge.  Now I have a prepared nutrient-dense veggie option to grab as a side to any meal or when I am just feeling munchy for crunchy.







10.09.2012

Moments of Zen For My 90 Day Cleanse - #2

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#2

Eat sage chips.

I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil over low heat in a large skillet.  I washed and completely dried a large handful of sage leaves and carefully placed them in the warm oil.  Once they started to crisp and turn a bright green (20 - 30 seconds), I flipped each leaf for a few more seconds and then placed them on a paper towel.
 

Sprinkled with a little sea salt and voilĂ ... crazy tasty and super healthy chips!

  


10.06.2012

Moments of Zen For My 90 Day Cleanse - #1

What better way to spend Q4 than focusing completely on the health of mind and body?  It has been a rough ride this year and Matt and I have agreed to spend the months of October, November, and December focusing on eating right, clearing our brains of toxic blahs, and exercising together.  Every few days throughout the 90, I will post individual bits of bodhi that I am using to help clear my head, my heart, and my body.
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#1

Clear the clutter.  It is much easier to concentrate when I am not surrounded by clutter.  Clearing clutter opens the mind.

What I like to think of as "easy access to all my beauty needs"...


became something Matt didn't mind encountering during his early morning visit to use the facilities.


What I like to consider an efficient approach to putting on my shoes in said facilities (what the heck?  I'm already sitting, right?!)...


became more laundry.  But at least my shoes made it to the closet.


What I like to believe is my multi-tasking arena for writing, working, reading, and eating...


pleasantly returned to dinner table status.


Even the dogs got on board and gathered all their toys into one place.






10.04.2012

Dining Out Paleo: Fresco II

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo 
 
Every Thursday I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to my Paleo lifestyle, opting for the freshest and most nutrient dense foods while avoiding grains, sugars, dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.  

This particular day started with the dogs, Matt, and I joining the Antelope Valley masses as space shuttle Endeavour departed from Edwards Air Force Base on the back of a 747 and made its final tour around the skies of California.  
 

 

Apparently standing on one's roof offered a much closer view and the possible hope of high-fiving a pilot?



After the cheers and the waving of good-byes, Matt went off to work and the pups and I tended to things around the house... like getting ready for a lunch date with my mother-in-law at Fresco II in Palmdale.

Fresco II is a Mediterranean restaurant with a vast selection of vegetable and meat dishes from which to choose.  There are also plenty of pasta, pizza, and sandwich options for friends who may not necessarily subscribe to the same eating habits.  My mother-in-law and I were immediately seated at a comfortable table, brightly illuminated by the natural sunlight coming in from all the windows.  We made our way into the low table and easy chairs and casually scanned the menu for what we wanted to eat.



I sipped on my cucumber-infused water and ordered the Grilled Chicken and Avocado salad.   A nice mix of vegetables, protein, and fats:  baby greens, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, avocado, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and grilled chicken.



The salad was HUGE!  I love ordering salads and suggesting salads to Paleo friends because they are so easy to customize and tweak.  Lately I've been leaving the cheese on, but when I'm being more strict opt to 86 the cheese.  Unless it is a special goat cheese or feta, I have yet to come across a cheese that I absolutely can't live without. 

My mother-in-law ordered the Mediterranean Chopped salad: a mountain of lettuce, tomatoes, basil, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, onions, olives, pine nuts, mozzarella and feta cheeses, and chicken.  


Dressing is available on the side and even though my salad was tossed with it directly, it was light and just barely distinguishable.  I appreciate getting to the bottom of my plate and not seeing a small pooled collection of dressing and salad refuse.  My mother-in-law easily packed half of her salad to take home for lunch on Friday, though it could have probably been split AGAIN for Friday's lunch and a dinner side salad.  Prices are a little on the high side, but the meals are sizable enough to split or to take home for later eatin's.

The dinner menu is enticing and one I want to come back for... oven roasted chicken, lamb chops, or salmon and vegetables to name a few.  Plenty to choose from and all selections I would be thrilled to try.  So glad Fresco II is in the Antelope Valley, especially when I have to have the big salad.



10.03.2012

Garden School Part II

Last Saturday was my second day in Garden School.  We covered a range of topics from bug management to espalier trees to bees and even an in-depth conversation about composting composition.


In my desperate quest to rid my garden of those gnarly tobacco hornworms, I was informed that a tuna can with beer placed at the base of the plant is a solution worth trying.  Duly noted because seeing these guys makes me want to throw up a little bit.


After much learning and discussion, it was playtime in the garden!  I learned how to prune a tomato bush, clearing away the suckers and leaving the fruiting stems.


We sampled a fresh bite of arugula.  It's a vegetable.  A bold peppery vegetable at that!


And each student was given a handful of sage and lemon thyme to take home.


Trouble with your squash plants not producing?  Try a little plant artificial insemination.


When it was time to go back inside for more discussion around watering and garden water needs, we were all treated to homemade tomato focaccia with tomatoes from right out of the garden.  This girl is certainly getting her money's worth.


Looking forward to next week for the last class of the series!