Burn Out

My first day in insurance marketing and my last

My first day in insurance marketing and my last

The last few months I have not been living, I’ve been surviving. That hasn’t been a great feeling. I was pushing myself harder than I’ve ever pushed myself before and really and truly I still feel like I wish I could have done better or more. I was trying to do my best but honestly, I’m not 100% sure my best was even possible. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want that, though.

In August of 2013, I took a job in “Marketing.” It had been a year since Wyoming with the Dudes and horses. I was desperate for full-time employment and was applying for any job that I could. I was called in by a nice-sounding man who wanted to interview me and I went in, like I always did for interviews –  really nervous. We talked for a bit, and he told me that his background was in creative work, too and that I would be able to use those skills every day in the role I would be taking. The office was minimally furnished and there were three people working on the phones, asking for Social Security numbers and phone numbers and stuff. I just wasn’t sure what I was looking at. After being “persistent to the point of pushy” I got a second interview and a job offer. The man told me that I would be able to make a six figure income in four years based on getting contracts (whatever those were- I had no idea. He told me I would be using my creativity, so I didn’t care.) I accepted. I had no idea I was signing myself up to work in Telemarketing and Recruiting for the insurance business.

When I walked into my first day, I was still very confused, and I was told I needed to start listening to everyone else in the office to understand what I would be doing. By day three they wanted me on the phone calling agents. I didn’t know the first thing about insurance, any of it really. The first day I was so overwhelmed and caught in information overload, that I passed out as soon as I got home and slept until my alarm went off the next morning. Already in the first week, I was in tears almost every day.  I felt so out of my element and I was NOT using any of my creative skills. I felt stupid and frustrated and completely in over my head. The people at this office weren’t super friendly and I got the impression that I was supposed to sink or swim – and I had bricks tied to my ankles.

The guy that hired me turned out to be a little up and down and called me out a lot. He was pushing me and telling me that I needed to be more aggressive and at one point, he even called me a pansy.

I. HATED. IT. SO. MUCH!!!

I wanted to quit but I needed work. The work I was doing was so exhausting even though it was not physically taxing because I was doing so many things every day that were against my nature. My expectations were to call 100 insurance agents every day and within those 100 calls, I was supposed to get them to give me their email addresses so that I could send them information on the different products. I was supposed to get out info to at least 10 people on at least 2 products each. Then eventually, start closing 2 contracts a day.

Well… That didn’t work. I was terrible at it. I was not reeling in very many contracts, the insurance agents did not want to hear from me for the most part, and I was feeling like an asshole for the most part. I will say this; there were good moments. I developed relationships with several of my agents and providing good quality customer service was always the best part of my job.

The environment in the office was tense and hostile. I had never experienced anything like that before. People were suspicious of every one else, and gossiped like crazy. I’m ashamed to say that I actually participated in the gossip some times. Gossip is poisonous like that. It makes you feel like you’re connecting to the people that you are talking to, but at what expense? I realized pretty quickly on that I was not safe by participating in this behavior because everyone was gossiping about me too.

The manager that hired me ended up being relocated and the man who started the business ended up taking over the management side of the business. He was a lot nicer and easier to work for. Things improved, but I still hated the work and the environment in the office.

After many discussions and conferences, the new boss could tell how unhappy and unconfident I was in my work and slowly started to get me into a new role, which was a lot better and it got me off the phone. The problem was the way the pay system was designed. I would never make any money on base pay. It’s minimal and it’s set that way to encourage people to make commission. After a year of trying my commissions were abysmal.  If you don’t reach a certain point, you don’t actually see your commission. It’s a pretty common practice in commission-level jobs. This system really does work if you are good at that kind of job. People make a LOT of money in this industry. I just wasn’t one of them.

Anyway, this background info is going on a lot longer than I anticipated. Sorry about that followers! The long and the short of it was that I was not making very much money. And it was a struggle to make rent and pay bills.

I was told at some point we would renegotiate my salary but that I would have to make do for now.

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Only on my lunch break and so tired I needed to take a nap in my car

I was miserable. About halfway through working in this organization, I started living a Paleo lifestyle and that made a huge difference in my energy levels and general sense of being. After getting so sick, due to the stress of my job and poor nutrition and exercise, this was a huge step in the right direction. I started losing fat and that made me feel a lot better. At least I was taking control over something with which I could actually make positive changes.

That satiated me for a while. In a moment of desperation over a glass of wine one night last November, I emailed everyone from Facebook that I knew who seemed like they had a job that they enjoyed and asked them to critique my resume just so that I could get as many opinions as possible before I started really sending it out to potential employers. As fate would have it, one of these friends ended up having a position available for a person of my skill set and desperately needing help. The company she works for is called Jax and Bones.

They were creating a new position. They needed someone to handle social media as well as do some web maintenance, but they wanted to see how the position would evolve by using my strengths and helping them with my photography. They wanted to start out with very limited part time hours and build up over time. This meant that I would have to keep working for the insurance marketing company while also putting in as many hours as I could doing social media for Jax and Bones. I took the position and knew that the next few months would be tough. And boy howdy they were. As it turns out, living a dual life is very exhausting. As much as I loved what I was doing for Jax and Bones, I hated feeling like I was keeping something from my full-time boss and I was super distracted when I was in the office.

I was so stressed out all the time and as a result, my nutritional habits went by the way-side. I was eating things like donuts, mac and cheese and biscuits and drinking decaf coffee like a madwoman. I felt terrible. Not only were these foods making me feel physically ill but I also felt guilty and regretful.

Then the day came where I could finally quit my full time job. Jax and Bones increased my hours and I was offered another part time job on my own terms at an insurance agent’s office and the environment seemed so much better.

I’m a week into my new schedule and I feel so great about not being at the other marketing place. My financial situation is going to improve dramatically I think. I’m doing something that I’m super passionate about. I get to work for an amazing company photographing dogs and creating posts for social media.

The only hitch is that I think that everything it took for me to get to this place put me in severe, clinical burn-out. I find myself sleeping a lot, and not wanting to cook or do much of anything. Sometimes I don’t even feel like eating at all. I’m trying to get back into the groove of healthy eating, but sweets are calling my name. Sometimes I indulge, and other times I find strength within not to.

When I first decided to live a paleo lifestyle, the decision to eat good things was really easy. I gave myself the choice any time I felt like I was given the opportunity to “cheat” or whatever you want to call it. I would look at the situation and ask myself “Do I want to feel the small satisfaction for a temporary time period- seconds or minutes – or do I want to CHOOSE to love myself, instead? And lately that decision hasn’t been so cut and dry. I’m trying to rediscover my passion for myself and living that healthy lifestyle. I know I need to give myself some time to recover from two very extreme and stressful years. But I also know that I want to live my life the way I want to live it. I don’t want to just survive. I want to live and I want to THRIVE. I want to be happy and feel in love with the things that I do.

I will get back to that place. I loved feeling so much healthier. Unfortunately, I’ve gained about 20-30 pounds since January. I don’t want this to be the direction I drift into once more. I want to take control like I once did, so enthusiastically and with no looking back.

It’s been a while since I posted, so I wanted to update what’s been going on. It hasn’t been unicorn kisses and rainbows, but I’m finally in a place where I feel like things are going to be a LOT better. And they already are better. I just want to make sure I’m taking responsibility for my health and don’t allow myself to get into that place of burn out ever again. I know now that I’m not cut out for it.

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Holidays and efforts to sleep

It’s that time of year… New Year’s Resolution time. And I’m honestly not a fan of that terminology, but I am a fan of new beginings and taking opportunity and momentum when you can grab it. Last year I wrote down a list of goals to work on, based on different categories: Exercise, Nutrition and health, work and finances, relationships and spirituality/mind. While my work and finances goals didn’t really pan out as anticipated (though I made SOME progress in certain financial aspects… hey… I’ll take it) most of the other areas got a lot of love and I made a lot of headway.

Since going paleo in late April, I have lost 45 pounds and that feels like a monumental success. It’s given me a great start to 2015, andI look a lot healthier in my family Christmas photos than I did last year

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kidsAs a side note, can we acknowledge that my preference for red flannel hasn’t changed in approximately 18 years? Just sayin. My family does the annual “cousin” photo and I love to see the comparisons.  We’ve all come a long way and I think it’s great.

So for 2015, several things are standing out that I really want to make some strides in because I think it will really help improve my quality of life.

I’ve been listening to the Robb Wolf podcast like crazy lately, and recently he had some visitors that discussed “The Sitting Solution.” This was pretty eye opening, as I work a desk job 40 hours per week so I’m sitting almost the entire time I’m there. Additionally I have a 30 minute drive each way, so that’s another 10 hours of sitting. Our ancestors simply did not, and COULD NOT, do this. We had to be up and moving to hunt and gather because life depended upon it. Now our hunting and gathering is done at the grocery store down the street and meals are consumed in front of binge-watching Netflix marathons. And I mean… don’t get me wrong, now that Friends is on Netflix, you KNOW I’ve been all over that, especially since I live alone. Anyway, the moral of the story is that sitting so much is bad for me. And I want to get better at taking standing and walking breaks to help engage my hip flexors during my waking hours.

Also, another area I need significant improvement on is consistently getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, if not a little more than. I think my body does a bit better in the 9 hour range. This means I have to go to bed earlier which is something I’m just not very good at doing. My evenings are my social time, but more than that, it’s when I do crossfit, and since I’m trying to start a new business, it’s also when I work on projects for that. So going to bed at 9:30, although this sounds absurd and I hate the idea is something I need to work on.

And emotionally speaking, after rereading The Four Agreements, I’ve realized I want to quit engaging in office gossip. It’s not good for anyone involved, and I’m tired of the negativity that results from it. I want to think my efforts to be informed of what’s going on with everyone comes from a good place, but I think it would be better if I tried to just operate on a one-on-one level from now on and use integrity when I’m speaking about someone or to someone. We are the only animals on this earth capable of spoken communication and it’s a shame that we use this super-power for bad instead of good.

So more paleo goodies to come in the New Year. I’m pretty sure I’m a lifer at this point, even if my busy schedule doesn’t support me updating my blog as often as I would like.

Jicama Beef Nachos

It’s been way too long to go without posting.  I assure you I’ve been cooking and being paleo and I’ve been doing FABULOUSLY!  The only thing is, with all the wonderment that’s happening in my life, it’s been super CRAZY BUSY! Taking care of yourself is a LOT of work, I must admit.  Between cooking almost all of my meals, working full time, trying to keep my business running additionally, working out, and trying to get a good nights sleep… it takes some time management skills. It’s all so good though. So far my progress has been substantial. Since May, I have lost 30 pounds and I am actually beginning to feel and look a little different… which feels nice! What do you think so far? Can you tell a difference?

The photo on the left was taken on Easter.  The one on the left was taken on Thursday (the 7th.)  My journey to health has only just begun, but it’s always nice to see progress made in the right direction!

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So on to the recipe!  I actually have a ton of photos I’ve taken of things that I’ve made, I just haven’t posted them yet.  I promise I will get them up sooner or later!

Jicama, Beef, Bacon, and Guacamole Nachos

Serves 4

So… In case you don’t know what a jicama looks like:

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They are a starchy root vegetable and they are delightful!  They have very little flavor and they are super crisp, so they are a wonderful chip substitute.  I will say that originally I was going to try making tacos out of them, but I didn’t do adequate research due to hunger so I didn’t realize the proper techniques that needed to be applied, so I just peeled the whole thing with a  sliced it as thin as I could and cut each circle into sixths.  Perfect chip form!

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Ingredients:

1 medium size jicama, peeled and sliced into chip form (using a mandolin with this would be helpful)
2 lbs of lean, grass fed ground beef (I used ground sirloin which is 90% lean)
1/2 lb of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole topping:

2 avocados
1 whole bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 a red onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Juice of 2 limes
a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered (I really am trying to cut back on nightshades because of my eczema, though… for future reference)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Process:

In a skillet, render the bacon on medium high heat.  Allow it to cook completely, then using a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces from the grease residue.  In the drippings, sauté the onion until it starts to become transparent.  Add the ground beef and brown until cooked through.  Add the garlic and the spices and let it get consistently coated.  Stir in bacon last to maintain crispiness.

For the guac, I always mush up the avocado with the lime juice first to get it mostly mashed, but with some texture still remaining.  Then I add the other ingredients and using a fork, fold everything together.  Using lots of lime juice really preserves the greenness of the avocados as well as giving it a tartness that makes me weak in the knees.

Assembly is super easy.  Just layer the jicama chips, ground beef and guac and enjoy.  I also thought as I was devouring this that it would be excellent with some carrot shavings on top.  I love anything that has that satisfying crunch.  The jicama is so wonderful in that regard though.  I hope this guy wasn’t too simple to be exciting!  The flavors were perfection!

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Most simple and delicious dip EVER

I’m SO excited about this simple recipe that I’m sharing today.  My entire family couldn’t get enough of it.  We grilled kebabs and I made this dipping sauce to go with it and it was a PERFECT match.  It also was fabulous to dip veggies in to add some healthy fats and beef them up a bit. Pro tip: slice the bottom of a cucumber off and carve out the inside to make an edible serving bowl.  Then eat it after you’re done with everything else.

Avocado and Coconut Dipping Sauce

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Ingredients

2 small avocados
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 a bunch of cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 cloves of garlic, skinned
Juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Process
Blend all that shit together in a blender (doesn’t even need to be one of the expensive kinds).  Chill it for about an hour and dip as many things as possible in it.  Hell, eat it with a spoon!  You won’t regret it.

Quick Dinner: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Paleo Beef Stew

This is such a simple dish.  It’s easy to toss together if you have the ingredients on hand.  This has been a great recovery meal for me and since it’s ready in about half an hour so it’s easy to get some fuel before that crucial hour after a workout is complete.  I absolutely LOVE brussels sprouts, so I could eat them every day.  These nutritious and funny looking little items combined with this rich stew-like beef mixture makes me so happy!

 

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Serves 2-3 depending on hunger level

Ingredients

1 lb lean grass fed ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp cayenne (optional.. adds extra heat)
1 pound brussels sprouts
Coconut oil or Bacon grease

Process:

Cut the bottom nubs off of your brussels sprouts, then cut in half, removing any extra leaves that fall off.  Once they are all halved, put them in a bowl and toss with some melted coconut oil or bacon grease, enough to coat.  Bacon and brussels sprouts KIND OF go hand in hand, but coconut oil is also very good (you can even add some bacon hunks in there too and it wouldn’t hurt it at all).  Arrange the halved brussels sprouts, flat side down, on a sheet pan sprayed down with coconut oil and put in a 375 oven.

In a heavy skillet, begin browning your beef in a little coconut oil.  Once it’s getting nice and crumbly (about 5-7 minutes), add your veggies – carrots, onion, peppers.  Cook these through (about 10-15 more minutes to make sure the carrots are nice and soft) add the garlic and let that cook for about a minute before adding tomato paste and spices.  This should get super thick.  If you want to thin it a bit, add some stock or water.  Cover and let the flavors marry for another 5-10 minutes.  Once this process is done, your brussels sprouts should be ready to come out of the oven.

Serve in bowls with brussels sprouts on top.

 

Zucchini Lasagna and Spaghetti and Meatballs

I’m not really an Italian food junkie… I mean, I love pizza and pasta, but who doesn’t?  I don’t often get crazy with this genre of food though.  A lot of men I know LOVE Italian food.  It’s a pretty typical favorite of the dudes. It’s never my immediate go-to choice, but from time to time I crave two things: lasagna and spaghetti. I’ve made both of these recipes in the past two weeks, and holy banana boat! They are both so good.  Both of them made an enormous amount, so I’ve been eating on them pretty solidly ever since.  Both of these dishes have a lot in common, so I’m just going to post both of them together.  But there are some differences in texture and flavors, so I hope you will enjoy one or both of these as much as I have.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

About 8 servings

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Ingredients:

2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1 lb ground pork (Substitute Italian sausage if you enjoy that flavor)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Vidalia onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
coconut oil approx 2 Tbsp
Salt and Pepper to taste
6-8 medium sized zucchinis, cut into noodles using a spiral slicer

Process:

This recipe requires a little forethought.  This will either need to cook overnight in a crockpot or while you’re at work during the day.

In a large skillet, melt some coconut oil.  I just put a nice big globule in there… Whatever looks right to you… Once pan is hot, add your diced onion and some salt.  Let that cook down for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and herbs.  Cook for about 2 more minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.   In a large mixing bowl, combine your meats and then add the cooked onions. And return your pan to the burner (do not rinse!)  Mix through making sure to season liberally with salt and pepper, and then add eggs. This isn’t an exact science, but I didn’t want to risk the eggs scrambling from the heat of the onions, so I added the eggs last.  Form your meat mixture into golfball sized balls.  Make sure they are packed pretty tightly or else they will come apart.

Melt a little more coconut oil in the pan and loosen any little bits that are sticking… this stuff is gold.  Add about 10 balls at a time and brown as evenly as possible all around. Once this is complete add them to your crockpot and continue working in small batches until all of the balls are browned and in the crockpot.  Make sure once your last balls are done, to scrape as much of the drippings from the pan into the crockpot as possible. All of this adds flavor. Next, empty your tomato paste and crushed tomatoes on top of your meatballs.  Turn your crockpot on low, and let this mixture cook for about 8-9 hours.  It makes your entire house smell AMAZING!  I let it cook during the day and it was an amazing thing to come home to.

The “noodles” are quick.  The spiral slicer is a fairly inexpensive little gadget that you can pick up or order online for less than 20 bucks.  It works kind of like a pencil sharpener: you just twist the zucchinis into the hole and they come out in beautiful little spirals.  I ate mine at room temp completely raw, but I’ve heard of folks taking these and baking them with some salt and they prefer that.  Plop a few of those meatballs on top and go to town.  SOOOO GOOOD!!!

 

Zucchini Lasagna

From yesterday’s post, you can see I spent some time in the garden with my sister-in-law and I had two MASSIVE zucchinis that I needed to use that I couldn’t fit into my spiral slicer. Thus, this recipe was born.

Serves 9

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Ingredients:

2 lbs grassfed ground beef
1/2 lb bacon, diced (The non-sugar variety if you can find it: Peterson’s, if you can find it)
1 large onion, diced
3 Tbsp fress rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped
1 Tbsp DRIED oregano (I prefer this mellower variety)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 small container parmesan cheese.
Salt and pepper
2 overgrown zucchinis or approximately 5 large ones from the store

Process:

Preheat your oven to 375

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Brown your ground beef in the bottom of a cast iron pot.  Once it is nice and crumbly, add your bacon and onion.  Let this cook through until your bacon is fairly well cooked. It’s not going to be crispy in this recipe, so just be mindful of that.  Once the meat is cooked through, add tomato paste and mix it around to let it mingle together.  Then add your crushed tomatoes and herbs.  Give it a good stir and then leave it simmering, with the pot-cover askew to allow ventilation for about 30-45 minutes. I went and took a bath while I was waiting.  It was lovely.

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Slice your zucchinis into very thin slices. Spray a large casserole dish with coconut oil and place your zucchini slices very closely together, slightly overlapping.

Then layer the sauces and zucchini slices.  I had enough sauce and zucchini for 3 layers of zucchini and sauce, alternating.  I topped the whole thing with a thin layer of pungent parmesan cheese (you don’t need much of that stuff to get the flavor)

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Bake the dish at 375 for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese on top is nice an bubbly.  This makes a ton of lasagna so I froze a ton of portions to have throughout the next couple of weeks.  The sauce is so good you can eat it like soup.  I’m extremely pleased with the outcome of this dish.

A morning in the Garden

Sunday was such an amazing day.  I went down to St. Simon’s Island to visit my brother and his wife.  My sweet sister-in-law, Melanie took me to the kitchen garden she works in from time to time and I got to experience so many beautiful things blooming and fruiting.  We harvested 34 pounds of produce.  There are few things more rewarding than getting to pick a ripe fruit or vegetable right off the plant it grew on.

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I can’t remember what this is called but it’s some sort of Chinese herb.  It smells and tastes similar to basil but it’s ENORMOUS.

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Growing bell peppers

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Anne harvesting strawberries

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Melanie and Anne

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2 lbs of strawberries

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Garlic and Onions curing in the green house

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Artichokes.  Not quite ready yet (I don’t think…??)  I love how they bloom!

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Cosmos

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Squash and cucumbers

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Love how the heads of these are so round and full.

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Dune sunflowers.  Native to Saint Simons Island and they thrive there.  I love them.

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Gladeolas with the dune sunflower that actually cross-pollenated with big sunflowers and created a huge hybrid of the two.

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6 lbs of tomatoes

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Red noodle beans look like red dreadlocks

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These little yellow tomatoes taste like candy.  Holy cow.

 

Progress and Goals

So, I’m pretty excited that this little blog, as new as it is, is actually getting some attention from people I didn’t know existed before this whole thing started. It’s a small following at this point, but none-the-less it makes me super happy! Thanks so much for clicking the “follow” button! I’m humbled!

Pardon my growing pains… I’m still trying to get into a routine with this blog. But I wanted to note that I plan on this being a significant part of my life, whether it gains a following or not. I know initially at least, I didn’t really have a direction to go in, so a few things don’t particularly mesh with the Paleo lifestyle. But I want to leave those posts there because they are still a part of my evolution into this way of life. I also don’t want this to become a source for stress, so I’m trying not to give myself deadlines and quotas to meet. However I do want to make sure I’m putting out my thoughts and motives on a consistent basis to hold myself accountable and also to entertain and inspire those who have decided to follow!

So I’ll say this. I want to make sure that the photographs that I post on this blog are professional. My concentration during photography school was food photography, and I was never able to pursue it in the way I truly wanted to, so that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start this project. I’m constantly taking photos of table-scapes and dishes with my iPhone, but I try to keep those limited to my Instagram, and maybe one day in the future I will decide to go in a different direction there… but… I, like most millennials, am guilty of posting an AWFUL picture of a beautiful plate of food from time to time. I want to ensure that this isn’t the case with this particular forum. So that’s basically been my holdup. I also know that crazy-wordy posts (like this one is turning out to be) don’t really garner a lot of popularity. Photos are where it’s at.

In light of this, I want to express a couple of my goals. First of all, I want to become more consistent with photographing the food that I prepare. Part of the issue here is that sometimes I feel a little insecure: “Oh this isn’t interesting enough… People have seen something like this before…” I’m experimenting a lot with flavors, and since I work full time in addition to having my own business, my free time is pretty minimal. Usually, my meals are prepared fairly quickly and then I usually move on to the next task pretty rapidly. I’m doing a lot better about making sure that I don’t scarf things down without appreciating what it took to grow and create the dish, but I don’t always take the time to make my meals beautiful and nutritious. And the last thing I want is a blog full of ugly photos… As I mentioned previously.

Secondly, I want to expand my content to discuss other things happening. I don’t want to inundate you with 12-page manifestos about why I hate something, though. This is a place for positive thoughts and inspirational material.

Onto the cool stuff…

I am feeling AWESOME lately. This week is the 6th week I’ve been eating paleo meals. The first couple of weeks I found myself craving sugar. I was eating a lot of fruit, and that was helping a little, but I decided to cut the fruit for a while and I’ve been doing pretty well with that. And I’ve noticed just this week that my appetite has significantly decreased. I don’t know if that’s because my body is feeling more satisfied with the fuel I’m giving it or if my insulin has started to regulate… I’m not sure. Probably both of those things and more… I used to get shaky if I hadn’t eaten for a few hours, sometimes to the point where I felt like I was going to pass out, but I haven’t felt that way in a long time.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and I received some great news. I have lost 12 pounds in these 5 ½ weeks. My doctor had a pretty funny reaction, “How did you do this?” was the first thing that came out of his mouth when he looked at my chart. We discussed what I have been doing and how I’m feeling about it. He is giving me great support, without being too suffocating which is an unexpected surprise from a medical professional in my personal experience, and I’m super grateful for it. I also gave him the link to this blog (Hi, Dr. G., if you’re reading this!) He told me I should be sharing what I’m doing with others. Ideally speaking, I hope and pray that this will become a source of inspiration to myself and others. If I can help someone else by sharing what I’m going through? That would be icing on the cake (maybe I should come up with a better, more paleo cliché than cake…)

So, full steam ahead! I’m loving how I’m feeling! I’m loving that I’m feeling motivated to return to Crossfit Pisgah and do some lifting. It’s been so great so far in the couple of weeks I’ve been back at it. I’ve really missed the community, and have been welcomed back with open arms from people who are working out and the coaches. I’m taking it a little on the easy side. I really don’t want another injury. It’s a bit foreign for me to say no, but I need to be VERY in tune with my body and what it’s ready for. I’m supplementing with lots of stretching, walking and yoga. My goal is sustainability, not beating myself into submission. This approach, in all respects, seems to be working!

Breakfast Egg Salad

Am I the only one out there who has a hard time getting up in the morning?  Yeah… that’s what I thought.  Haha. So on Sundays one of my favorite things to do is to make my lunches for the week.  Sometimes I get up just as early as I normally do and go all out in prepping all kinds of goodies.  My inner Martha Stewart kicks in when I start putting them in containers.  Such a zen practice.  I’ll admit I usually lose steam around noon, but by that time I usually have at least a great start and am able to finish everything and clean up.

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However, breakfast has been an issue lately.  I made some lovely Chia Pudding cups last week, but after doing more research, I’m wanting to tone down fruit consumption for a while.  This won’t be permanent. Definitely not.  I just think my body’s in transition and I need to make sure that everything I’m giving it for a bit is totally fuel and there’s no confusion on what to do once there’s food in my system. So that means I really want to focus on getting protein and fats for breakfast.  A friend of mine recommended preparing hard boiled eggs since I have such difficulties dragging my ass out of bed in time to shower and leave before 7:30 with matching shoes.

That’s when I had the idea for this AWESOME breakfast egg salad. Bonus, I looked up how to steam the eggs, and this makes them super ridiculously easy to peel.  That made me so happy. It’s the little things, people.

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Ingredients

6 eggs
1/2 bunch of cilantro
3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife to remove skin and crush slightly.
6 strips of thick cut applewood smoked bacon
1 avocado, diced
1 lime, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Process

Place the bacon on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes, remove from oven, flip the pieces over and then add the garlic to the sheet pan where the drippings are heavy. Return to oven until done, about 5 more minutes.  Careful!  Don’t burn!  Set aside to cool.  Chop the roasted garlic into pieces and let it soak in the lime juice.  ( I don’t know if this part is necessary, but I thought it sounded like a good idea… Whatever…)

In a large pot, boil about an 1 1/2 inches of water and place a steamer basket on top of the water.  Put the eggs in the basket, and cover and let steam for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and run cold water over the eggs to cool.

Chop bacon into pieces and put in a bowl with avocado and lime juice and garlic.

Peel eggs, cut into quarters and add to the bowl.  Mix together with salt and pepper to taste. I’m hoping this will last me about 3 days.

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