What I’m Built For

  
I was built for the dark times. 

I find great beauty in the moments most people sleep away. 

I find motivation and drive in the dark moments most people turn from. 

I find purpose in exposing the deep meaning and sense the dark times hold. 

I was built for the dark times.

The Death of the Quiet Professional

A wonderful must read.

findingvalhalla

I was raisedon the belief that “if you have to tell someone how good you are, you’re probably not that good.”

Go ahead and read that a couple more times and let it soak in.

If you are a veteran prone to what I like to call IVS, also knownas irritable veteran syndrome, you might just want to stop reading now. You will undoubtedly be butt hurt by the time I finish.

I am going to start with the old saying “if the shoe fits” and you can decide if I am out of line, dead wrong, or speaking about a truth we have lost sight of. I will be completely honest. I am ashamed of the veteran community as a whole when it comes to how we have been behaving. In the age of social media I cannot go throughthe day without seeing a viral picture or video passed…

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100 Mile Party – Fitness on Road Trips 

I love to drive places and I do it often.  At least once a month I haul a few hundred miles to Atlanta for the Navy.  I have been known to drive twelve hours each way to a race without thinking twice.

Driving makes me happy.  This is for a few reasons.  1) I hate flying.  It is a hassle and I have an irrational fear and deep control issues.  2) I love the adventures I have while driving.  3) I have a tradition called the 100 mile party.  This tradition helps break up my drive and encourages me to get some fitness squished in where ever possible.
So let me tell you about the 100 mile party.  It was born out of driving from Ohio to Florida with two small kids.  It’s hard to do and we needed to not be miserable during the drive.  So we carefully monitored the odometer and every 100 miles we stopped at the nearest rest area or exit area.  The kids got to pick a physical activity – play on the playground, run circles around the building, whatever, and one treat from the gas station or vending machine. It broke up the drive and it was really fun.  The kids loved keeping track of the miles and knowing there was a goal to be reached.

I decided to keep up this tradition, even when I drive alone. Every 100 miles I stop and do some form of physical activity and usually find a GeoCache.  I have done everything from burpees to yoga to run up and down hills.  I normally get strange looks, occasionally get quizzed by officers, and I always have fun.

Push Up Challenge in a Georgia rest stop.
Push Up Challenge in a Georgia rest stop.

This is just one idea to add more fitness to your life, be more safe while driving (getting tired behind the wheel is  DANGEROUS) and make a boring drive much much better.

Go Forth and Be Epic, my friends!!!!

Quick Tip For The Day – Smoothie Prep and Yoga Pose

I love fresh and organic food.  I love saving money by buying in bulk.  I love the co-op I belong to who always delivers a crud ton of greens.  I get really annoyed when I don’t eat my food fast enough and it goes bad.  (Insert moment of guilt for my first world gripe)

I only make one or two smoothies a day, I travel a lot, food tends to go bad quickly for me, but I love to save money buying large amounts from local sources.  This really applies to greens.  They are great in smoothies but I hate when they get all slimy.  I had a huge tub of mixed greens that I didn’t want to waste, so after a quick google search I blended them up and froze them.  Success!  I highly recommend it to save time and money!

Thank you to Green Thickies for pointing me in the right direction.  I did not follow their directions to the letter….I just kept stuffing greens in the blender, adding a cup of water, blending, and then repeating until I had no more greens.  Poured in a muffin tin, froze for two days (I totally forgot about them prior to a short trip) and then popped them out and put them in freezer bags.  EASY PEASY!  I tried one this morning with my strawberry banana concoction (I am so bad at following actual recipes) and it worked like a dream and even helped thicken up the mix a bit.

VISUAL PROOF OF SUCCESS

Smoothie Muffins!
Smoothie Muffins!

On a separate note, this week’s yoga pose takes us back to the basics – Downward Facing Dog.  Here is what I look like one day one.  I’ve already done some reading on how to correct my form and I look forward to developing this week.  My personal goal is to get my heels down without losing form.  Check back in a week for my Yoga Pose of the Week summary!

Start of the Week
Start of the Week Progress Photo

The Wild Diet Book Review

Let me start this by saying when I hear the word diet, I have a visceral, horrible reaction. When someone says “I am starting a diet”, I have to stop myself from grabbing them by the shoulders, shaking them, and yelling “THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS!  THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS!”  I am a pontificator of the idea that how you eat is part of who you are.  It is a lifestyle.  So the idea of following something as temporary as a ‘diet’ makes me want to scream.  I am also an even larger pontificator of the mental health aspect of eating.  Good food not only makes your body go, GOOD food makes your brain happy.  Limiting what you eat to extremes will make your mind, body, and soul suffer.

So, when one of my favorite Podcasters, Abel James (aka The Fat Burning Man), started talking about his book, The Wild Diet, part of me threw up in my mouth a little.  I will now admit that this was a misplaced and incorrect reaction – The Wild Diet is a book about how to live a healthy lifestyle.  It isn’t just a “here is a completely unsustainable way to drop 10 pounds, all why hating your life and looking and feeling like crap.  Skinny crap, though, so it’s all good.” type diet.  It is a book about how to develop a healthy lifestyle.  You can take the tips and recipes in this book and meld them into your daily life in a pleasing, appetizing and damn tasty way.  So let’s delve in a little.

The first part of the book delves into why our current cultural acceptance of what healthy is (but they are LOW FAT Oreos, so it’s cool!) is slowly killing us.  The lack of fat and natural, real food, is making us sluggish, tired, and down right sick.  The core message – eat real food.  Bravo, Fat Burning Man.  You have fully focused my attention span (usually the span is no longer than that of a cranky two year olds, but I made it through a whole chapter!).

Part two and three get into the science and mechanics behind why we need to eat natural, move natural, get outside, and freaking get back to nature – in other words, BE WILD.  He also touches on something near and dear to my heart – he has a section discussing how all this applies to men and, gasp, how it separately applies to women.  Our bodies are different.  I find too often that for whatever reason, probably fear of the backlash of daring to say men and women are different, these differences are not acknowledged.  This book doesn’t play that game.  Bravo.

Now we get to the fun stuff – the recipes in the book.  I’ve been on a clean eating kick for a while now, but it is usually pretty unstructured and hey, this looks good, sort of cooking.  I lacked some variety and spice and these recipes really helped with that.  A highlight for me was the list of Wild Diet Staples.  I am a very busy person (*pats self on back) and this list is something I have gone to at least three times in the last two weeks, when I didn’t have time to sit down and make a recipe based shopping list.

The recipes are pretty simple and fun to make (I LOVE TO COOK!).  Probably the biggest change for me is that I have started drinking coffee.  I have, for a while now, been a lover of energy shots.  I thought coffee tasted gross, and tea was just too much effort some days.  But I know the energy shot habit is bad and the book gave me a kick in the butt to fix the bad.  I went full out.  French press, grinder, milk frother, and whole beans (sorry, haven’t gone the point of roasting my own beans yet, but I do have a roaster saved in my Amazon shopping cart).   I have been using MCT oil for a while now so I already had that on hand, but I picked up a huge jar of Ghee.  I now have coffee every morning.  It is a great dose of healthy fats, good caffeine, and is frankly tasty.  (To give you a feel of how much I didn’t drink coffee before – I lived in Seattle for ten years and I never bought nor drank a single cup of coffee, in any form, from Starbucks.  It’s part of the reason I’m not there anymore….the locals were threatening me with pitchforks).

Look At Me!  Frothing Coffee!!!
Look At Me! Frothing Coffee!!!

The food recipes are great and inspiring.  I have come to appreciate the flat out taste difference between grass fed beef and the red slime beef.  I appreciate how many different ways I can season nuts and seeds (which I’ve even started sprouting myself!).  I stop in the store and read every label and think, do I really know what these ingredients are?  Avocado is put on things I never imagined.  Most recipes are uncomplicated and very easy to make, with a few saucier ones thrown in there for when I’m feeling jazzy.

This week I have been seen walking in my neighborhood, fatty coffee in one hand, cookie in the other (I know, cookies for breakfast…), getting my fifteen minutes of morning sun.  All gained from this book.  I am no physical or mental specimen.  I have room to grow.  I occasionally drink a soda pop or eat a dorito, but Abel has made me wake up a little bit more with this book.  I am just someone looking to better myself every. damn. day.  This book is helping me in this journey.  It is well worth the read to gain more knowledge, add some good recipes to your repertoire, and make food part of your lifestyle.

Bottom line – The Wild Diet is not a diet.  It is a great new tool for your “I want to be a healthy badass” toolbox.  Check it out for sure.

Cookies, Two Ways (His Look So Much Prettier Than Mine)
Cookies, Two Ways (His Look So Much Prettier Than Mine)

Who Am I?

I have been pondering a blog post about who I am and why I think my blog is worthwhile (aka – answer the question why the heck should I listen to you?).

The writing prompt from WordPress today nudged me in the direction I needed.  The prompt today is “The Satisfaction of a List:  Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.”

So here is a spin on my biography.  Theses are the things that make me who I am, in list form…..

Wait – before you read the list – it is surprisingly hard to summarize your self in a list…try it.  It is fascinating.

  • Friend to a Few
  • Acquaintance to a Ton
  • Fighter for Love
  • Dreamer
  • Adopted Daughter
  • Food Lover
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Yoga Practicer (Different from a practitioner….I am not quite at that level yet)
  • Rucker
  • Writer
  • Outside Player
  • Ex-Wife
  • Busy Brain
  • Constant Seeker of Knowledge
  • Motivator
  • Sometimes a Failure
  • Always a Rebounder
  • Reader
  • Binge TV watcher
  • Lover of the Outdoors
  • Naval Officer
  • Cook
  • Attorney
  • Clean Eating Fanatic
  • Adventurer
  • Fearer of Boredom
  • Challenge Accepter
  • TED Talk Obsessor
  • Lover of Random, Useless Knowledge
  • Tutor
  • Want to Be Mother (there are at least two people in my life who are losing their minds if they read this – chillax….)

I am almost positive that I will be updating this list as time goes on.

You can check out the WordPress daily challenge page here:  The Satisfaction of a List

“Spirited Debate”

WordPress gives this prompt today – “It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Vehemently Disagree!  We should always be looking to grow and develop.  You can only do this if you push a little past your comfort zone.

My time is precious to me.  I like to enjoy every moment I live.  I love thinking about and discussing politics and religion.  I love meeting new people.  I love to easily tell if I want to continue to spend time with the new people I meet.  A very quick way to figure this out is to discuss politics and/or religion, preferably with people who don’t agree with me.  It is a great way to be challenged, hopefully learn something new, and get to know someone.  Even when it raises to level of a yelling match, it just means passions have been ignited and as long as you are friendly at the end, why not enjoy a nice dose of spirited debate.

The whole idea of off limit topics is baffling to me.  Push yourself. Push others.  Stay civil and kind, but always look to grow.  If you take permanent offense to my spirited debate, I most likely have no desire to get to know you any better.

You can see all the blogs participating by clicking on this link – Polite Company