Checking In

It’s been nearly a year and a half since I posted here. I can’t bear to delete the blog though because it’s such a tender reminder of Aurelia’s early years, building our home, and of course, making a lot of wonderful food!

Here’s a recent peak at our good life, come truly full circle since the beginning.

Photo credit: Victoria Greener Photography

Favorite Finds


These bits of gold are making my surface life especially lovely lately. They would make great gifts for the people you like, if it’s not too obnoxiously early to mention Christmas.

  • Harney and Sons Paris Tea – This is so delicious! Perfect for the daytime with enough caffeine to note a lift. It is reminiscent of Earl Grey because of the bergamot, but it’s more complex and dessert like with the vanilla and caramel flavors. Even with a tea bag, it tastes like something you’d steep loose leaf in a hot, polished silver tea pot in a boutique hotel. It’s a simple thing, but aren’t those the best ways to elevate the day?
  • Byredo Parfums Gypsy Water – Barneys says this fragrance features bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries, incense, pine needles, orris, amber, vanilla and sandalwood. Hmm, I hadn’t made the link between the Gypsy Water and the Paris tea until now. Apparently I’m drawn to bergamot. I can’t describe what this fragrance does to me without sounding distasteful. Suffice to say, it’s phenomenal. I have a sample sent to me by darling Hayley, my beauty idol and curator of all things gorgeous. I’ve been using a spray at a time and the fragrance lasts nearly 12 hours, putting me in the most incredible mood. If you doubt the power of scent and it’s connection to memory, attachment, attraction, and mood, go find Gypsy Water and prove yourself wrong.
  • True Nutrition Team Skip Protein Formula – Chocolate Coconut flavor – I sampled 4 different protein powders in 8 different flavors from True Nutrition after reading through the forums and reviews from athletes I admire. The winner was this blend of  34% Whey Protein Isolate, 33% Casein, and 33% Egg White Protein. The flavor reminds me of Almond Joys and a scoop in greek yogurt at night is about the closest I come to dessert most days. I’m trying to gain muscle over the next 6 months before my next (!) marathon, and this is the most convenient way to get protein immediately after my workouts. The blend of fast and slow digesting proteins keeps me full longer, while providing the post workout nutrition I need quickly.
  • Gabrielle Aplin’s album “English Rain” – Just a wonderful album I’ve been enjoying a lot. The studio session videos from this album are done beautifully. Aurelia has been singing the line, “Please don’t say you love me, ’cause I might not say it back”, which is the strangest thing to hear from a sweet three year old. The songs are calm, deep, and widely applicable to our heart states.

Race Schedule

I’m a planner and thus, I like training plans. Training plans are much more interesting with races to work towards. I really do believe that the difference between me and an ultra runner or a cometitive CrossFit athlete is consistency and dedication. This plays out day to day as I set time aside to follow a training plan and give the right effort to each workout. I also believe that the difference between me and most people who aren’t in shape but want to be, is the same thing: consistency and dedication. I’ve been there, believe me. Having children and getting older certainly changes our bodies, schedules and priorities, but instead of using that as a reason to give up, I think it’s even better incentive to make goals and take some time just for you and your body. It won’t happen overnight, but waking up each day and doing the incremental work adds up to improvement. I’m three years and many training plans in and I still have so much more to try.

Lately, I’ve been really turned off by the term “empowerment.” There’s something condescending about it when it’s often used by these people to help those people with goals that are more often instigated by the “helpers”. I don’t need anyone to empower me to be better today, next year, or a decade from now. In truth, it’s one of the few things no one can do for me. We are our own responsibility. Our accountability to a self-actualized life can not be delegated.

I do have an incredible coach who has both pushed me and given me perspective, but I believe we’re a team, along with the other awesome people in my CrossFit classes. It’s a contract. I show up, try not to whine or be negative, I’m honest with how I’m feeling, I compete only with myself, and I give my best effort. I’ve found a balance between my marathon training plan (5x/week) and the core strength and cross training I get from CrossFit (4x/week). I’ve even reached the point where I can deviate a bit from my plan when I get too tired or sore. I’m empowering me. I am the only one who can be consistent and dedicated to the person I’m becoming. No one can give that desire to me. If I want to be better tomorrow, I have to train today. And training is just trying. When I don’t want to workout, I think about what I’m training for. It’s not really this list of races. It’s not to have a different body or reach a certain weight. It’s because I’m proving to myself that I can do what only felt like a dream before. Running especially has given me the opportunity to get to my guts – an intimacy with myself. No one can fake out a 20 mile run. When it’s just me out there for hours, there aren’t any gels or gadgets or coaches or tricks that can finish for me. I have to be smart about how I train so I’m prepared and then I have to find the raw will power to ask myself to be more than I was before. Stronger, faster, happier, wiser, more thoughtful… and when I’ve pushed my body to a new level, I am humbled. There is no room for snarky out there. Gossip, appearance, anxiety all become laughable. Same is true for an intense CrossFit WOD. I think about Aurelia and the example I want to be for her. I think about the person I used to be and the one I reach for. I think about how incredibly lucky I am to be able to be in motion. Everything slows down out there. Life stops passing me by. I become present and very aware of what matters most.

I’m rambling. This is not what this post was supposed to be. I’m not really sure what this blog is supposed to be anymore. But it’s good to have a record. It’s good to say what I can and remember that this is a process. Looking at the races below blows my mind. I couldn’t do some of them today, but with the right preparation and determination, I will. Isn’t that a marvelous thing?!

An internet friend recently said, “In all matters there is a shallow and a profound perspective, including life itself. Do you live for yourself alone, or for a greater purpose and value? It is easy to live thinking only of oneself, but to live for a great ideal requires steadfast commitment and courage.

Summer Catch


Darlings, it’s summer already! I am two months into a new (big, wow, hard) job and I’ve found my free time sponged up by the gym and dates with Aurelia.


I’m in training for the Smuttynose Rockfest marathon, thanks to my bestest best Betsy and her powers of persuasion. Part of my training includes a half marathon next weekend and a 30 k Payette Lake Run in McCall September 1st. Thrilling! I am not an extraordinary runner, but pace is really relative and part of what makes running so awesome is that your competition is really only yourself and the hardest part isn’t in your legs, but in your mind. I am loving the solace I find through a great run, even on the treadmill. I added a Daily Mile widget to the right side bar with a link to my profile where I track my mileage. I enjoy the design of the site and recommend it if you want an easy way to keep track of your workouts (running, cycling, swimming, mostly). I’m still going to CrossFit 3-4 times a week and love it more than ever, but I don’t track those WODS.

I don’t have any new wonderful recipes to share because I’ve been eating very routine, calorie-and-macro-tracked, portable meals. I’m skipping breakfast 2x a week to train fasted with BCAA’s and eat eggs and meat or bulletproof coffee the other days. I pack a big lunch of starchy veg and/or greens + meat + cut veggies + fresh or dried fruit to work every day. My primadonna tummy has been annoyingly particular for a couple months, so I eliminated all added sugar, grains, legumes, and (most) dairy in June and besides 2 cheat meals, I stuck to it and noticed …. no difference. I’m trying to slowly whittle off 2-4% body fat without losing lean muscle so I can run easier/faster/lighter and even while cutting out my much missed oatmeal, chocolate, and fro yo, my weight has still maintained the same +/- 5 pounds. My point is that my food is very predictable and a little bit boring these days. We all go through phases of creativity and experimentation countered with phases of survival and maintenance.

I bought two sets of the pyrex snap ware dishes from Costco and fill 6-10 up twice a week for all my lunches and more dinners than I should admit. Aurelia doesn’t seem to mind and it’s actually pretty easy feeding a toddler with so many pre-cut/cooked/portioned meals. She noshes on cucumber, salmon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, and sweet potatoes. And I have sausages, popcorn, whole grain bread, cheese, gallons of raw milk, and dried fruit just for her and it’s convenient enough. It’s so impossibly hot right now (108F today) that it’s been a relief to pull a protein packed meal out of the fridge and not have to heat up the oven or stove each night.

Here’s a few pictures from a recent multiple meal prep:

Sweet potatoes and parsnips tossed with sea salt, herbes de provence, pepper, and coconut oil. Ready to be tossed and put on a baking sheet to be roasted at 400F for 30-40 minutes, stirring a few times.


Before grilling chicken breasts, put them one by one into a large ziplock and pound with a rolling pin until the thickest part of the breast is about 1/2 – 3/4″, about the same as the thinner part of the breast. This will ensure even cooking time. No one likes dry chicken. Marinate for 2-24 hours in salt and spices, then cook on a grill that’s been preheated to 375-400F. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side and use a meat thermometer to check each breast. Done when the internal temperature reaches 165F. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Mid prep – pumpkin puree, spinach for salads, cut veg and strawberries, cooked chicken, cauliflower read to be riced.


Assembly – chicken cut and paired with pumpkin, greens alone for canned tuna, cauliflower riced and paired next to remaining cut chicken, bowls of roasted sweet potato and parsnips. Not pictured: sausage spiced ground turkey for the roasted veg.


Not really dinner party worthy, but practical and healthy enough. I’m going to be adding in some rice, quinoa, and oats over the next few weeks to help fuel my longer runs and see how I digest them with some encouraging thoughts.

I’m rambling. It’s definitely time to wrap the catch up, but I promised my wonderful friend M that I would share my best running mix. It’s full of fast, positive, workout-specific music that has kept me going the last two months. I have 3 more months to go, so send me your suggestions for other songs I should add!

In alphabetical order:

  • Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
  • Between Two Lungs – Florence + The Machine
  • Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
  • California Gurls – Katy Perry
  • Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Collide (Afrojack Remix) – Leona Lewis/Avicii
  • Cosmic Love – Florence + The Machine
  • Dead Sea – The Lumineers
  • Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
  • Drumming Song – Florence + The Machine
  • Easy (Extended Remix) – Mat Zo & Porter Robinson
  • The Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa
  • Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
  • Feel Again – OneRepublic
  • Feel So Close (Radio Edit) – Calvin Harris
  • Feel The Love – Rudimental & John Newman
  • Firework – Katy Perry
  • Flowers in Your Hair – The Lumineers
  • Forever My Friend – Ray LaMontagne
  • Free My Mind – Katie Herzig
  • Girl With One Eye – Florence + The Machine
  • Gone, Gone, Gone – Phillip Phillips
  • Heads Carolina, Tails California – Jo Dee Messina
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Howl – Florence + The Machine
  • I Love It – Icona Pop
  • I’m Not Calling You a Liar – Florence + The Machine
  • It’s Time (Kat Krazy Remix) – Imagine Dragons
  • Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
  • Lights (Fear of Tigers Remix) – Ellie Goulding
  • Little Lovin’ – Lissie
  • A Little Party Never Killed Nobody – Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock
  • Live It Up – Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull
  • Next to Me – Emeli Sande
  • The Other Side – Jason Derulo
  • People Like Us – Kelly Clarkson
  • Play Hard (Albert Neve Remix) – David Guetta
  • Pursuit of Happiness – Lissie
  • Put the Gun Down – ZZ Ward
  • Rabbit Heart – Florence + The Machine
  • Radioactive – Kings of Leon
  • Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
  • Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  • Storm Warning – Hunter Hayes
  • Submarines – The Lumineers
  • Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
  • Tonight I’m Getting Over You (Remix) – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  • We Found Love – Rihanna & Calvin Harris
  • Wonder – Emeli Sande & Naughty Boy
  • You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  • You’ve Got the Love – Florence + The Machine

Unless I have a secret audience interested in “Train Low, Race High” methodology, 30/30/40 macro splitting, crossfit and endurance, and how to carb load like a lion without sugar, I’ll probably say hello again in August!

Be well, buttercups.


Weekly 5 Day Split Workout Routine

My BF and I joke that we’re on opposite ends of our exercise routines, so we turn to each other for encouragement for what the other does more. She runs marathons and I lift heavy things. What’s awesome is that we’re both healthy, have had kids and got our bodies back, and do what we love because it makes us feel good. She got me to run this last summer and finish my first half marathon and I’m already stoked to train for a 30K (18.6 miles) this next September. Though, I’m not a great runner and I really don’t love doing much cardio regularly. You’ll see the cardio portion of my workouts ranges from 10-30 minutes, tops. It works for me, but I know I’ll have to get outside and put in the hours this summer if I want to reach that mileage again.

As for my gorgeous BF, she asked for “a strength workout that won’t kill me.” I decided it is a great opportunity to share the full routine I built after reading the excellent Bigger Leaner Stronger. It’s geared towards men and the bulking/cutting diet info doesn’t really work for my goals, but the strength and science busting out of the book just blew my mind. So, below is my own version of a BLS 5 day split routine, trying to get the most bang out of my time as possible. As for whether it will kill you or not, that’s up to you. Stick to weights that are heavy, but that you can complete 6 reps of, and that allow you to keep good form. If you’re unsure, just take the weight down and focus on the movement and keeping your body solid, tight, controlled, and aligned. I’ve been doing this exact workout 4 days a week, often missing one day of the week without good excuse, since the beginning of the year.

Personally, I can really see a difference in my definition, though my weight hasn’t changed. If I miss leg day, I always make it up by dropping shoulders or arms. Friends don’t let friends skip leg day. It’s the single most powerful workout in the list and does more than just build quads. It’s rebuilt my bum and transformed my core, more than the crunches. I tried to use common exercise titles so you can find videos of them relatively easily on Youtube or I hope this helps and encourages you to walk into that weight room with your head up and the determination to do your best. Rawr.


Mondays: Chest, Abs, Cardio
Warm-up barbell bench press 3×12 (just the bar)
Rest 30 seconds between sets

Barbell bench press 3×6 (I’m at 70-75 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Push-ups 3×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Barbell incline bench press 3×6 (I use the Smith Machine and add 35 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Assisted chest dips 3×6 (I’m offsetting 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Knee hip raise on parallel bars 1×20
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20

Treadmill Cardio:
5 minutes run at speed 6.5, incline 0
5 minutes walk at speed 3.5, incline 15
5 minutes run at speed 6.5, incline 0

Tuesdays: Back, Calves, Cardio
Stretch calves and do a few Good Mornings with a PVC pipe

Calf press on leg press 3×12 (I’m at 160 lbs added)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Barbell deadlift 3×6 (I’m at 175 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

One arm dumbbell rows 3×6 each arm (I use a 45 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Cable seated row 3×8 (I’m at 70 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Close grip front lat pull down (I’m at 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minutes between sets

Treadmill Cardio:
Stand on the edges of the treadmill, off the belt. Set incline to 15, speed to 6.5.
Jump onto the moving belt and run for 30 seconds, then jump to the edges off the belt and rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat 10-15 times.

Wednesdays: Shoulders, Glutes, and Cardio
Warm-up seated dumbbell shoulder press 3×12 (I use 10 lb dumbbells)
Rest 30 seconds between sets

Seated dumbbell shoulder press 3×6 (I use 20 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Standing dumbbell lateral raise 3×6 (I use 15 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell push press 3×8 (I’m at 55 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

One legged cable kickback 3×12 (I’m at 30 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell glute bridge 3×10 (I’m at 95 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Treadmill Cardio (preferably at a different time of day, but at the end of this workout is better than not at all)
Walk for 30 minutes at speed 3.5 at incline 15

Thursdays: Legs
Warm-up barbell full squat 3×12 (just the bar)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell full squat 3×6 (I’m at 115 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Leg press machine 3×6 (I add 150 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Box jumps 2×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Stiff legged barbell deadlift 3×6 (I’m at 160 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Smith machine lunges 3×12 (I add 30 lbs)
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Fridays: Arms and Abs
Warm-up dumbbell bicep curls 3×12 (I use 10 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Dumbbell bicep curls 3×6 (I use 20 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Assisted chin-ups 3×6 (I’m offsetting 60 lbs)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Single bench dips 3×10
Rest 1 minute between sets

Tricep rope pushdowns 3×6 (The cables are a wreck at my gym – I’m at 50 lbs on one or 25 on another. No clue.)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Dumbbell standing tricep extension 3×12 (I use a 30 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Standing alternate hammer curls 3×6 (I use 30 lb dumbbells)
Rest 1 minute between sets

One arm standing dumbbell curl 3×6 (I use a 25 lb dumbbell)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Barbell close grip bench press 3×12 (I just use the bar)
Rest 1 minute between sets

Abs: Repeat circuit 3 times
Ball crunches 1×20
Lying abdominal pendulum 1×20
Air bike crunches 1×20
Lying heel touches 1×20
Plank 1 minute

Link Love

I have a pretty bright blogroll on the right sidebar, but I’ve been reading some new blogs lately that need their own spotlight. If you’re up for some inspiration, check out these gems:

Homemade Raw Milk Yogurt


This may be a very simple recipe, but it took me a long time to get it right. The results have been beyond wonderful. I eat a lot of yogurt and the difference between conventional store bought (even plain, greek) yogurt and this homemade kind is night and day. I like the taste of both very much, but the homemade version has all the nutrients in raw milk preserved and is cultured for a much longer time, ensuring more probiotic strains. The gelatin gives it the perfect consistency, which is usually the drawback of raw milk yogurt, that it is more like a thin kefir than a spoon-able yogurt. The gelatin has gut healing properties, along with being an added source of protein. Word of caution though, more gelatin does not make better yogurt, it just makes milk jello. Not good.


If you don’t have a nifty yogurt maker like this one, try making your yogurt in a slow cooker or in a warm oven. I haven’t tried, but just a quick Google search turned up lots of glowing reviews of different methods.

So now that we have all the reasons why you should eat the purest, healthiest, homemade raw milk yogurt presented, I’m going to admit that my bedtime snack has been the indulgence of 6 ounces of this lovely yogurt mixed with half a scoop of Isopure banana creme. Reminds me of Banilla yogurt, a long time favorite, but better. More like pudding. Heaven pudding.


Homemade Raw Milk Yogurt
Adapted from Nourished Kitchen and Kitchen Stewardship

1 quart raw milk
1 packet yogurt starter
1 Tbs unflavored gelatin


Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat until it reaches 100 degrees on a thermometer or just test it with your finger and remove when it reaches blood temperature.

Whisk in the starter and gelatin. Whisk, whisk, whisk until the gelatin is dissolved.

Pour into the yogurt maker jars, cover with lid, and turn the yogurt maker on for 12 hours. Once it’s done, put lids on the jars and refrigerate. Eat once cold.


Simple, right!?

Catching Up

I’m preoccupied. My work is getting busier, my workouts are getting longer, my food is getting simpler, and I have new romantic diversions.

Is that a good enough excuse for why I’ve been neglecting this blog? I hope so. Also, the progress on my house seems to be picking up a bit, so I may be in my own brand new kitchen soon enough, making all sorts of complex delights. Until then, these days have been filled with super quick, pretty healthy, still yummy little meals. I’m eating more and more often. My strength, motivation, and weight were all plateauing and I decided to push through it, eating big and lifting big (well, compared only to myself). It’s amazing. I’m eating about 500-800 calories more a day now, doing some sprints and heavier lifts at the gym, and my weight has gone down while my quads and shoulders are starting to take shape. Not how women are usually told to diet and exercise, but maybe we’ve been told wrong for too long.

I’m rambling. Take this away: I’m happy. I’m eating a lot and feeling great. I’ll try to eat more interesting food and take better pics to share soon. Promise. Until then, here’s a sampling of the simple:

Honey mustard roasted carrots. Perfect accompaniment to beef especially. Aurelia couldn’t get enough.


This has been a lovely stand in when I want something other than my usual meat, guac, and egg for breakfast while still being meat, guac, and egg. I suppose salmon patties aren’t “meat” particularly, but it’s a lean shot of protein to start the day with. Rich, runny egg yolk on the cold guacamole, topped with smoked paprika. Ahhh. So delicious.


Chicken apple curry, eaten in a variety of ways for few happy days. Especially wonderful scrambled with my morning eggs and spinach, or cold over spring greens with guacamole, or hot and mixed up with spaghetti squash and a twist of fresh parsley. Terribly versatile, well spiced and balanced with the sweetness of apple and caramelized onions. Oh, my.


Jalapeno lime green beans. Another awesome veg side. Just enough kick to make them stand up to anything. I like them especially limey and paired with chicken green chile tamales.


Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps


I’ve made these so many times in the last year, but when I went to find the recipe in my index last night, I realized I’d never made a post of these simple, dreamy, wraps. I suppose I’d always looked them up on Macheesmo, one of my favorite food blogs, with lots of Tex-Mex fare.


These wraps are really adaptable year round. In the summer when there are so many local peppers, those go in place of the mushrooms. Sometimes I’ll add shredded zucchini or carrots. It’s an easy way to tuck in more vegetables and the spices are just wonderful, but can be overwhelming if you don’t have some cool toppings. Guacamole is not optional.


Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Macheesmo

1 pound ground turkey
6 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander, ground
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
Butter or Romaine lettuce leaves


In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground turkey, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon and stirring well until all the pink is gone. Drain the excess liquid from the turkey carefully and put the turkey in a bowl to the side. Put the skillet back on the heat and melt the coconut oil in it. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in all the spices, salt, hot sauce, coconut aminos, and cooked turkey. Stir well. Remove from heat and put the mushroom turkey mixture in a serving bowl. Wash and separate the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving plate. Make your lettuce wrap at the table, spooning the mushroom turkey mixture into lettuce leaves and topping with salsa, lime, cilantro, and/or guacamole.