Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paleo Intro

*Please note: I am not trying to convert anyone! I believe in this 100% but food is a sensitive subject and people are entitled to eat what they want.

Several people have asked me to share our new Paleo lifestyle, so I'm back to blogging with information about some big changes we've made since I talked to you all last. As most of you know, a little over a year ago, we gave up gluten in our house. That was definitely a big change for us, but the results were fantastic. We both noticed how much more energy we had and we didn't feel nearly as sluggish.

Around that same time, our dear friend Faith and her husband told us about their plans to go paleo. When she first told me about it, Mark was all about it. He wanted to dive right in, but my first thoughts were the same that I've heard many others say to me when I talk about going paleo: "There is no way I could go without grains/all forms of bread or pasta/dairy/cheese/corn/beans/sugar!" After listing those ingredients, I already know I have some people who have checked out. I honestly don't blame you, it's hard at times!

Faith shared the following video on her blog and it was a real eye opener for me. The creator of the video says they are frustrated with repeating themselves over and over again and I am not, but I think this video sums up most of my reasons for switching over.

Another conversion factor was when I started exploring the Everyday Paleo website (also suggested by Faith) and I started to see all of the things that you CAN have! We love to eat fresh or organic any chance we get so this lifestyle seemed to fit pretty well with us. I am also really happy to have the least picky husband ever! He will eat anything I set in front of him and he'll eat a ton!

Our dinners usually consist of some type of meat and LOTS and LOTS of veggies (3 or 4 a night). I would like to in the future give you a week long list of what we eat to give you a better idea of how it works for all meals of the day, but for now, you can check out the one that Sarah did on Everyday Paleo. Her "required reading" section gives her testimonial and lots of other good info (how to do paleo with kids).

Also by request, I am going to list all the things that are staples in our house and things that we have gotten rid of.


Organic meat (beef, pork, chicken, seafood)

Every type of vegetable we can get our hands on (easiest being broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, spinach...we have a variation of these every week)

Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios)

Every type of fruit we can get our hands on (bananas, apples, pears, dates, plums, kiwis, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)

Avocados (we eat at least 2 a week)

Eggs (lots! from our CSA)

Almond milk

Coconut milk

Coconut oil (you'll hear me talk more about this later. This and olive oil are all I cook with)



Lots of spices (be cautious of blends...sometimes there are hidden chemicals)

What we steer clear of:

Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream)

All grains (bread, pasta, rice)



Corn (Boo! You know how much I love it!)

Potatoes (Double BOO! I'm Irish! Although several articles I've read allow sweet potatoes)



Biggest challenge: Eating out!

Greatest benefit: Probably the healthiest I've felt in my entire life. Not that weight should be a key factor at all, but I have lost 10 pounds in the last month since going paleo. I get very full from meals, but never feel gross.

Do what you will with this information, but I will be sharing recipes that fit within this lifestyle that I find delicious. You can take it or leave it!

If you have questions, lay 'em on me! I love answering questions about going paleo!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I'm currently swamped in grad school papers and working on completing my portfolio (so close to the end, but yet so far!) and I have to do several book reports (flashback to 4th grade). One of the books that I have to read is a book that my professor required us to purchase and read, nevermind the fact that it's a book that he is featured in...geez! However, despite all of that, I found a few quotes that really spoke to me today that I thought I'd share. The book is called "Leading the Way to Success" and while it is not written for the education field, there are several ideas that carry over well. Both of these quotes are from James Kouzes.
"The secret to succes is: Stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to really ignite other people, to see inside other people, to get more things done than other people. A person who is not in love doesn't really feel the kind of excitement that helps him to get ahead and to lead others to achieve. I don't know any other fire or anything in life that is more exhilarating and powerful a feeling than love is."

It's no secret that I want to be in an administrative role in the future in the schools whether that be a principal or curriculum coordinator or something else. All of my classes have dealt with leadership and I think staying passionate about teaching is a must in whatever position one is in.
"You find your great call where your great joy meets the world's great need. I think that comes as close to a formula for success as I can find. Watch your great joy. Watch the great need in the world that enables you to use your great joy and therein lies your calling."
I think of my brother when I read this, but I also think about how blessed I am to know my calling and am able to do something that I love. Regardless of what position I hold in the future, I have found success because I found a way to use my joy to meet the world's needs. Cheesy, I know. Just bare with me. I've had to do a lot of reading lately!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Look Back at 2010

As I look back on the year, I see some very significant (and not so significant) things that I got to experience this year that were unique to 2010. This really isn't for anybody else other my own self-reflection.

So many of my friends had major milestones this year (new marriage, new birth, new home) and I started to think how dim my year looked compared to theirs. But reflecting on my year made me realize that it really was a big year for me and there were so many things that I did this year that were milestones in their own way for me. I got to enjoy those milestones with my friends and family, but was able to create some new adventures for myself this year. There were some difficult spots throughout the year (goodbyes especially), but overall the past year was absolutely awesome! Here's a look at my 2010:

  • Cut the majority of gluten out of our diets
  • Went to see my very first NHL game in Nashville
  • Spent my spring break visiting Colorado Springs for the first time
  • Joined a CSA and had a blast with it!
  • Coordinated two weddings for couples in our small group
  • Celebrated the birth of many new babies in our lives....we have two BEAUTIFUL new neices and a handsome, first baby from our Smallies group
  • Experienced post-season baseball firsthand when the Reds played the Phillies in their first playoff appearance in 15 years!
  • Had to say goodbye to a dear friend for a year when he went to Iraq
  • Had to say goodbye to my brother for a year when he went to spread God's love all over the world
  • Celebrated turning 26 years old with good friends and family
  • Watched Mark crush his past record in the Firefighter's Combat Challenge
  • Made two trips down to Alabama to watch football games
  • Refinanced our house
  • Celebrated 6 wonderful years of marriage with my best friend
  • Went back to grad school while Mark went to school for both of his Firefighter Certifications
  • Visited the Football Hall of Fame....and loved it!
  • Suffered through the Bengals season
  • Watched the World Equestrian Games and all of the fanfare that came with it come and go
  • Skiied with some of my favorite women for several days