Sunday, October 16, 2016

Be Nice or Go Away!


A few Saturdays ago, I got invited to my favorite coffee house for breakfast with a friend. I had not planned on venturing out anywhere that day other than a sweet little organic farm to collect my weekly produce share. Vegetables don't care whether or not you are wearing makeup or have your hair fixed. Hoping not to see anybody who cared more than vegetables, I put on a bra, brushed my teeth, donned a baseball cap and headed to breakfast.

Upon walking into the coffee house, I ran into another friend. We greeted each other with hugs and then she held me at arm's length and said, "Are you feeling bad?" UUUUUGGGGHHHH! I laughed and said, "No, I'm just not wearing any makeup, to which she replied, "No, that's not it. You look like you aren't feeling well."

HOLY FREAKING COW!

Now, mind you, this is a nice person. She really does have my best interest at heart. But I don't know. Maybe SHE had not had enough coffee. That had to be it, because I was feeling great! I had the weekend off and I was hanging out on Saturday morning with my girl. I was on top of the world!

Suddenly, I felt the urge to run to the bathroom and check myself in the mirror. I looked and it was just as I had suspected: little old me without makeup. I guess I do a better job than I realize at making myself look active and attractive on work days. This fact made me want to run home and apply the "war paint," because as far as I'm concerned, them's fightin' words!

DISCLOSURE: I hadn't seen the offending friend in a while and my first thought when I walked in and laid eyes on her was, "Girl, you have put on a few pounds!" But you'll notice how I didn't SAY that. I was raised better. Whose mother hasn't uttered these words at least once, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I didn't, so I didn't. And honestly, I was really happy to see her, extra poundage and all. :D

Seriously, she is a very nice person who usually goes out of her way to be polite and appropriate. So, of course, I'm getting paranoid now. I did bring my sunglasses and I felt the need to keep them on inside the coffee shop because my tiny little eyes with itty bitty lashes are what give me away- EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I kept berating myself for not taking a few minutes to at least have put on some eyeliner and mascara. Or to have worn my black framed glasses that camouflage my eyes instead of my contact lenses. But there I was, so I adjusted my attitude and enjoyed my breakfast. Whatcha gonna do?

The whole affair got me thinking about exactly that. Whatch gonna do? First, let's look at my well-meaning friend's original statement. DON'T. JUST DON'T.  There it is. Concern without tact can be misinterpreted as rudeness and AGAIN I know she meant well, but come on! I'd like to say that I got over it and moved on, but here I am writing today, so I guess I didn't, huh? It reminds me of a fire prevention poster from my childhood:

Just think. Stop for a second and think about what you are about to say. If the person is in imminent danger, has a booger flapping in their nose, has their pants unzipped, by all means, risk it and say something! If it's just your opinion and they might have missed the mark on personal grooming today, let it go. Hug them, tell them you love them and are happy to see them, pray for them silently, whatever, AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE.

Second, and vastly more important, GET OVER IT! Figure out why it bothers you so much and adjust yourself. Is it something you can change so that this scenario doesn't play out again? Then change it. If not, change your attitude about it. In this case, I decided three things: 1) I will try my hardest to look good in public and not let the fans down,  2) but when I do get caught unmasked, I will simply smile a little harder, laugh a little more and hug a little longer and maybe-just maybe they won't notice my unadorned face or mistake it for illness. 3) I have made an appointment to have permanent eyeliner applied to lessen the likelihood of history repeating itself. If you think I am kidding, I'm not! I like to put people at ease and keep them from being embarrassed. It's the least I can do and it might make us all a little happier. Call me crazy, but if it spreads happiness, it keeps my people healthy! Mission accomplished.
Go forth and do good works.

carol


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chocolate Fudge for Breakfast - Protein bars

Call it lazy, call it genius, call it whatever you want, but this could be the best idea I have had- EVER! It was one of those light bulb moments that sounded just crazy enough to work, and Ta-Da! IT DID! Here's the story:

I am a protein shake ninja and my weapon of choice is chocolate! I have been drinking them for breakfast for quite a while, but recently, shakes got serious. Currently, the shake making tools in my kitchen are a Ninja blender and a really awesome shaker cup with a metal shaker ball and a cute little polka-dotted neoprene coat that keeps it cool and dry.

Most days, I make my shake and then take a few swigs before I get in the shower, then take the rest to work and finish it between clients. I LOVE those shakes, love thinking up new combinations of flavors and ingredients, love hiding things like chia seeds, powdered greens and hemp protein powder in them, and love adding fruit, flavorings, nut butters, etc. WHAT I DO NOT LOVE IS CLEANING THE BLENDER AND THE SHAKER BOTTLE EVERY STINKING DAY! UGH! Sooo...

One day, I made the basic recipe minus the almond or coconut milk while adding a secret ingredient (revealed below), mixed it all up in one bowl and Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars were born!


RECIPE
Makes 3 servings

INGREDIENTS:
 I try to use organic, minimally processed ingredients, but feel free to go with what you've got. DON'T LET PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF GOOD. Just do your best.

1/2 cup coconut oil (THE SECRET INGREDIENT-it holds everything together)
1 cup nut butter (I prefer almond butter)
6 +/- drops of almond extract (vanilla also works)*
1-3 tablespoons local, raw honey*
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder*
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
3 scoops chocolate protein powder  
6 tablespoons micro-sliced chia seeds*
3 scoops hemp protein powder*
1/2 cup chopped nuts*
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut*

*Optional ingredient. Necessary ingredients in bold.

DIRECTIONS:
Melt coconut oil in large bowl in microwave or pan on the stove. It melts quickly, but it's easiest to work with when it's very warm. Add nut butter, honey and almond extract, stir until blended. Stir in cocoa powder and cinnamon. Add other dry ingredients gradually. Mixture will resemble cookie dough or thick oatmeal.

Line a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with waxed paper, bottom and sides. Turn mixture into pan and press out to fill bottom of pan. Place in freezer for at least 1 hour. Have Girl Scout Thin Mints in your freezer, too. Just in case...

Lift hardened product from pan with waxed paper and turn onto cutting board. With a sharp butcher knife or pizza cutter, cut block into 3 equal bars.

Cut each bar into small squares and store in ziplock bags in refrigerator until ready to eat. Should keep in fridge for about a week. Make sure you drink plenty of water along with your protein bars, especially if adding chia seeds and/or hemp protein.


NOTE: I make enough for 3 meals, so do the fancy math to determine how much you need for 1 day's worth or a whole week. I work 5 days a week, but have a breakfast meeting on 2 mornings so 3 servings get me through the week. You could double the recipe, have enough for 6 days and beg somebody else to make you some pancakes on Sunday! Also, I usually don't eat lunch but these keep me fueled up all day.

Make some.  Eat them. Thank me later. Share tweakage ideas and whatnot in my comments. Thanks for indulging my crazy healthy side!

Here's where you can buy some awesome protein powder and micro-sliced chia seeds.


Go Forth and Do Good Works!

Carol



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Welcome!

Welcome! You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps! I'm on an adventure and it would be cool if you'd join me. Together, maybe we can discover and unleash our most authentic selves. Be yourself, live and let live, discover dynamic, crazy good health, sleep better, eat clean while making food that is drool worthy. Whatever floats your boat, we can do it. Give me some suggestions. I'm a pleaser. I'm here to make you happy.



I don't have all the answers. Heck, I don't have most of them, but I know people who do! I'm a collector. I mostly collect people and I have curated a selection of the coolest, most knowledgeable folks you'd ever want to meet. They know tons of stuff and love to share. They are my panel of experts and they are ready to help!

HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THEM:





So climb aboard this crazy train, sit down and hold on! The adventure begins now and together we've got this. Share me with your friends and family and just let me know what you need because in the words of Vanilla Ice, "If you got a problem, yo, I can solve it."


Go forth and do good works.

Carol