New Beginnings and New Rules

Here’s to fresh starts and new beginnings! Today’s the first of (maybe) many really captivating, inspiring updates of everything I ate, drank, and did workout-wise yesterday. With no pictures, because no one wants to see pictures of food. And by that, I mean I am totally out of the habit of meal photographing and didn’t want to post a bunch of empty plates full of crumbs. Either way, you’re welcome.
You guys, I just wrote YOUR welcome. I’m losing my mind. Or is that how it’s supposed to be written? Yup, mind lost.

Breakfast yesterday was two fried eggs, a simple swiss chard salad with raspberry walnut dressing, and the last of the canned sweet potato puree. I ate with Squish before carting him off to preschool. He had “chocolate toast”, which is toast and Nutella. Because I am a conscientious, caring mom who only feeds her children the best. And I didn’t feel like fighting him from his beloved chocolate toast on a Monday morning pre-coffee. Pick yo’ battles. I also had a couple cups of coffee with milk.

Halfway through the morning, I had another work coffee with milk. But the fridge was empty of cow milk, so I tried this Silk brand of almond-coconut milk that was pretty awful and I dumped out half of my coffee I just couldn’t do it.

Lunch was amazing. I found out the grocery store nearby went through a huge remodel, and they have a carving station. Carved meats. Sold. I bought a lunch box of roasted tri-tip, steamed veggies, and this sort of orzo and squash risotto thingy. It was amazing.

Back at work, someone put cookies in the break room. I could lie and say I was not tempted and enjoyed drinking my peppermint tea, but in reality I ate three with a Diet Coke. 

Later I needed a break, so I wanted to Starbucks and got one of those hibiscus iced teas. It was really good, that might be a new thing.

After work I picked up Squish from preschool and we dove into the madness that is evening grocery shopping, since we were now out of all the food at home. He helped me pick out veggies for the week so I could justify grabbing a frozen pizza for dinner. It’s all about balance, you know. Hulk sautéed some green beans that were amazing, and I also grabbed an Italian chopped salad at the store that was pretty good. We ate outside on the patio table, which is Squish’s favorite place to eat everything.

I also had a beer with dinner (Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA), and by the time dinner was over I didn’t feel like working out anymore. So I had another beer and put the kids to bed. “Kids” includes me. New rule: no beer until the workout is done. I want to start a new Spitfire Training program, so I need to make sure to leave some time in the day for it.

My Jawbone report for the day was 12,902 steps on 8h 10min of sleep, so that’s not too shabby.

That is all for now, go make it a great day!

Catching Up on Beer and Stuff

Ahh! I have SO MUCH to talk about! Mostly stupid stuff, of course. But yes, let’s get to blogging, shall we?

First up, my first batch of home brewed beer is bottled for second fermentation! Woo-hoo!

I really hope it doesn’t suck. Because it takes almost a month to brew beer, and that’s too long to wait in most beer-related circumstances.

Second, we have been having some crazy gorgeous weather lately. Fall has always been my favorite season, and this year it doesn’t disappoint. We’ve been enjoying some epic sunsets with dinner, since our dining area faces west.


Sunsets, and children looking confused. Of course, it was so cute, they both were looking out the window together. But then I pulled out the camera and magic moment destroyed.

Then we woke up to Karl the Fog eating the neighborhood. Is it Karl in the East Bay? The signature fog that routinely engulfs San Francisco has been affectionately christened “Karl” and has its own Twitter following. But I don’t know if Karl extended over the bay or not.

Anyway, it was pretty cool.

Speaking of pretty cool, I finally put my standing desk together!

It still needs a few tweaks. Like a chair. Turns out that standing for 8+ hours doesn’t feel much better than sitting for 8+ hours. I know you’re not supposed to stand for the whole day, but my plan B for sitting (sit in a spare conference room) didn’t work when they were all booked. I survived anyway.

Meanwhile, in State of the Blog news, I’m going to start going back to posting daily eats and workouts, good and bad. After doing a bunch of pondering, I came to the conclusion to stop trying to force my blog into some predefined mold (that I never followed through on anyway) and to just let it rip with whatever I want to talk about. Which seemed to be what I ate and how much I ran and/or lifted. And maybe a personal rant here or there.

I also owe a post on our Alaskan Adventure part 2. I’m done writing it, but on the day we took lots of really good pictures my phone died, so I keep meaning to pull the pictures I took off of Hulk’s phone, and it hasn’t happened yet. And it probably won’t happen until I find some time that’s not already booked with a paying job or keeping small humans alive. But it’ll happen one of these days!

That’s all I got for now. Go make it a great day!

A Plane Ticket Level of Commitment, and Coffee!

September is nearly over, and I just remembered that I had set some September goals for last month.

Ha. Yeah, none of these got done.

Ugh, commitment. I have all these great ideas for goals, but it’s really, really hard for me to put them into practice. And it hurts because I love goals and I love progress. I guess I just don’t like hard work?


I’ve been wanting to use that card for a while.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. Like, a lot. Because I commute 2-3 hours a day. Just recently I’ve been really getting into the Harder to Kill podcast by Steph Gaudreau, and my brain is practically exploding with information. Such good stuff, but one topic in particular was discussed in a recent episode with special guest Allegra Stein. She spoke about how commitment is like a plane ticket, which is an analogy I love. When you buy a plane ticket, you double- and triple-check your calendar. You call all your family and friends and make sure the dates work. When you book the ticket, almost nothing stops you from getting to the airport on time. Oversleeping, traffic, and other unforeseen delays all have a contingency plan. Barring serious illness, you make your flight. That’s commitment. Once you’ve set your goal, you make it with no excuses.

For me, I think of the plane ticket commitment as one step further. If you don’t want to get up and go to where the plane ticket is taking you, don’t buy the ticket. I only really stick with stuff that I’m all-in committed to. This is what I learned from numerous starts and fails on the Whole30. I am still not sure exactly what the catalyst is, but I need to somehow be very head-in-the-game, in-my-bones committed or it won’t happen. So when I set cute goals like “exercise every day!” I just don’t. Because I know I should, but I don’t really want to. But when I finally figure out a fitness goal I actually want to succeed on, it’ll get done.

Okay, now the real reason for this post. It’s National Coffee Day!


coffee giraffe

coffee monster

Go drink a cup (or seven), and make it a great day!

All the Alaska, Part 1

I finally went through my Alaska pictures, so get cozy ’cause here’s a run through of our Alaska vacation!

Hulk and I headed out Sunday night.

Yay! No kids!
Yay! No kids!

We had an amazing view of San Francisco as we headed out.

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For the flight Hulk slept while I enjoyed a beer and caught up on some reading.

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We arrived in Anchorage pretty late, so we stayed in a hotel by the airport our first night. The next morning we figured we’d kick around Anchorage and see what the cool kids are up to. Turns out on Labor Day, the cool kids are somewhere else. After a hike around the bay,

Not without beautiful scenery, of course
Not without beautiful scenery, of course

we headed up to near Denali to check in to our Airbnb cabin.

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Wait, no. That’s the brewery.

But it might as well have been the cabin. We went there literally every day evening when the hours of drinking were appropriate. If you end up in Talkeetna, Denali Brewing Company is amazing! I loved every single one of their beers, especially the Abbadon.

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This is what a glass of happy looks like

After we were done sampling the local brews, we finally checked in to our cabin.

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Very “Alaska,” no?

We “oohed” and “ahhed” at the super fun quaintness of the cabin we drove over to nearby Talkeena to check out the goings on.

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Awkward selfie!!

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Of course we had to dine on some local fare. I had a smothered halibut that was so not Whole30 and so worth it, while Hulk demolished some king crab, complete with crab shell shrapnel at the poor couple eating next to us.

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The only bear I saw

Tuesday we wanted to do some tourist-y things like ziplining, but it was raining buckets. So we went with plan B and drove up to Denali State Park to see the famed highest point in the continental U.S.

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Well, that was the plan. In practice, it’s usually too cloudy to see the peak. On a rainy day, you’re lucky to see mountains. Good thing they have an infographic there, so you know what you’re missing.

Whatever, it’s still pretty.

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That's Hulk's "I can't believe we drove two hours to look at clouds" face
That’s Hulk’s “I can’t believe we drove two hours to look at clouds” face

As we were driving around, we caught some of the mountains peeking through the cloud cover. They looked so imposing from the road.

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After all the rain hiking, beer!

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The next day was slightly less rainy, so I started off with a walk around the “neighborhood”

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Then we drove North again to Denali National Park

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Not a selfie!

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Between the leaves turning and all the rain, the mountains were literally all the colors.

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We even got an awesome rainbow out of the deal. Perfection.

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We had lunch at a hotel that overlooked, like, everything.

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You know, because we like to rough it. Oh look, more beer!

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On the drive back, the clouds slightly lifted so we could get a good peek at the mountains.Alaska 2015 108

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Still no sight of THE Denali mountain peak, though. These were all of the piddly lesser mountains. If I paid more attention to that infographic yesterday I would probably know the names of them. But here’s two people that don’t quite care.Alaska 2015 115

And then more beer.

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Then the REAL adventure began …

Ugh. Reality.

i made it back from Alaska, free from rogue bear attacks!

Except for the teddy variety, of course. Who could not love Ralph the Bear. 

We saw lots of mountains, got rained on, and drove 1,000 miles because like idiots we assume that 1″ on a map of Alaska can’t be very far. Just a note: Denali to Homer is a very long drive.

A scenic drive, but a long one.  

Hooray, pretty scenery!

And now it’s back to reality. And work. And child-rearing. And all those things that make up your life while simultaneously make you want to escape them.

Make it a great day!

Whole30 Day 30!

Ahh! It’s Day 30! Holy crap, I made it!

I started out with a celebratory breakfast frittata topped with a perfectly ripe avocado, and coffee with coconut milk.


Then a trail run. I did Day 3 of the Couch to 5k app and covered 1.97 miles. A smidge farther than last time!


Oh, I also made the tangy bbq sauce from the Whole 30 book. I ate it with a spoon. Condiment or side dish?


The last few days have been major “are we there yet” pains. When my family breaks out the snacks and beers, I may pout and whine a bit. But last night I thought to myself, “What if I’m doing a Whole60, or even a Whole100 and I’m nowhere near to being done yet?” I realized that if I was still in the middle of it, I wouldn’t feel so desperate to be done. I would happily prep and eat my compliant food just as before, since there would be no finish line taunting me with a guilt-free glass of wine and chocolate bar. Putting it into that perspective really helped manage the cravings for me. So I might not plunge face-first into a box of chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.

But tomorrow I am planning on reintroducing dairy. And by “dairy” I mean butter and cream. Not ice cream. Not yet, anyway. It stinks not being able to have cream in my coffee or to cook my veggies with butter, so I want to see how I handle it and make a decision on if it’s going to be a thing or not. Everything else I’m pretty okay with having on an as-needed basis, but milk or cream in coffee is a big deal for me, especially if I’m drinking coffee at work because I’m a total coffee snob and work coffee never tastes very good without it.

And I need to work on my did-it-for-real August Whole30 write up. It’ll be interesting once I start pondering things to put it all down in one place and see what happens.

Oh, and we’re leaving for Alaska this weekend. I’ll probably not be connected to social media, so if I don’t get eaten by bears, I’ll be back in a week!


Go make it a great day!

Runday Funday (and a Rant)

So, the other day my friend texted me, “How about we do a half marathon together? In April? In Hawaii?”

Um, okay. Sounds like a horrible idea!


So now I really do have to run and stuff. It’s no longer a “eh, I should probably get back into shape again” sort of deal. Now we’re in full-blown, “I have eight months to train and I’ve done NOTHING” mode. And even if Hawaii doesn’t happen, #gottahavegoals, right?

This morning was a 1.84 mile Couch-to-5k run. I’m on Day 2 (again)!

*This would be an inspiring running scene photo if I had remembered to take a picture, but I was too busy listening to “The Paleo Women Podcast” and dying trying to sprint up hills to do so because why run when you can sprint?*

I’m also going to focus on leg and core strength in these early stages of training, so last night after we put the kiddos to bed (early!) Hulk and I threw some weights around in the garage gym. Gym dates are back!

  • Back squat 3×10 @ 45 lbs, then 3×5 @ 65 lbs
  • Deadlift 1×5 @ 65 lbs
  • Kettlebell rows 3×8 @ 25 lbs
  • Some half-hearted kettlebell snatches that weren’t feeling it
  • Push ups 3×10

While we were lifting, I went on a rant about the “dad bod” thing. I’m super sensitive about society’s and the media’s shaming of women’s bodies, but now that it’s becoming more apparent with men too (not that it wasn’t always there, it just wasn’t on my radar) I can’t even anymore. I’m sorry that my six-pack-abs isn’t taking priority over sleepless nights trying to keep tiny humans alive. I get the whole “if it’s important to you, you’d do it” idea, but some things can’t be and are not everyone’s priority. Life is fluid, we will go through periods of motivation and focus on one thing or another, and that’s okay. We do not have to be perfect at everything all the time. And we all do stupid stuff that can hurt us. Don’t judge the overweight guy because he doesn’t prioritize diet and exercise, but he might have a great relationships with people close to him that make him happy. He has his own life to live. And this other guy with the six-pack might be eating right and working out a ton, but he can’t sleep because of work stress and has no real friends because he’s a total jerk. We all are working on our own version of ourselves, and there are so many other opportunities for growth and improvement other than body composition. Let’s focus on the good things that other people do and stop wasting time pointing out how others can do better. Okay, rant over.

Go make it a great day!

Snaps for September!

How can it be the last day of August already? I still think it’s June in my mind.


(Side note: Calvin and Hobbes was the best part of my childhood. They practically raised me.)

I’m wrapping up my Whole30 this Friday (woot!) and now that the end of this challenge is in sights, I’m looking forward to the next one. Right now it feels good to be challenged, so I’m rolling with it. So for September, I’m going to get back to the gym and running again. What will be nice is having a whole week in Alaska that I can use to “reset” some habits. Do you use vacations or travel to try and adopt a new habit or mindset? I find that getting out of Dodge helps me to put things in perspective, and when I get back home I’m usually pretty recharged to tacking life again head-on. And it’ll totally be do-able to work out in Alaska given that we have no real plans or schedule yet. All I know is we’re flying into Anchorage, and if we don’t get eaten by wolves or bears or something we’ll fly home the following week. Real vacations don’t do plans.

I also want to knock out some goals for the month:

  1. Work out six days a week (one rest day in there)
  2. Do one pull-up (assisted somehow)
  3. Do a two minute plank
  4. Squat, deadlift, and bench 100# (this one might be tough for a month, but we’ll see)

Okay, now I feel really pumped and want to run like 10 miles now. But instead I’ll go to work and sit at a desk all day. That’s fun, too.

Go make it a great day!

A “Bad Example” Day of Whole30 Eats

What is up? I’m over here begrudgingly noting the fact that I had my seventh – yes seventh – night in a row of food dreams. On one hand I am so ready for this Whole30 to be over. On the other hand, I only want it  to be over so I can indulge in an all-out carb-o-palooza which isn’t really my goal here. And I burned my breakfast frittata. Sad panda.


I even put the good mushrooms in it.

In other news besides setting frittatas on fire, I actually recorded everything I ate Thursday in sort of a “A Day of Whole30” format. Which made me realize (as you might find out after you check it out) …

I’m not eating enough.

No wonder I’m so cranky pants this week. So if you’re embarking on a Whole30 and are a petite yet relatively active young-ish woman, eat more than this.

Breakfast (or as Whole30’ers like to call it, “Meal 1”


Since I am going through a major “can’t even” I’ve been making whatever food sounds good that doesn’t require too much prep. I nuked a couple of chicken apple sausages and ate a bag of snap peas with primal mayo. Added some coconut milk to my coffee, annnnnd we’re done.

Lunch (Meal #2)


Lunch was the return of chicken apple sausage, with a whole cut-up bell pepper. I forgot the fat, but since I had about a half a can of coconut milk with my eleventeen cups of coffee, I figured it could slide.

Snack (The Forbidden Mini-meal)


You’re discouraged from snacking on a Whole30, but I had a cut-up apple with almond butter midafternoon because I was getting super hangry.

Dinner (Meal #3)


I was almost going to have chicken apple sausage AGAIN, but I pulled myself out of the Can’t-Even loop with Amber’s comment on this pork chop recipe. I didn’t exactly follow the recipe, but it was a great way to sear and cook a pork chop. I also found out I had all the ingredients to make the ranch dressing from the Whole30 book, so paired with a head of romaine it was a quick and decent dinner.

I thought I was doing okay, and my “meh” about the Whole30 was something else. Now I’m thinking that I’m just not eating enough. It’s sort of a mental laziness thing. It’s hard to have Hulk and Squish just heat up some corn dogs for lunch (*cough* or breakfast) while I’m chopping and roasting and stuff to make a “funner” meal that’s palatable. I’m getting stuck in the “convenience” mindset. Plus, the cost is really weighing on me. The first couple weeks, I didn’t even look at prices when I shopped. I would buy the grass-fed meat, whatever organic veggies my little heart desired. Then Hulk and I had a little heart-to-heart about our grocery bill (the $16 jars of ghee may have been a topic for discussion) and now I’m trying to be more mindful of what I put in the cart. It’s do-able on a budget, but not nearly as much fun in my book (#firstworldproblems, I know). So I’m shopping at the local Safeway instead of Whole Foods, buying conventional veggies and whatever meat’s on sale. And it sort of swiped some of the magic from me, mentally. Sort of a “perfect is the enemy of good” sort of deal. Hence the food dreams and Captain Insane-o cravings. After all, if my artichoke’s not organic, then maybe I should just plow through this box of cookies, right? Thank goodness I’m too darn stubborn to give in, but I’m really hoping I can reconcile this “all or nothing” mentality before Day 31, because I don’t want to go nuts on donuts and anything else that also rhymes with “donuts”.

So I’m going to put my big girl pants on and get thee to a kitchen to cook all the things. Because I am not going out like that.


Are We There Yet?

Another hump day, eh? I’m just wrapping the day up and trying to decide how fancy I want to go for dinner. I am having a few rough Whole30 days. Sort of getting sick of the meat-n-veggies all day e’ry day, you know? And it’s not just that. I can always find something to eat that makes me happy.

Like sashimi and a side of steamed broccoli, courtesy of date night! Don’t worry, I packed my own coconut aminos (much to Hulk’s amusement, “Really? That’s a thing?).

But I have a major feeling of “I’m not there yet” that’s bugging me. Not just the end of the 30 day program, but the fact that it’s Day 21 and I am still having major food cravings and non-healthy tendencies that I was hoping I was sort of over already. Hello, extinction burst. I felt so amazing so soon this round, that I figured the rest would be all happy downhill-ing on a flying unicorn.  Not so, it seems. My sleep the last few nights has left a little to be desired. Trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night (but I go back down again right away), and not feeling rested when I awake. I’m suspecting a little life stress is the culprit. Add to the table the fact that I’m having a hard time socially with not going to lunch with the team at work, passing up on the occasional happy hour, and avoiding some social situations because avoiding food seems like more work than just not going to the event.

I also am not sure how I’m going to handle the reintroduction period. My 30 days is up two days before Hulk and I leave on vacation for a week. Originally, I wanted to do a proper 10-day reintroduction protocol where I introduce one eliminated food at a time and see how I handle it. But with travel, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to eat clean enough to do a proper evaluation. So I can just do the best I can and go through with the reintro, stay as Whole30 as I can on the road and just accept that it won’t be as clean as I’m used to, or say “screw it” and eat whatever I want because hey, vacation!

Fortunately we’re going to Alaska, so I have a feeling the food choices while limited should have some healthy options (ALL the salmon!) and I shouldn’t stress about eating Whole30-ish. Then I can pick it up when I get home. But I don’t want to stress about food during a legit vacation, either. If it was just work travel or something that’s one thing. But a big vacation to a dream destination we’ve been planning for months makes me think again on how big of a stickler I want to be about food. I just want to enjoy what the area has to offer, and not have to stress, “what kind of oil did you use to cook that chicken?”

Whole30 veterans, how did you handle reintros? I have yet to do a “proper” one.

Go make it a great day!