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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: A List

My sister once told me she had an "ah-ha" moment as she was having a panic attack while trying to relax in a bubble bath.  It was a stressful time and hot bubbles weren't cutting it.  Instead, her head cleared and she began listing what she was grateful for.  As she started a mental list of all the good things, the stress began to melt away.

She's a smart lady, that sister of mine.  And, though I know it's the trend on Thanksgiving to do so, why not join the masses?  I'd like to feel that stress melt away, wouldn't you?

What I'm Grateful For in 2011

Mistakes that my family has loved me through.  I've learned a lot about myself this year.  It ain't all pretty, but I've come out more honest and accepting of myself and others as a result.

Teaming up with creative people who are dedicated to excellence and growing their businesses.  Iron sharpening iron.

My funny, loud, snuggly, dirty, water-loving, rather sassy babies.

That Waverley's hair smells like a kitten when she wakes up and it makes me happy.

The Dude of the house.

My awesome home office (that I'm sitting in as I type.)

For being a capable woman, armed with skills to go and conquer whatever the heck I set my mind to!

All the physical blessings of comfort, clothing and supplies that make our daily routine and lifestyle so much easier and more pleasant.

Netflix.  Seriously.

The wondrous internet for bringing everything closer, easier, and faster.

My mother and my sister, for being my support and making my life so rich.  Plus, they have more exciting lives than I do and it always makes for good stories when they share.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!  Love to you and your families this holiday week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today is Not Your Day.

You can't make everybody happy.  

I hear that.  I've heard that.  I know it, but when you've got the personality of a golden retriever, the reality of that adage STINKS.

And you know that silly saying slapped on plaques and t-shirts in cheesy catalogues, the one about "I can only make one person happy today.  Today is not your day,"?  When you're faced with the choice, always stay with the highest stakes.  If your choice is making someone at work happy or making your family happy, it should be a no-brainer, but often times (for this golden retriever) it takes some reminding.

It's hard when you're carrying a business to not sacrifice your family; something's got to give -and there's only so much you CAN give.  My business turned 2 years old this month.  It's flourishing, I'm learning, I love my job.  It's afforded us a kind of life not possible if both of us worked away from the home full time.  Still, it's a challenge -for everyone.  But isn't that life?  To quote a favorite movie, you must choose the lesser of two weevils. 

As challenging as it's been owning a business -which I still see as very much a family-run operation- and as overwhelmed as I get at times trying be successful in all of my personal roles, I am thankful for this chance to create, seize opportunities, make things happen and be around my family as I work.

I have a good team.  And I love them.
And they need to come first.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Flaxseed Pancakes with Spiced Whipped Cream

This morning the kitchen is featuring a tasty new recipe and I wanted to share!

Pumpkin Flaxseed Pancakes with Spiced Whipped Cream
serves 4

1 cup golden flaxseed meal
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/4 c Truvia (or other plant-based sugar substitute)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice

Mix together and get ready for magic.

In a pan, melt 2 tsps of coconut oil.  Dob dough on the pan and evenly flatten with a fork to create a pancake.  On medium heat, place lid on the pan and cook each side through (about 5 min. total.)  Add a bit of coconut oil in the pan for each new pancake.

Heavy whipping cream

Whip it up and liberally garnish your pumpkin pancake!
Enjoy with hot coffee and a chilly morning.
And a little Chopin.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love Fat

I eat cheesecake for breakfast.  My coffee is filled with half & half.  I eat bacon on a daily basis.  I don't have cravings, I don't have energy lows, I no longer have erratic emotions.  I'm 5'7" and my weight hovers around 112, even without regular exercise.  What's the super secret?  Nothing.  It's dietary common sense that people hundreds of years ago up until the 80's knew quite well:  Fat doesn't make you fat -starches, grains and sugars do.

Gary Taubes, William Davis and Tom Noughton revolutionized our kitchen.  I highly encourage everyone to check out each of theses gents and their fact-based scientific research, journalism and documentaries to learn in-depth how starches, grains and sugars are the culprits in the "obesity epidemic" and our muffin-tops, not fat.

It's all about the glycemic index.  Starches and grains/gluten are converted to glucose and stored as fat.  They are highly addictive to your system -causing cravings, erratic energy swings and blocking your body from using fat stores and wreaking havoc on your pancreas that try to manage our insulin levels.

Fat, on the other hand, is good for us.  That natural kind, at least.  Animal fat, butter, olive oil, nut oil are good; synthetic oils such as vegetable oil, soy oil, hydrogenated oil are not good.  Fat feeds your brain, it makes you satisfied longer, it actually lowers your cholesterol, it's all-in-all healthy for you.

Read the fellows above to learn more about how eliminating sugars, grains and starches and enjoying natural fats along with meat, nuts and vegetables will help you lose and manage your weight, balance your emotional life, eliminate cravings and leave you feeling satisfied and normal for the first time in your life.  It's not a gimmick, it's science.  And it's working for us.

A note on sugar.  At this point, from our reading and personal research, erythrithol-based sweeteners do not effect your GI significantly.  We use Truvia in our baking and cooking.  You know those sugar crashes you get from eating cake or a bunch of milk-chocolate?  Yeah, I don't get those any more, not even with using Truvia and eating our homemade cheesecakes, sweetened whipped cream, etc.

From our new way of eating, we don't need large portions to feel satisfied, so we're eating less and feeling satiated longer.  Again, there's no gimmick or weird trick -and, no, we're not under eating.

I no longer obsess over food, count my calories, punish myself for eating dessert, feel hungry soon after eating, or experience highs and lows that I attributed to hormones.  I feel normal.  Finally!

The kids?  Oh my goodness, their diet was entirely wheat and sugar based.  Wilder wouldn't touch vegetables (except occasionally snacking on edamame) and everything he ate came out of a box or package in the pantry.  Over the past month+ we let the kids eat up all the crackers, cookies and noodles.  Now Wilder eats eggs and bacon, asks for celery sticks, lettuce-wrapped burgers, spoon-fulls of peanut butter, etc.  We've noticed he's more emotionally balanced -and that's saying something.

So, if this science (which finally makes sense, compared to the food pyramid -the same formula used to fatten up cattle- that the FDA, the medical community and schools have been shoving down our throats the past 30 years) is bogus, then it has the best side effects of any diet or way of eating I've ever tried.  These are definitely results I can live with and our family is jiving with the new balance we've found.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birthday PortraitBooth: Kid-Perfect Celebration!

We celebrated Wilder's Birthday with a fun-filled PortraitBooth!
There are oodles of shots, but here's a handful (or two) of my favorites.
View the whole shebang in the slideshow at the end!

(For those interested in booking the PortraitBooth, click here for more details!)

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And for the Grand Hoorah:  The King Family
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