WIAW Paleo staples


Happy Wednesday friends!!!  I love WIAW parties – it’s so fun to peek into other blogger’s kitchens and lunch pails to see what we’re all eating!

My kitchen has been transforming with my new found love of Paleo.  Gone is the Splenda for artificial sweetness.  Trashed is the wheat bran for low-calorie bulk.  A forgotten jar of Better n’ Peanut Butter languishes in the corner of the fridge.

Nope, only nourishing whole foods for me!  Thanks Jenn, for letting me show off my new Paleo staples!

My goodies from my school’s meat department & a local butcher at the farmer’s market:

Meat loot

Beef heartBeef liverbeef sweet breads

Sauerkraut fermenting in my cupboard and some to tide me over until it’s ready!

fermenting sauerkrautraw sauerkraut

Kelp seasonings for healthy thyroid function & deliciousness!

kelp seasoning

Homemade bone broth for calcium, gelatin, glycine, etc. etc. etc.

bone broth

And the best reason to give yourself Paleo “wiggle room”:  Hell’s Kitchen PB brought to me by my AWESOME FMIL (future mother in-law).  This stuff is so amazing, chunky, and flavorful – like peanut brittle in nut butter form!

Hell's Kitchen PBH'sK PB in jar

I don’t suppose anyone has sweetbread recipes? Smile


When I loved myself enough

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

Good morning friends!  I hope you’re all having a great Labor Day weekend with all of your families and friends.  Thanks Katie for providing another great MIMM celebration of life’s wonders!

J and I had a great Saturday with his family!  It’s so great to know that my family is expanding with such amazing people.  Seriously, his mom has been absolutely wonderful in getting to know me and fostering a loving mother-in-law / daughter-in-law relationship.  His step-dad is the kind of man you want to just sit on a porch and chat with and his brothers and their wives are so nice and welcoming!

It hasn’t been exactly easy, though, to really open myself up to these new people in my life.  Sometimes it’s hard for me, with a recovering ED, to eat around people.  I know that a lot of you have dealt with the same things – even if it’s just because you eat different foods than those around you.  For me, I have  a lot of anxiety when it comes to food.  I have intense fear that people will think I’m snubbing the food they provide or will think I’m “weird” for eating what I do.  These fears really don’t affect me in normal life, just around people that I really want to accept me and like me.


This week’s “When I loved myself enough,” post couldn’t have been more appropriate – “When I loved myself enough, I came to know my own goodness …”


I realized that I have goodness within me, that I am worthy of being accepted for who I am and that there is nothing wrong with me.  J’s family is wonderfully open-minded and I need to believe that they will see me for who I am and not misconstrue my dietary habits as personality flaws. 

This Saturday was great and while I did stress a little about food, I’m proud to say the most of the day was spent reveling in good times with new family. 

And that, my friends, is success!

Please share what’s Marvelous in Your Monday!!!

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

Yay for Foodie Pen Pals & Yay for Lindsay who makes the whole thing possible (seriously, the amount of organization that goes into these shenanigans is mind-boggling).

Seriously, though, thank goodness for these boxes of goodness that arrive at my doorstep.  My partner, Becki, did such a good job with my package and was especially amazing given my Paleo diet!  She researched foods and ingredients and the end result was a box filled with delicious and new foods – some I’d never tried before!

A really sweet letter that thoughtfully explained all the foods


Really, really good local beef jerky!  I love me some dried meat and this did not disappoint.  I tore it open and ate it right away!  It’s great because I’m need healthy protein sources to snack on in school and eggs kind of wreak havoc in the middle of classes.


Barney’s Almond Butter – I was actually really excited to get this because I’ve never tried Barney Butter and I’ve heard great things.  Plus, doing the whole Paleo thing has cut out Peanut Butter so I’m always looking for alternatives.  005

Kale Chips – these were sooooo good!  I’ve never really liked the taste of cheese but these were made with Nutritional Yeast and I do love that yeast-y flavor!  Plus, “Vampire Killer” … I have eaten roasted garlic straight up with nothing else.  This stuff was gone in days.


Raw Rev mini-bars – I really like the Raw Rev company and I’ve previously reviewed their products so I was happy to get some more!  They’re great for when I’m working long catering shifts and need some energy quick!


Again, thank you so much, Becki and Lindsay!  And check out Rachel’s post to see what I sent my Foodie Pen Pal!

Are you interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal for September? If so, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You need to sign up before September 4th in order to participate next month. The Foodie Pen Pals program is open to everyone so don’t worry if you aren’t a blogger. Check out Lindsay’s blog for all of the rules of the program.

MIMM less is more

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

What’s Marvelous In My Monday (besides a morning yoga session with J)?  The fact that I found this book while unpacking the boxes lurking in the corners


My mom gave it to me a long time ago when I was going through some emotional rough patches – she has always been on a quest to make me a strong person.  I only hope that I can be half the woman she is.

I opened it up to the first page and realized that I needed to start a series of posts about self-love, growth, and acceptance.


When I loved myself enough, I quit settling for too little … vibrancy.  I had a really long, hard week and just felt physically and emotionally wiped out on Sunday.  I pushed myself really hard last week and ended up shaky on the elliptical on Friday morning.  I decided that I would take a cardio-break this week.  I need to replenish my energy stores and I intend to refocus through a week of yoga, Pilates, and long walks. 

I started my cardio-fast this morning and I intend to force myself to abstain for the rest of the week.  I’m looking forward to calm and deep, slow breathing with deep, slow thoughts. 

Have you ever imposed an exercise-break?  How did you feel?

Things that matter

I’ve been mulling this post over in my head for awhile.  Do you ever get those ideas where you can’t stop thinking about them but you know that they’re going to require more brain capacity than you have at the moment?  Still, I couldn’t let this go and it’s something I’ve been using to get me through some tough moments.

Things that matter and things that don’t:

Body weight does NOT matter (yes, yes, I know that it does matter to some point and I’m not advocating everyone become obese).  I shared this story with Juliet a few weeks ago – I woke up feeling pretty good and decided I’d jump on the scale (I never learn).

I think you all know where this is going; the number was a few lbs. higher than I expected.  Then a light bulb went off.  Nothing changed in between the good vibes I had before stepping on the scale and the moment those numbers flashed on that evil screen.  I was the same person in the same body and I realized that I still felt good!  I turned around and had an awesome morning!  As Robb Wolf said in a podcast, I should tie a big red bow on that scale and give it to someone else to let it mess with their head!

What I see in the mirror does NOT matter!  I have a horrible relationship with my body.  I have an awful response to pictures of myself.  But that is something that I’m fighting against each and every day.  I saw a picture of J & I toasting our engagement and was horrified at my “double chin.”


I mentally slapped myself, realized I do NOT have a double chin and forced my eyes to recognize the joy in the two people at that moment.  Stacy wrote an extremely powerful post about accepting your body as the vessel of your journey – “you do not have to be ideal to be beautiful.”  I will keep repeating that in my head and it will keep healing my bond with my physical self.

Perfection does NOT matter!  J’s mom (my future Mother-in-Law!!!) made us a card


I think it sums us up a life-well-lived perfectly – with laughter, a sense of whimsy, & the ability to accept life for all it’s foibles because those are the things that make it beautiful.

Because after all, love is one of those things that does matter.

MIMM Floating on Clouds

What’s Marvelous In My Monday?  Well, lot’s of things, but mainly the fact that I’m still floating on Cloud 9 from my engagement

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

This weekend included a few toasts …


Lots of hugs …

Lots of brainstorming …


and J’s creation of a beautiful shadow box!  It’s got a pic taken directly after the proposal with a background collage of the love notes, cards, and letters we’ve given each other!


What’s marvelous in your Monday?

I need lotion if I’m going to be showing off this ring

engagement ring 001

I have wonderful news, friends!!!

On Tuesday morning J proposed atop a mountain!


He and I had discussed getting engaged and I knew that he was going to do it but I didn’t know when or where.  I actually had no idea if it would be within the next few days or the next year.  I actually really hated not having any say in when the actual question would be popped.  However, I have grown up surrounded by romantic movies, etc. and I really did want the big proposal.

So when J asked if I wanted it to be a surprise, I said yes.

It turns out, he had been planning the proposal for a few months!  He asked my mom and step-dad for their blessing in July – apparently she started crying before he even got through the door. Smile

We went on that sunrise hike I mentioned in my MIMM post – the same hike that we took almost a year ago on our 3rd date.  (the same date as our first kiss when I had to ask him to kiss me as we said good bye!)

When we got to the top and we ascended above the clouds he set up the camera to take a picture (and secretly put it to record), got on one knee and pulled out a ring (which was perfect, by the way – simple, symbolic, truly lovely).


I’m proud to say, I only cried a little.

I am so, so blessed to be engaged to my best friend, my partner in crime, my sounding board, my rock.

I am, the luckiest.