Complete and Utter Chaos

*Another prompt from my friends at Pink Pangea

We closed the curtains of the van as we drove deeper into the city. The roads went in every direction, how one could possibly navigate it all I did not know. Our driver made one thing clear: keep the windows closed if you can and keep purses and valuables out of arm’s reach. We had been in a rural part of the country for the past week, and on those quiet dirt roads it became serene; the kids laughing and playing as we went, the women outside their small strip of stores, the men back and forth in their daily routines. You could see the heaviness of drought, but you could also see the beauty of hope across their sun-kissed cheeks. There are friendships that have lasted beyond distance, beyond communication barriers, beyond pandemic. Here, though, in the city the hustle of the everyday grew as we went, the weary of trying to get ahead in a barely treading economy was evident.

We pulled up to a market, where you were supposed to barter for the intricately made goods. But how could I? These people very well knew they could take advantage of the young, blonde white girl, but why wouldn’t I give them what they were asking? We spent a couple hours browsing in what seemed to be an escape from the hundreds of people along each street and the drivers honking just to move an inch. And then we got to leave. We got to head out from the masses of people just trying to survive, and towards our comfortability of the everyday.

I sat on the plane a few hours later, the scenes like a constant loop of a song in my head. You can’t unsee moments like that, but you can lean in and believe for better. Right now Uganda stays in crisis as their governmental stability has faltered through recent elections, not unlike our own situation here. It’s just another reminder we aren’t that different, and loving people well regardless will always win. It’s been a long five years away from my friends turned family that have seen an amass of hard times, but I’m believing near and far the best is yet to come.


Without a Care in the World…

There is an excellent travel blog site called Pink Pangea; they give writing prompts and I wanted to share a little bit of my heart onto these blog pages.

I see his tiny blue eyes gazing at something other than the toys on his play mat or the neighbors dog for the first time. He’s trying to focus on everything, while grasping onto that one thing at the same time. The colors are more vivid, the space so much bigger than what he had in his first year of life. It’s hard to believe we are actually here, having first visited this spot in 2006 I was 16 and mesmerized, the colors, the vastness, the never-ending canyon where people gazed down from above and up from below. The river rushes between the giant pillars of rock extending beyond the horizon. I’m hoping he gets a hint of just how majestic this scene is, latching onto the trees lining the rim, the colors marking their way in layers down the rocks and the crashing of water against the rocks they are oh so familiar with. Hearing people laughing close by and the journey that got us here, one we couldn’t have fathomed a year ago. But we are here breathing it all in, the beauty, together. Cheers to your first National park little man, and here’s to a lifetime of adventure near and far.


Fueling for the New Year and Beyond

I found myself typing this out in the last few hours of 2020, the week had been a whirlwind. For all the hard moments of the past year there have also been the best, as a new mom of a now 9 month old and learning how to navigate this sweeter yet harder version of life. Now we are here at the beginning of 2021 and things seem different, but they don’t, you know what I mean? We see hope, but there is hesitancy. We have dreams, alongside drinking a nice long sip of reality. One of my favorite parts of entering a new year is resolutions, as in I don’t take myself too seriously but I love chasing a new goal or setting a number of books I hope to read, if it doesn’t happen I am not crushed but it is a fun way to track through the year. I also love the wellness arena (you probably already guessed that) and so this year I thought one of those goals could be to simply focus a few more of my blogs in that space, maybe just maybe. So here’s a little intro into what could focus more specifically on through the next 365 days.

Food. More specifically: breakfast.

Maybe I should put a trigger warning right there. We are just coming out of the holiday season when, for people of all shapes and sizes and wellness, we think about food just a little extra. For me, someone who has dealt with eating disorders (you can go back and read a little bit of my journey with Over-exercise and Orthorexia in previous blog posts), it already makes you feel the slightest tinge of discomfort. That’s okay. If you can keep reading I hope this encourages you, if you aren’t there yet let me say this: just keep doing the work. Surrender to the Lord, find a nutritionist and therapist, have a great support team around you. You are beautiful, made intricately unique and perfectly you, keep going.

So here we are in a new year, some people are creating both inwardly and outwardly goals towards health and some are just trying to get back “on track” from the reality of the holiday season and the copious amounts of sugar available to us. Let’s think about this though: maybe we all do need a reset? I am a firm believer of taking periodic accounts of the present and taking moments to reset. Absolutely not in an exercise 5 hours a day and restrict calories or food groups kind of way, that is never going to be the answer, but if you need to lose or gain weight there is more than just a calorie surplus or deficit, and for people that just want to detox it’s more than just two days of vegetable juice. So how can we all take a moment to reset and keep in normal rhythms?

So this brings us to breakfast! It’s the way we start the day, it’s the way we give our body the energy and nutrition to live life on purpose, and it helps kick start our metabolism to keep our bodily systems healthy. I could break out each of those three into separate blog posts, but that’s for another day (if you do want specific coaching I am a certified nutrition coach so feel free to reach out via my contact form). Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring if you want to healthy, but sometimes it does need to be quick. For many of you it is probably a combination of both. So here are three suggestions for ways to fuel your day, that are not only healthy but compatible to whatever lifestyle you have!

  1. Grab a cookbook and challenge yourself to create a new breakfast once a week or once a month.
  • The Runners Kitchen by Emma Coburn – this was just released at the end of 2020. Emma is a professional runner in Colorado who has long done food stories and posts on the side. She has come up with some healthy and colorful dishes!
  • Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. by Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan – this cookbook was the sequel to their first Run Fast. Eat Slow. these recipes are all delicious full of Whole Foods that can fit any nutrition plan. They are flexible not overly time consuming and well-balanced.
  • Search the Internet for what you might be looking for specifically. Remember a consistent effort to include all food groups with whole foods is what you are aiming for.

2. You can never go wrong with the basics. Here is a general look at what a well rounded plate has to offer:

  • A carbohydrate – whether it’s a piece of whole grain toast w/ your favorite jam, half a bagel w/ a nut butter, or granola for a nutritious yogurt parfait your body needs carbohydrates for energy. Don’t leave these guys out!
  • A protein – breakfast has so many options here but eggs are probably the fan favorite! Try an egg scramble and throw in a few veggies (spinach, pepper, etc) for an extra kick of nutrition – OR – a healthy serving of greek yogurt added to the granola above. If you want to skip the hearty bacon, turkey bacon, chicken sausage or Canadian bacon are all other ways to get some protein into your morning. Vegan/Vegetarian? Chickpeas, quinoa, and chia are all great sources of protein.
  • Fruits – fruits aren’t always what they appear. Try to make sure you have different fruit options around the house. While we love bananas, snacking on them throughout the day isn’t a great idea so we keep some berries on hand as well. Add them to your parfait, slice up a banana for your nut butter toast, or just make a quick fruit mix in a bowl.

3. Some healthy grab and go options!

  • Rx AM Oats – I’ve always been a big oatmeal fan and RxBar has long been a staple for training because of their dense bars with whole ingredients. The Oats are no different, they give you protein, healthy fats, and a nice portion of carbohydrates all with clean ingredients to jump start your day! Chocolate and Maple are my favorite flavors but you can pick from four. Just add the suggested amount of hot water, let it sit for 2 minutes and you are on our way.
  • Premake some breakfast muffins – while I don’t recommend an extra large double chocolate muffin to start your every day, popping some muffins that have a great mix of clean carbs, fruits, and even some hidden vegetables are great way to get you out the door. Try this recipe.
  • Here is another idea that takes a little bit of prep but allows you to quickly get out the door in the morning. Egg muffins are higher in protein and low in carbs so be careful to make this your sole breakfast depending on your own health goals. You can pretty much add whatever ingredients you please, but they are best with some bacon or sausage, cheese, and chopped veggies.

So welcome to 2021, welcome to fresh starts. I hope this helps you wake up well in the morning and get an energizing start to your day! If you have any other ideas or thoughts on the suggestions above I’d love to hear them in the comments 🙂