The Good Guys

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Here’s to the dads who love the mother of their children, because they know it sets the tone for how their daughters will choose men and how their sons will treat women. Heres to the dads who learn how to french braid their daughters hair when mom is off duty for a night. Heres to the dads who teach their kids how to fish – they’ll eat for a lifetime. Heres to the dads who work themselves to the bone to put food on the table and still open the door with a smile on and ready to play monopoly and fix dinner when they come home.  Here’s to the dads who kiss and hug their kids. Heres to the dads who say ‘I Love You’ every single day – especially to their sons. Heres to the dads who stayed. Heres to the dads that know doing magic tricks and cooking pancakes in the shape of letters on Sunday mornings will feeds his kids souls longer than anything he could buy them would. Heres to the dads who aren’t afraid to look silly. Heres to the dads that let their daughters put hair ties and  in their hair and makeup on their face. Heres to the dads who put their childs happiness above all else. Heres to the dads who teach their kids right from wrong. Heres to the dads who let their kids know theyre proud of them. Heres to all the dads who TRY. If you aren’t a dad yet or youre new at it, please don’t forget: You are needed, now more than ever. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are important. Happy Fathers Day to all of you Dads out there. And Happy Fathers Day to the most amazing man I’ve ever known – the one I’m lucky enough to call Dad. I miss you, love you, and hope that was really you I hugged in my dreams last night.

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It’s Been Real, Fro-Yo. It’s Been Real.

Maximum backlight.

Maximum backlight.

Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly allergic to a variety of things (apples, Splenda (EVIL),  Burt’s Bee’s lip balm, the list goes on…), and it’s led me to really become concerned and aware of the effects the products I use and foods I eat have on my body.  Combined with my new obsession with everything having to do with skin, I’ve realized that many skin issues that I’ve been plagued with also have a huge correlation with the foods I eat. 

After watching a few documentaries (I won’t even get into details there), I cut out meat entirely from my diet about 3 months ago.  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the way I feel and the way my skin looks.  I’ve even taken photos to prove it.  Kind of like an experiment on myself. I began taking a hair, skin, and nails multi-vitamin, and also use some amazingly fantastic cream on my eyes every night.  The effects have been incredible. 

After lots of reading and studying up on things (here and here are a couple), I’m thinking my newest skin experiment will be eliminating dairy from my diet.  There have been a huge number of studies done on the connection between the consumption of dairy and skin issues like acne and rosacea.  I’d give pretty much anything to just have beautifully even and clear skin.  Oh, to feel like I don’t have to use foundation to make my skin even and cover up marks! Can you even imagine!?!

So, I’m mustering up my guts to give up my obsession with fro-yo and cheese (milk I couldn’t care less about giving up), and will most likely begin my dairy free month next Monday.  I’m going to enjoy all of the cheese and fro-yo I can stand this week just to make sure I’m good and sick of them by the time I let them go! 

 

I’m curious….

Have any of you given up dairy?  What have your results been like?  I hear it also makes digestion amazingly efficient.

Have you given up any other food groups and seen a positive effect on how you feel and look?

Patience, Kindness, and Love…Practice on Yourself First.

From my perspective, it's all fine, fine, fine...

From my perspective, it’s all fine, fine, fine…

I was not at peace today and couldn’t find my center. After wandering around aimlessly all morning, I dragged myself, exhausted, back to my apartment. I curled up in a ball, watched a movie, and took a nap. When I woke up, I put on my sneakers, and took a beautiful hike through Runyan Canyon in Hollywood. It always makes me feel tiny and infinite at the same time and it was just what I needed. Whenever I’d visit LA before I moved here, and frequently, whenever I’m in need of a reason to stay here…I return to it. Something about seeing the city, cloaked in fog, and the Hollywood sign protruding from the Hills makes me feel alive with possibilities. Now, my body hurts from pushing it so hard, but my soul feels quieter…less unsettled. The moral? It’s okay to feel down and out. It’s okay to cry and wander. But, once you’ve given yourself time to do that (which is VERY important) get up, get dressed, and sweat.

Today, I really gave myself some lovin.’ Be nice to YOU.

Peace today.

Pancakes and PJ’s

 

Moring mist in Santa Barbara

Moring mist in Santa Barbara

I have always loved breakfast.  It’s delicious and makes me nostalgic – two really great things.

When we were little, breakfast was always really important in my family.  During the week, it was what brought us all together before school and work took our family into different directions for the day, and on the weekends….ohhhh…the weekends….

On the weekends, it was when my daddy would stay in his PJ’s and spell our names out in pancake letters, or my mom would make us waffles the size of our heads – all drizzled in Vermont Maple Syrup my dad would lug home in gallon jugs on his hunting trips.  It was when boxes of fresh Florida grapefruits and oranges sent to us by my grandparents (and great grandparents) would be sliced in half and made into fresh juices.  My brothers and I would stay in our cozy clothes and watch cartoons while our parents concocted a feast.  How insanely comforting it is to remember the smells and the feeling of all coming together as a family.  Now that life has taken us in so many directions – California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, and Heaven – it’s even more amazing to have these memories with me.  I can’t wait to spell out my future children’s names in pancake letters.

Breakfast isn’t just important to me – it’s important to you, too.  Statistics are everywhere about how eating this first meal of the day can improve brain function and creativity, aid in weight loss, and set the tone for a healthy day.  Breakfast is also an amazing time to sit quietly and take care of yourself before your busy day begins.

I never, ever, ever miss breakfast.  Regardless of where I am, I always make it a point to enjoy my first meal.  I get asked quite frequently, so here’s an idea of what I eat:

If I’m home: 

If I’m home, I always make one of two things.   1. two slices of toasted Ezekiel Bread ( a sprouted grain bread you can find at places like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) – one with sliced avocado, salt, and freshly cracked pepper,  and one with almond or peanut butter.

OR

2. A bowl of hot oatmeal (my absolute favorite is the blueberry flavor from Trader Joe’s!). I am OBSESSED with oatmeal.  If I’m making it from scratch (super cost-effective), I use – oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and then top it with any variety of frozen fruit or sliced banana.  Finished off with a few scrambled egg whites (or hard-boiled egg whites) on the side  and I’m good to go!  One loaf of bread or one box of oatmeal retails for less than $5.00 and will last the entire week.  Bargain city!

If I’m away from home:

Being away from home isn’t always the easiest or most ideal way to have a healthy breakfast.  Fast food restaurants can seem enticing, but resist the urge to go for the unhealthy stuff and veer towards one of these options instead:

McDonalds:  McDonalds now has oatmeal that, as an oatmeal connoisseur, I find to be very delicious. I believe varieties vary by location, but I always ask for the cinnamon oatmeal, minus the apples, extra walnuts.   The healthy fats give it staying power.  The apples, I’m simply allergic to, so go crazy if you’re not! An alternative to the oatmeal is the Egg McMuffin.  The English muffin and  egg combo is actually not “bad” for you at all.  Leave off the cheese and meat.  You don’t need it, trust me.

Starbucks:  Starbucks are evvvvverywhere these days, and they’re also offering some decent breakfast options.  I either go for the spinach, egg white, and feta breakfast wrap (sooooooo good), or – big surprise – the classic oatmeal.  It comes with packets of brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts.  You can literally add in all three, and still come out with a healthy, nutritional bargain of a breakfast. 

 Conveneince Store:  I will first reach for a package of BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and an orange. (I am in no way affiliated or compensated by them – I just really like the blueberry ones, and I believe they offer a pretty good dose of nutrition, minimal sugar, and taste great when you eat them with coffee!)  It’s a really good idea to have a box of these babies stowed in your car for when you’re in a pinch.

If you find yourself in any of these places,  avoid grabbing these things that may seem like healthy choices:

Smoothies: Most in the gas station or convenience store are SUGAR BOMBS, negating any sort of nutritional benefit and setting you up for insta-hunger.

Bagels:  Bagels aren’t the devil – there’s just better things you could eat.  If you must, only eat half, and instead of the other half…have a piece of fruit.

Breakfast Bars:  Again, most are highly processed and loaded with sugar.

 

***** Please note that I am NOT (yet) an expert or doctor.  As always, please consult your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise plan. *****

 

 

 

 

 

So……..

 

 

What are you guys eating for breakfast?!

 

 

 

What is Sunshine Without Rain?

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Last week I went home to Massachusetts to spend Memorial Day weekend with my family in Maine.  I was there 8 days and it rained every single day with the exception of Memorial Day.  Every. Single. Day.

Now that I’m accustomed the weather in Southern California (i.e. constant sunshine and mild temperature), spending 8 days without sunshine took a toll on me.  Combine the dismal weather with the fact that my emotions were running high due to several different situations, and it made for a long week.

While the trip was flecked with wonderful (fresh Maine lobsters, sunsets, family gatherings, friends, and one sunny day that made all the rain worth it), overall, it was an incredibly difficult week for me.

The last day of my trip, my mom and I had a long talk.  I won’t discuss what it was about, but suffice it to say, we weren’t laughing.  But, after leaving the house for a bit to clear my head, I came home to my mom and hugged her hard.  The conversation that followed went something like this:

Mom: “Get a load of my socks.”

I look down at her socks and notice she’s wearing a completely mismatched pair.  I laughed and dipped my head knowing what I was about to reveal, feeling comfort, closure, love and acceptance.

Me: “Get a load of mine.”

I stooped down, untied, and removed my boots to reveal my own completely mismatched socks.

We documented it as proof:

socks

 

 

It was such an awesome moment that will forever remind me that no matter how much we may seem different, as family, we are deep down so very similar.

I left Massachusetts on a delayed and twice rerouted (of course, due to bad weather) flight out of Boston.   I came back to California with a new appreciation for the constant sunshine.
All it took was a little rain.