In The Kitchen

Let’s eat!

Tonight I decided to cook!  Not just warm something up…but REALLY cook.  I found this lovely Paleo recipe on Against All Grain.  I have been ogling the cookbook and all of the beautiful recipes for some time now.  I don’t know what took me so long to check out her website.  I guess sometimes I can be a little slow.  But it is now book marked!

I planned this meal a few days ago and headed out on one of my days off to shop for the ingredients.  However, the 3 stores I went to were out of leeks.  Yep you heard that right…out of leeks.  I have never had a Leek in my 40 years on this earth…and you’re telling me that they are so popular that Sprouts, Kroger, AND MarketStreet were out of them?  Hogwash I tell you.  So take note, even though I pride myself on following a recipe to a ‘T’ the first go-round, this one was Leek-less.  Oh well, I am sure I would not like Leeks anyway.  They look very vegetable-y.  My unhealthy body can only handle one new veggie at a time…and tonight it was cauliflower.

I hadn’t even planned on cooking tonight.  It was the fear that my cauliflower and already thawed organic chicken would go bad sort of forced me into it.  The meal didn’t take too long to prepare.  However, one of the first steps is to remove the chicken tender from the chicken breast.  WHAT?!?!  Are you telling me that the tender is not the same thing as the chicken breast?  Tenders are not just chicken breasts cut into strips?  I was stumped.  So I did what any novice chef would do.  I Googled “How to remove a tender from a chicken breast”.  Thankfully, there was a YouTube video of just that…removing a tender.  My chef ranking has now gone from novice to novice II.  I’m a fast learner.

The recipe states that the prep time is 20 minutes.  Well, that is only if you have already removed the tenders and made the pesto sauce.  Which I hadn’t.  So I am going to say the prep time is more like 40mins.  Just a heads up.

So enough fluff.  Let’s get to the meat of the matter.  Get it?  Do ya get it?  The “meat” of the matter?  tap, tap, tap is this thing on? 

Excuse my grainy pic…but I started cooking late and well, our lighting stinks.


Here is the recipe that I followed!  Try it out for yourself.  You will not be disappointed!

Paleo Chicken Tortilla(free) Soup



Thanks to Pinterest, tonight I made this amazing soup.  It’s so delicious I should describe it as sinful.  But it’s not!!!  It’s healthy and Paleo!!!  Woot Woot!!  I didn’t take many pics of the process because I was doing other things at the same time like cleaning and cooking lunch.  So my hands were never clean enough to pick up the phone/camera to snap a few more pics.  The ones I took are…ehhhh and don’t do the soup justice.  But take my word for it…this soup is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!  A tad tangy and a tad spicy!

Here is what you will need:

3 pounds chicken breasts (I only used 2…but wish I had used 3)

3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil

3 Tsp of fajita or taco seasoning (to keep it healthy and paleo…make your own like this recipe I used)

1 large or 2 medium onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

2 poblano peppers, diced

2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock

28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (to be healthy…use organic that states they used BPA-free lined cans, or fire roast your own)

Juice of 2 limes

1 Cup cilantro, chopped

Avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish



1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection). Place your chicken breasts in a large baking pan, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your fajita seasoning over the chicken, coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Using two forks, shred the chicken (while this is not so easy to do while the chicken is hot, I find I get a better “shred” if I do so while the chicken is still hot). Alternately, you can just chop the chicken into small pieces.

2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.

3. Add in the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

4. Pour in the chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes and bring to a medium boil.

5. [THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL] If you want a slightly thickened soup, strain out some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers to a blender or Magic Bullet and puree. Pour back into the broth mixture. I did this with about 1/2 of the solids in the soup.

6. Add the chicken, cilantro and lime juice to your bubbling cauldron of goodness. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.

7. Serve with avocado and cilantro on top.

I am not gonna lie…I wanted to top it all off with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla slices.  But because I didn’t…I could eat two whole bowls…guilt free.  And that my friends, is DELICIOUS!!

Peppermint Paleo Brownies x2!!

Yep TIMES 2!!  I have been a busy girl today.  I wanted make something “sweet” for the hubs and kiddos since I am eating paleo and haven’t brought any kind of dessert into the house in a while.  I found a couple of recipes that sounded pretty good…all while being paleo friendly.  I had such high hopes because of the raves these recipes received.  But I know me…and my taste buds can NOT be deceived by fake desserts.  But these weren’t for me were they?  Sometimes I forget.

The two recipes I decided to try were this one from PaleOMG and this one from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  The first recipe I tried was the one from PaleOMG.  On her page she warned that her brownies turned out super ugly.  LOL  How can a brownie be super ugly?  That is just nonsense.  Or is it?  Keep reading.

This is what you will need for the  PaleOMG Fudgy Brownies.  (Or fugly brownies should I say?)  ANYWHO…!


The main ingredients were figs and the Enjoy Life chocolate Mini Chips.  This is what was going to give the brownies their sweet chocolatey flavor as well as most of the bulk.  UH OH.  That’s a lot of figs!!  I followed the instructions and used my food processor to blend the figs to an even consistency.  I kind of wish I would have used my Vitamix to achieve a smoother batter, but remember when I try a recipe for the first time I follow it to a T.  And when Julie says to use a food processor I don’t ask questions.  (Yes, we are on first name basis too.)  BFF’s really.

I proceeded with the rest of the recipe but did not snap pics because my daughter let my camera battery run down.  Phhht!!  And well, this Iphone camera just doesn’t take very good pics.  SOOOOO…fast forward to the batter complete according to the recipe and this is when I added 5 drops of Young Living Peppermint Oil.  I blended it a little more to mix it in thoroughly and then it was ready to be poured into the muffin cups.  Julie used silicone muffin cups.  I on the other hand went rogue and used regular paper baking cups because I have tried to rid my kitchen of silicon, plastic, and such.  Plus I never had silicon baking cups.

Understand that the batter was THICK!!!  It could not be poured.  It was very sticky so I had to scoop it up and scrape it into the cups and TRY to get it to fill them evenly.  It took a bit…but I finally got it done.  I stuck them in the oven for 20-25mins.  When I took them out they looked like poop.  Burnt poop.  Literally.  I could not get the batter “level” in the cups because of how sticky thick it was…and those peaks burned.  But no worries…I just cut those little tips off and voila…unburnt poop brownies.


Thankfully my daughter and one of her friends were here to taste test and they both said they were good.  They loved the peppermint taste and said they tasted just like “regular brownies”.  I was shocked.  I took their word.  Then when my husband got home he gave me the thumbs up too.  I will try one after dinner.  I promise.

They are ugly.  And the top is sort of dry.  But the middle and bottom are very “browniesh”.  Very moist and “heavy”.  That’s how regular brownies always seem to me.



For Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s “Amazing Paleo Brownies” here is what I used.


The main ingredients in this recipe were avocados, chocolate, and cacao powder.  I was a bit worried about them being too chocolatey.  I know that is not possible for some of you to imagine but for me it is.  I like chocolate…but just a little.  I followed the recipe by blending the avocados smooth.  Then each ingredient was added in one by one.  This batter was super creamy and smooth.  It looked delish!!!  I finished following the recipe and of course then added 5 drops of the Peppermint Oil again.

This recipe called for the batter to be poured into an 8×8 pan.  And this time it was easily pourable.  I already knew these would be MY favorite just because they were “easier” to work with.  I baked them for about 35mins.  They were so pretty right out of the oven.  No poop look alike with these bad boys.   They were perfect…I thought.


Once I let them cool I had my hubby try them.  He took a bite and then paused.  That is never a good sign.  He suggested they cook for a little longer.  I looked and they did seem a little “wet” on the inside.  I baked them for another 5 mins.  Took them out and I tried one.  Same thing…too wet.  So back in they went. After another 5 mins I let my daughter try it.  She said they were good but really “smooshy” which really meant wet.  But not near as much.  And I kind of just chalked it up to the avocados.


They were still given a thumbs up…but my daughter and my husband both agree the ugly brownies tasted better!!  WHAT?!?!  My verdict?  I still haven’t had a poop brownie…and the avocado brownie was not very sweet.  It has a very subtle sweetness.  The Peppermint Oil saved this recipe.  I think next time I will combine these two recipes.  Maybe adding both avocados and figs.  Just not as much as in the above recipes.

The Peppermint Oil was a nice little added flavor to both recipes.  The crisp coolness of the oil made the brownies more autumnal.  And who doesn’t like treats and eats to remind them of fall?  I will definitely use it again.

Can yall tell the difference between the two when I put them together?



Here are the recipes and detailed instructions directly from the original sites:

PaleOMG’s Fudgy Brownies
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  

Serves: 6+

  • 1½ cup dried figs (any stems removed)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pull out your handy dandy food processor and add your figs to it. Puree until your figs have broken down evenly.
  3. Add your melted coconut oil to the processor to mix with the figs.
  4. Next add your melted chocolate chips and eggs and mix.
  5. Now add your coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix together.
  6. So I made these in silicone muffin liners in my muffin tin, filling them up halfway and they cooked perfectly. I’m not sure what they would be like if you baked them in a normal 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Fill 12 liners with the THICK brownie batter. Yes, it should be that thick. That’s why my brownies look like sh*t in the picture. Totally the brownies fault.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Let cool before consuming. Seriously. They honestly taste even better the second day around!
This made 12 muffins or fudgy brownie bites-if you must
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s Amazing Paleo Brownies
Ingredients:1 bar of dark, unsweetened chocolate (70% or more)
3 avocados
3 eggs
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Coconut oil (plus a little more to grease the pan)
Optional:  Fresh raspberries or strawberries for toppingYou could probably add walnuts but I chose not to.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 8×8  baking pan with some coconut oil

Peel and pit the avocados and put in mixing bowl, use mixer and get them as smooth as you can.  Put coconut oil in small saucepan and let melt, then add the dark chocolate.  Make sure you stir it on low so it does not burn.  Pour the melted chocolate over the avocados and mix again.  One by one add other ingredients blending well with the mixer.  You do not want any chunks of avocado left in your mix.

Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  Let cool before eating.

Homemade Almond Milk–It’s Good Stuff

A few weeks ago I heard the awful news that store bought almond milk really isn’t that good for you. WHAT?!?! I had already made the switch from dairy…and now my switch wasn’t good enough!? Hogwash I tell you! Hogwash!! (I will be researching this more…But I want to be prepared in case it’s true.)  I was talking with a friend at work about it and how I was thinking of making my own in my Vitamix. She said “I know an amazing recipe for it…You will LOVE it”. She told me about the recipe found on  I am so glad she told me about this site…lots of lovely recipes.

I read up on how to make it…and it seemed simple enough.  The only thing I didn’t have was a nut milk bag.  I searched Amazon and found this one for $10.  It was the one used in the recipe and since she seemed to know what she was doing…well I figured it was a good one.  When I make a recipe for the first time I follow it to a “T”.  Even the nut milk bag.  I giggle every time I say or type that.  Nut Milk Bag.  It’s funny, right?

Almond Milk Ingredients

I gathered my goods…Almonds, Vanilla Bean, Dates, Salt, and Cinnamon.  So today was the day…Or last night really.   I put a cup of dry almonds in a bowl of water to soak.  I soaked the over night and then some.  I actually forgot about them until about noon today.  I also forgot that I made myself a sweet potato yesterday, that I left in the oven all day until today.  But that is another story for another time.  Anyhow…along with the ingredients you will need a really good blender.  I used my Vitamix.  It’s a beast.  And worth every red cent spent on it.

After I soaked the almonds I rinsed them and then put them in my blender with 3.5 cups of filtered water.  I chopped up the vanilla bean (yes the entire bean…chopped) and I pitted dates.  Don’t forget to pit them.  They are deceiving because they look all soft and smooshy.  But slice ’em open and pull that little pit right on out.  If not, I am not sure how happy your blender will be.  I blended the nuts on high for one minute.  Once they were blended smooth I poured the gritty liquid through the nut milk bag into a bowl.  Once most of the liquid dripped through on its own I twisted and squeezed the rest out.  I rinsed out the blender then put the milk back in the blender.  I then added the salt and cinnamon and turned the blender on low to mix it up really well.  Then I just poured the milk into a cute little milk bottle I found at HomeGoods.  And guess what?  It just so happened to be the same bottle she used.  I swear we didn’t plan it.  But I do think it means we are soul sisters.  Or we both like cute bottles.  Who knows.

Soak Nuts for 8-12 hours
Nuts with 3.5 C of filtered water
Pour liquid through nut milk bag
Squeeze excess milk from bag
Add cinnamon and salt to milk

The result?  I would give it an A-.  There is a tad bit of grit…superfine; almost a powder fine grit.  I’m gonna have to ask Angela about that.  (Yea we are on a first name basis…or maybe it’s just me.)  It may be my fault for squeezing the bejesus out of the nut bag.  She said use slight pressure.  I forgot about that part.  But the stuff tastes really good!!!


I will definitely be making this again.  Now I just need to find a recipe on how to use this left over almond pulp.  Oh She Glows gives a few suggestions including freezing it for later.  I think that’s what I will do for now.

Leftover almond paste

Oh…and I will have another post soon about a delicious Roasted Chicken!!!  Woot woot!!  I was on a roll today!!  What did y’all cook up today?!

Here are the exact amounts and recipe directly from Oh She Glows:

Yield: 3.5 cups


  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
  • 3.5 cups filtered water
  • 2-4 pitted Medjool dates*, to taste (I used 2 large)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean*, chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance the flavour


1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. It’s preferred to soak them overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water, but you can get away with soaking for 1-2 hours in a pinch.

2. Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.

3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.

4. Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This took me about 3-5 minutes to get all the milk out.

5. Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.

6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting. Enjoy with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for a real treat. This milk is also lovely with cereal.

Notes: If your dates or vanilla bean are dry/stiff, soak in water to soften before use. You can also use another sweetener of your choice like maple syrup. Same goes for vanilla – feel free to use vanilla extract for a more subtle vanilla flavour.

Read more:

Why Paleo?

I have had a few people ask why I am choosing to follow the Paleo approach and not just eat healthy?  There are so many answers to that question.  I could just say “because I wanna”.  But honestly that’s not true.  The reason I started on Paleo was because my doctor suggested it.  I had heard a little about it but didn’t really pay attention to it.  But lets get one thing straight.  I use the word diet not as the miserable action all of us hate doing.  But more of “as in the foods I eat”.  Does that make sense?  I don’t feel like I am on a “diet”.  I feel like I AM just eating healthy.  Paleo is not just for losing weight.  It is a whole foods, natural, back to the basics, organic, no preservatives, no hormones, no food dyes, no adulteration way of eating.  Ridding your body of all the crap that the food industry labels as safe.  Trying to avoid those deceiving labels like: fortified, lite, fat-free, enriched, pasteurized, all natural, multi-grain, sugar free, cage free, etc.  These foods have been modified so much from their original state that there really isn’t anything REAL left.  And it all catches up…all that unnatural crap is wreaking havoc on our bodies.  Not just making us fat, but really hurting us by causing multiple diseases.  Sometimes I think the USDA, FDA, and the pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots together.  Each putting money in the others’ pockets.  And don’t even let me get started on Monsanto–and what they are allowed to do.  That is another post for another time.

I have been on a journey for a couple years now trying to live a more natural life.  I started removing chemicals from my home.  And no…I am not 100% chemical free.  But I try.  I discovered essential oils a couple of years ago.  I was able to substitute many oils for meds that I kept stocked in cabinets.  I began using supplements daily.  I even use cloth grocery bags…for the love of Pete.   SEE?!?!  That made me a healthy person right?  Ha.  It wasn’t until I went to my dr with heart palpitations that I was shown what was REALLY needed to get healthy.  She went over my blood work with me and said “You are pre-diabetic.  But it’s reversible…you can stop the progression to diabetes IF you make drastic changes to your diet.”  I was sitting in my car on the phone with her when she told me that.  Do you want to know my response?  “Sooo…can I start that diet after I finish these fries?”  She said “of course…doesn’t everyone?”  I didn’t finish my fries…or burger.  And they were from Freddy’s!!!  I was sick to my stomach from the news she just told me.  As a nurse I see LOTS of unhealthy people.  Lots of diabetes.  Lots of obesity!!  And I see how hard recovery is for unhealthy people as opposed to healthy people.  Our bodies just don’t work as efficiently as they could if we fed them clean, whole, healthy foods.

I am a sugar and carb addict!!!  I admit it.  They make my mouth water just looking at them.  But they are killing me.  I started researching Paleo and what it was all about.  I realized it is not a diet of deprivation…but a way of eating what our bodies need.  And eating foods that are as close as possible to their natural state.  Eating this way can help people who suffer from diabetes to auto-immune disorders to digestive disorders to MS to ADHD and much much more.  It is about real health.  And that is what I want for both myself and my family.  Not just an FDA standard of health…but  a REAL health.

And for those still thinking I will never get to eat good foods like dessert again.  Check out some of these lovely recipes that I very much intend to try!

Banana Sandwich
Banana Sandwich from Civilized Caveman Cooking

Or this

Apple Cider Donuts from PaleOMG
Apple Cider Donuts from PaleOMG

Or THIS!!!!

Banana Bread Pudding from Paleo Cupboard
Banana Bread Pudding from Paleo Cupboard



Lay off me…I’m STARVING!!!

Gold star for whoever gets that reference!!  My money is on Chuck.

Yesterday was a success…and a failure. I followed the rules of no dairy, soy, grain, etc etc.   But I had to scramble all day to figure out what to eat.   Remember in my previous post where I said this is going to take lots of planning?  WELL…I really really need to plan better.  Before, when I would wake up I could just walk down and make cereal, or waffles, or oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. But today I went downstairs to eat my breaky…and there was nothing.  There was one egg.  Thats it.  So what did I do?  I ignored breakfast for a while.  FAIL.  So as I sat there trying to avoid the kitchen and my hunger I totally forgot to put my crockpot meal in the crockpot.  FAIL.  Once my hubby woke up we went into town to pick up the kiddos and to see my in-laws’ new house.  We grabbed Chik-fil-a on the way…thank you baby Jesus!!!  Now I didn’t order my regular…this time I ordered grilled nuggets and a side of fruit; plus I made some honey mustard to dip it in.  I know, I know…that’s not on the list of approved “organic” meats and fruits.  But it WAS meat and fruit none the less.   Success!!  Do you know how stinking hard it was to pass the fam their meals with all their glorious french fries and breaded nuggets and sandwiches?  I didn’t even snag a one!!!  I didn’t even check the bag for dropped fries.  Huge success.  Does anyone else do that?  When passing everyone their french fries you make sure one or two falls to the bottom of the bag…and then oopsy, looky what mom found?  I don’t, but I am sure some of you do. 😉

fast food paleo–grilled nuggets and fruit

We returned home about 330 or so…and the hunger and crankiness kicked in again.  Oh and this time…with a headache!! YAY!!!  I made myself a shakeology drink…but it just didn’t do the trick.  So after homeschooling, and after I dropped my kiddo off at tumbling off I went to Central Market.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that place.  But holy smokes it’s expensive.  As I meandered through the store I found myself looking in other peoples baskets and being a tad envious.  I kept thinking…”why is it ok for you to eat that” or “I want some of that too”. I think I actually said “pfffft” a few times.  I was gonna snag me a cup of coffee but there were two guidos there hogging it all up.  I snarled at them and kept going.  I literally found  myself stopping and ogling all the foods I couldn’t have.  Is soy in EVERYTHING?!?!  Is pasta REALLY a grain?  Funny thing is…I don’t even like pasta but at that moment…I wanted it!  Beans are a no-no so hummus is out!!!!  Now that is a hard one!  And because they have that lovely store set up so well…you pretty much HAVE to pass by all the gourmet cheeses and all the baked goods and breads to get to the meats.  I wanted to go jump into the middle of all that bread and just eat until I passed out.  I made it around to the prepared food area…where everything is warm and ready to eat.  I kid you not I stood in front of the chicken quesadillas for about 5 mins.  Just staring…waving off any need of help.  But I stayed strong.  Success!!  Two bags and $80 later I was finally heading home for dinner.  Sort of.  I was kind of digging my goods out 30 seconds after I left the store.  I have never enjoyed the taste of fancy smancy lunch meat as much as I did at that moment.  I sat in my car and ate a few pieces…maybe 4.  Maybe more.  I dunno.   Anywho…I finally made it home.  Had a few more pieces of meat…and a little spoon of almond butter…and some fruit.  I know…it wasn’t enough.  So that was a FAIL.  But I didn’t cheat…so really the day was a success.  No?  Overall I just need to plan better.  I hate being hungry with nothing around to eat.  Today was much better…

Now for the answer to my title reference:   Gap Girls

The naked truth…

Ok peeps…I am about to bare all.  Just lay it all out there so to speak!!  I need to get healthy.  I know, I know…we could all stand to get a little bit healthier. Well folks…this chick needs to get about 40lbs healthier.  That is a lot of stinking extra weight to carry around on a frame that is 5’3 and ONE HALF inches tall!!  I need that 1/2″ of height–it makes me thinner.  Anyhow…Do you know what size I wear?!?!!?  Seriously people…It’s unhealthy.  Call me vain.  Maybe I am.  I don’t care.  I don’t like how I feel and I don’t like I how look being this size.  So you say “lose weight…exercise…eat right”.  I KNOW THIS!!!!!!  Everyone out there knows this.  But here is the truth…it’s mentally hard.  Physically yes…but mentally even more so.  Every little thing on my body “moves” now when I exercise–I swear I need a “Body bra”… so that depresses me.  My knees kill me when working out…so that depresses me.  I have a bum shoulder.  What did I do to it?  Heck if I know.  I think I hurt it pulling off clothes or something strenuous like that…so that depresses me.  My back hurts no matter which way I turn…that depresses me.  You would think I have been a smoker for my entire life by the lung capacity I have…so that depresses me.  After any strenuous exercise…if more than 30 seconds my heart rate is in the high 180’s if not 190’s…so that depresses me…and wears me out.  NONE…I mean NONE of my clothes fit.  Guess what?  That depresses me.  Even cute workout clothes that used to give me motivation don’t fit…and that just makes me depressed.  So before you tell me to quit whining, hear me out.  I KNOW that these are all excuses that I use.  But they are real. Being down on oneself is very real and very hard to snap out of.   So it sort of starts a vicious cycle:  try…fail…get depressed…try…fail…get depressed.  OVER and OVER and OVER.  I have laugh at it really.  But let me clarify something.  I am not depressed in that I can’t function…or ever be happy…or am thinking of suicide.  I am not.  I am depressed in that I just don’t like who I am right now.  It affects my mood towards others.  I am more reserved and stand-offish.  I am less likely to joke around…and dang it I am hella funny.  But that side of me is being overshadowed by this new boring blob.  I am a tad sick of it actually.  Soooo…I am gonna TRY again.  I will post my stats every sunday including what I have lost in lbs and inches.  I have started my Paleo “diet” as well.  My hubby and I kicked off my caveman cuisine at Texas de Brazil last night!  Meat, meat, and more meat.  Plus some salad bar…No cheese!!  Not even those super delicious balls of mozzarella that were staring me down.  I swear I heard the goat cheese call my name.  Sitting over there all pretty and soft right beside the golden brown crustinis!!  Jerks!!  Anyhow…I had salad, veggies, and meat.  BUT…I did take a few small bites of the mashed potatoes.  I am so ashamed!!  But not really.  Today I have eaten STRICTLY paleo…No cheese, milk, or bread!!!  I swear though, when I hear my kiddos go pop open the Goldfish my mouth waters and my tummy aches.  This must be what it feels like to be an addict.  Or not.   I dunno.  But lets pretend.

So now I am sitting here drinking my water with my Young Living Lemon oil dropped in it.  It’s good.  I am  motivated.  Excited.  And gonna take it day by day.  And because you can’t make a blog post without a pic…here is my super yummy breakfast.

Egg scramble with turkey sausage and watermelon.
Egg scramble with turkey sausage and watermelon.



Stats:  40 lbs too heavy

Inches:  too many

List’en up!! (get it?…wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

I am a list girl.  Lists make me happy.  Lists make me feel organized.  Lists make me feel smarter.  I prefer to make lists with pen and paper…so I can literally cross things off my list.  My hubby always says I need to just list it in my phone.  “Use the notes on your phone”, he says.  “It’s easier”, he says.  Well I say, “phhhht!”  No thanks…I will stick to pen and paper. They make me happy.  (Except when I leave my notebook of lists at home…and then I wish I had listened to the hubster.)

ANYWHO!!  Today I listed some “no-no’s” of strict paleo;  I listed some “borderline” paleo; I listed items to stock up on; I listed kitchen tools I may want to buy; I listed recipes; and I listed paleo blogs from where I “copied” said recipes.  Did I tell you I like lists?  I am beginning to feel so PALEO!!  Do I sound any different?  I think I’ve already lost some weight!

Paleo No-No's
Paleo No-No’s

My lists showed me that I am going to be listing A LOT more if I don’t want to fall off the wagon in 2 days.  This new lifestyle is going to take time…money…preparation and I will need to plan it out weekly if not daily.  I took my pantry list and marked through the items I already had.  Marking through some items that I don’t have to buy made me happy, happy, happy.   Mark through = less money I have to spend tomorrow.  Yay for me!

Stock the cupboard?!
Stock the cupboard?!

Tomorrow night I plan on making Pork Chops with mushroom sauce and Spicy Smashed Sweet Potatoes.  I don’t think sweet potatoes are on the “strict” paleo diet…but I ain’t claiming to be strict!!  Remember, baby steps.  I found some good sites to help me out on this transition.  A few of my new favs are Paleo Cupboard, Paleomg, and Civilized Caveman.  So who is super excited to take her lists and head out to the grocery store tomorrow!!  >>THIS GIRL<<  Let’s do this!

**The Pork chops with mushroom sauce were SO good!!  A++ from the hubby**

And so it begins…

First Blog…woot woot!!  Now…what to write?  Should I be funny or informative, uncensored or politically correct?  I am just gonna have to go with real and see what comes out.  I am all excited and nervous to put this out on the world wide interwebs!!  Ha!  Will I be liked?  Will I be hated?  Will I even be seen…or should I say read?  I already need a drink…or two.

I suppose this first post should be a sort of introduction about who I am and why I wanted to start blogging.  So here goes!!  I’m Christina…aka The Crunchy RN.  I decided to start this blog to document a few things: My turning 40…my love of Young Living oils…my new healthy/Paleo diet…not to mention just my daily musings and goings on.  I hope this blog helps and interests others at the same time holds me accountable to a healthier lifestyle.

I am a wife to an amazingly funny and super cute dude.  We have 3 kiddos total…1 being my own and 2 bonus kids from his first marriage.  I never knew how hard it would be to blend a family…but wow, what a blessing!!!
I am an RN and have been for about 7 years.  I started out working in the NICU but now work on the post-partum unit.  However, being a nurse does NOT equate to being healthy.  Quite the opposite.  After meeting my husband a few years back I began questioning the medicines I was giving and taking for that matter.  I started researching vaccines, chemicals in water, OTC and prescription drugs and their affects on our bodies.  About a year and a half ago I walked into a patients room who was diffusing Thieves. After talking in length to her and her husband about oils I went home that evening and signed up with YL.  Oils have changed my life!!!  I use them daily on myself, my kids, my husband, and my coworkers and anyone who will let me oil them!!!  I want to share them with the world!!!!  Can you tell that I am a whole hearted believer in them?  If you would like to learn more about Young Living essential oils shoot me an email or check out others’ testimonials here:
I have tried to go “healthy” in other aspects of my life as well.  I use natural household cleaning products, natural skin care, and natural haircare.  However, it wasn’t until a recent Dr’s visit where I found out that I am “pre-diabetic” that I realized I have to get serious about the foods I am putting in my body.  So now I am about to start my journey down the Paleo highway.  Very tiny, little, itty-bitty baby steps.  I will not be perfect all the time…But I will try daily to be healthier.  I hope to post recipes, links, tips and anything else that may help someone else walking a similar path.
I love, love, love anything DIY.  It’s what you will find me doing when I am not homeschooling the kids or working.  I would rather try to do it myself than pay someone.  I have about 50 projects on my to-do list…that I haven’t started yet or that are not complete.  I tend to get bored with a project and leave a tad bit on each one unfinished.  It’s my signature move.  Kind of like an artists signature.  ha!
I turn 40 in less than 2 months!!!  And let me tell you…40 is coming at me like a spider monkey!!!  I was hoping to ease smoothly into my new decade with class and grace.  That is obviously not gonna happen.  My plan is to meet 40 head on with my oils in hand…grace and ease out the window.  But for now I will enjoy the remaining days of my 30’s.