Friday, August 22, 2014

Currently.

Having fun or throwing a fit? You decide.

Currently... exhausted from our last few nights of trying to get Alice to go to sleep (and stay asleep!) without one of us either sitting or sleeping on the floor in her room. To be fair, we changed up her sleep routine for 4 weeks so I guess we can't expect it to go back to the old routine in just a few days.

Currently... excited for the weekend and the start of our annual timeshare condo at Snowbird Ski Resort! Going there has been a tradition in my family since I was a baby and I am so glad to be back in Utah to continue that tradition with Alice.

Currently... speaking of being back in Utah, I can't believe it has been a year since we left Boston! I miss a few of the friends that I left there and.... that's about it! (sorry, Bostonians).

Currently... planning to order this vertical garden from Etsy in the next few days. Now that our summer vacation is over, it's time to finish the last few projects remaining in our loft remodel, like hallway lighting and living room rugs and painting outlet covers.

And currently... feeling really good about a decision we've made recently regarding having another child. But more on that another day.

Happy weekend! What are your plans?

Weekly Workouts: Monday - Back to SLC CrossFit! 1RM deadlifts (I went super conservative since the last time I did DL, I tweaked my back... 185lbs), then 6 RFT of 150m row + 10 pistols + 5 DL @ body weight + 2min rest. Tuesday & Wednesday - Sleep deprived and alarm malfunction means no workouts. Unplanned rest days. Thursday - CrossFit! 50 deadlifts @ 60% 1RM (145lbs), then 4 x 3min AMRAP of 8 burpee box jumps + 10 DL (105lbs). Friday - CrossFit! 5RM back squats (after months of hip pain, I was pain free and did 128lbs), then Karen (150 wall balls @ 14lbs 8:20).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zoodles w/ Fresh Basil & Artichoke Heart Chunky Sauce.

I wish tomato season would last forever.

What inevitably happens whenever we take Alice out of her usual sleeping arrangement to go on vacation, she reverts to needing one of us to fall asleep with her for naps or bedtime. In her defense, though, we are to blame for her needing this extra help. Most toddlers aren't good with change and ours is no exception so when we put her to bed while at the hotel or when at my in-laws, we took the easy way out and laid down with her when she asked (okay, whined).

And now we're paying the consequences.

Sleep for all of us has been tumultuous since we got home on Saturday with many night wakings and cries for mama to lay down with her. So we're taking it slow, talking to Alice about where Mama and Daddy sleep and where Alice sleeps and encouraging her to go to sleep by herself without either of us lying down.

There's a lesson here. If you have a solid one, don't mess with your kids' bedtime routine.

On a different topic, now that we're home and I'm back in my own kitchen, I've been super motivated to make things using all of the fresh stuff we're getting through our CSA and the downtown SLC farmers market. So last night I made zoodles with fresh basil and artichoke heart marinara. It was so fresh and so easy and so delicious. Here's the recipe.

Zoodles with fresh basil & artichoke heart chunky sauce (serves 4)

  • 1/2 to 1 zucchini per person, spiraled or julienned
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, ribboned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. After making your zoodles, put them in a strainer and put 1 tsp of fine salt per zucchini, toss to coat and place strainer over the sink or in a bowl for 20 min. Then rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain (I got this tip from Stupid Easy Paleo and it helps to draw the water out, resulting in a slightly less soggy zoodle).
  2. While the zoodles are draining, heat olive oil in a sautée pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic!). Add the tomatoes (in a pinch, use a can of diced!) and turn the heat to a simmer, stirring and mashing the tomatoes occasionally. After an additional 8-10 minutes, the tomatoes should look broken down and saucy. Add the artichoke hearts and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Right before serving and with the heat off, stir in the fresh basil (I didn't add any salt to this sauce because of the saltiness of the artichoke hearts. Trust me, you won't need it!).
  3. In a separate pan, heat a splash of olive oil on high and then add your drained zoodles. Using tongs, toss and stir for just a minute or two! Your goal here isn't to cook but to just heat them through.
  4. Plate the zoodles and top with the sauce. And enjoy all of those fresh flavors of summer.

Smoked salmon with leftover chunky sauce & a side of EVEN MORE tomatoes.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sweet Potato + Zucchini Patties.

Sweet Potato + Zucchini Patties. Whole30 & Paleo approved.

It feels so good to be home, back in our own little space. When we walked into our loft on Saturday evening after almost four weeks away and two full days of driving, I realized how long we'd been gone and how much I missed it here. This city. Our mountains. My bed.

And, ok. I missed the cats, too.

I tried really hard to eat a paleo diet while we were on vacation but my MIL's baked goods and Canadian beer and three days of eating out while in Vancouver definitely made it difficult. So now that we're home and now that we are back to cooking all of our meals, I'm aiming to get back to eating in a way that makes me feel wonderful.

One of the complaints/concerns I hear a lot when I tell people I eat this way is the amount of meat that goes into a paleo diet. And yep. It's a lot of (hopefully) high-quality protein incorporated into most meals. But, after two days of road food and a we-have-no-food-here-let's-order-a-pizza when we got home on Saturday night, I felt the need to lighten up my meals. So we made potato pancakes with healthy sweet potatoes and locally grown zucchini for dinner last night. Here's the recipe:

Sweet Potato + Zucchini Patties (makes 3 to 4 large patties):

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 large zucchini, washed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs of fat of your choice
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  1. Using a large holed cheese grater, grate the sweet potatoes and zucchini (watch your fingers!) and put the mixture into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and incorporate into the vegetable mix. Add a pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  2. With clean hands, form a tennis ball-sized amount and then flatten into a patty. Continue until you have no mixture left. In a cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt the fat of your choice (we used EVOO but ghee or coconut oil would also be delicious). On medium-high heat, cook the patty for 6-8 minutes per side, or until a crust has formed. Flip and do it again.
  3. Let cool and enjoy. We had ours with a green salad with fresh tomatoes. A (big!) dollop of homemade mayo and a bit of mustard make it the perfect meatless meal.

These were great as leftovers with my eggs this morning, too! To re-heat, just plop them into an oiled hot frying pan and warm through for a few minutes on each side. Try them! You won't be dissappointed.

How was your weekend?

Weekend Workouts: Saturday & Sunday - Nada! With a drive day and loads of laundry to do, I did nothing. But I'm back at it hard this week.

The perfect post-workout breakfast. We did dead lifts this AM and I was famished when I got home!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Melting Glass.

Melting sticks of glass into beads. Saffire Bead & Flameworks. Panorama, B.C.

While we were in Panorama, my sister-in-law registered a few of us to take a glass bead-making class. Unsure of what to expect, I went with her and two of my brothers-in-law to the three-hour class on Monday morning. And after making my first bead, I was hooked. It was so much fun.

I was terrible at making round or uniform beads and went with a more organic look, i.e. very rock-shaped. But I think they turned out pretty well! And I even made a necklace for Alice out of three of the fifteen or so beads that I made.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a class like this (or you find yourself at Saffire Bead & Flameworks in Panorama, B.C.), I highly recommend it!

Weekly Workouts: Monday - Trail run in Panorama! 3.9 miles/40 min/970 ft elev gain. Tuesday & Wednesday - I should've done something, but.... Rest day! Thursday - Trail run to Lake of the Hanging Glacier! 11.4 miles/2:42/3,154 ft elev gain. Gorgeous out there. Friday - Drive day! We're headed home.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lake of the Hanging Glacier.

Photos from our wrong turn. We had to build up the road with rocks for the trip back across the washout!

Since I knew we were coming to Panorama, B.C. for a few days before driving back to Utah, I googled trails in the area so that I had a plan for runs while we are here. And after one look at pictures from the Lake of the Hanging Glacier, I knew I had to go and see it for myself.

I talked with Lee. I checked the weather forecast for the best weather. We planned around family activities. Then we decided to do it on Thursday, the day before we head home.

And we woke up to cloud cover and chances of rain throughout the day.

Lee and I decided to go anyway! We loaded up the car with our hydration packs, some food and gave our family a rough return time of 3PM. The directions from the mountain resort website were great! We got on the two-lane highway towards Invermere, found the turn for the town of Wilmer and got ourselves onto the gravel forest service road that would take us to the trailhead for this epic run. So far, so good.

But then we had a little hiccup.

As we neared the end of the almost 50km that we had to do on the gravel (!!), we came to a fork in the road and, after a quick look down both of them and checking our directions to see if there was any mention of this, we decided to take the more traveled road to the left.

Turns out, we were wrong.

The road we chose was still drivable but it became very steep and very bumpy and, as we rounded a corner, we found a washout across the road. Lee jumped out to see if we could cross it and, after a thorough inspection, decided we could so we nervously motored across the rushing water.

After making it to the 49km marker where our trail was supposed to start and after much searching, we found nothing that resembled a trailhead. At this point, almost three hours into our adventure, two hours off schedule and with no cell service for the majority of the road we'd just traveled, I thought my dream of seeing this lake was over. But then Lee decided that we should try out the less traveled road we'd opted not to take a few kilometers back.

Turns out, he was right!

This jeep road to the trailhead is much less traveled and our little Jetta was bouncing all over the place as we made our way the few kilometers to the start of our run/hike. The clouds persisted but luckily the rain stayed away for our ascent and then started soon after we made it the 8km to the bright blue glacial lake surrounded by jagged mountains. It was gorgeous there but I was cursing the weather as I imagine it is spectacular on a sunny day.

So we'll just have to hike it again someday.

And because of the directions and the detour we took as a result of their lack of thoroughness, our 3PM return time turned into 6:30PM. Since the area we were in is some of the most remote wilderness in B.C., has no cell service and is home to a healthy population of grizzlies, Lee's family was a little worried, to say the least (and frankly, at times, I was, too!).

My pictures don't do the beauty of this place justice.

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