Sunday Reflection

Being a morning person is one my favorite things about myself. I realize that most people like to sleep in on the weekends, but there is nothing quite like waking up with the sunrise and knowing that I have a full and beautiful day ahead of me. I want to squeeze every drop out of the weekend that I can and Sunday mornings might just be my favorite. I try to sneak quietly out of bed so as not to wake my sleeping husband, who prefers to sleep in, and today was successful. Before even firing up the coffee pot, I took a moment out to enjoy the way the rising sun filters through our home.


This was undoubtedly a morning for reflection, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy moments like this is with a record…and coffee. There must always be coffee.


I am grateful today that despite the difficult time I had last week, it’s long over and I am setting my intention for a successful and pleasant week ahead. I know that it may not be perfect and it will carry it’s own challenges, but I will face them and then let them go.

I am also grateful for pushing myself to go to Crossfit yesterday. I knew that I would look back on yesterday’s post and think I was being ridiculous, and yes, my anxiety about the situation was ridiculous, but it was very real. I am proud of myself for facing it though, and I think from this point on I won’t just be working out in my home gym.

Finally, I am grateful for these heavenly chocolate coconut macaroons. These qualify as breakfast, right?



Enjoy your Sunday and all the good things that it will bring. Also, if you can score some macaroons, I highly suggest it.

What the F…ear?

This is going to sound silly, but I am nervous about heading back to my Crossfit gym this morning. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been away from it for quite some time after stepping away to deal with a minor injury and then just never going back other than to the occasional open gym. I was terrified the first time I went, and it scared me nearly every morning after that for a few weeks until I started to finally settle in – but every single time I faced the fear and I left feeling so empowered and proud of myself. I guess I would even liken the feeling to a high of sorts. But here I sit this morning, nervous about stepping back into that space, which I know is really ridiculous.

It is not a matter of being fearless. The fear is sometimes constant, but it’s about moving forward regardless of the fear. Courage means feeling the fear and doing it anyway. -Gillian Anderson

I committed to joining in a partner WOD (Workout of the Day for those who aren’t familiar with the lingo) with my husband this morning, as it’s a special one as a memorial and fundraiser for a dear member who was lost tragically just a few weeks ago. I want to go, I want to show my support, but why on earth am I feeling so much trepidation? I know I’ll have to scale the workout, which is fine, and I know that it’s only 13 minutes of work and it’s with my husband, so what’s the big deal? I wonder sometimes if I have a touch of social anxiety, which seems even more odd given that I am a very social person. But every so often, I feel like I clam up inside when I’m faced with the unknown. It wouldn’t seem like this situation presents too many unknowns, though, so who the F knows what my deal is?

Here is what I do know: I am going, I will face my fear and I’ll leave feeling amazing. So let’s do this.


Off Weeks and Small Victories

Sometimes you just have an off week, and this has been one of mine. It started with travel days, which can sometimes be tough for me to keep on solid track with my fitness goals. After two days of flying and lots of time being cooped up behind the wheel, I returned home to some pretty high stress situations to deal with at the office. Not only did I turn to alcohol for a relaxant as noted in my previous post, my eating was not exactly spot on. I tried to power through the workouts this week, and while I stuck with it, I just couldn’t quite push myself as hard as I had been. My energy level was just zapped. By last night, my body felt terrible – a muscle spasm had come on in my upper back and left me feeling just completely wiped out and achy. I used to suffer from these pretty extensively – mostly stress related – and it’s been almost a year since this reared its ugly head. They can be extremely debilitating for me, but fortunately this one is mellow enough that I should be able to get control if I am careful.

I have to listen to my body when this happens so I took it very easy when I got home last night, and even enjoyed a long, hot bath and went to bed early. I will admit, I poured myself a small glass of red wine to take to the tub with me – almost out of habit. I raised the glass with thoughts of this beautiful liquid easing my muscles and sending me into a gentle sleep, but the moment it reached my lips I was quickly faced with thoughts of how disappointed I was going to feel with myself in the morning. Remember the goals? Remember breaking the cycle? I set it back down and later it met the drain. Chamomile tea took its place. Victory.

ResetWith such an off week, it’s no wonder that I started feeling so lousy. I know myself well enough to know that I have to stay steps ahead of the stress, otherwise it will get the best of me. I didn’t treat myself right this week, I almost feel as though I just neglected myself altogether in so many ways. Today I will rest. Today I will focus on my well-being. Even thought it isn’t a scheduled rest day, I am listening to my body and will take this opportunity to reset. Off weeks happen, it just means that I can make next week so much better.

On a side note, I love Fridays for so many reasons, but today is also my Pay it Forward Friday. I love waking up thinking about what I’ll do to make someone smile today. I haven’t come up with my plan yet, but I look forward to figuring out. I encourage you to go out and do something nice for someone – a friend or a completely stranger, but something random and unexpected. It feels good to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, even in just a small way.




Self Sabotage

So…I have a confession to make. I am sabotaging my fitness mission with alcohol. Part of the 90 day fitness challenge that I am in the middle of involves no alcohol, unless it’s a cheat – and I should only be allowing two cheats a week. This means I’m cheating every day. Every, single, day. I started out with a bang and didn’t have a drink for the first week. I brought a cooler of sparkling water with me to social events in lieu of beer or wine, and I was ready to do this for the next few months. Then I slipped, and then I slipped some more – right back into my old habits.


There is no question that I enjoy a drink now and again. I love a great cocktail or a glass of wine, we have a well stocked wine fridge and bar, and there’s usually a great local beer on tap in our house. I just can’t pinpoint when my drinking went from the occasional glass during a social event, or a cold beer with lunch on a hot Saturday afternoon, to at least one drink every night. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t sit around getting hammered every day, not even close, but the problem is that I am drinking every day and it just doesn’t feel good. I think my biggest problem lately is stress. Stress at work is pretty constant these days, and the first thing I turn to when I get home is a drink to take the edge off and relax. Just last night I went through this ritual, but ended up having a bit more than usual which led to terrible sleep and a struggle to get through my workout this morning. Now I’m just exhausted and run down and still have an entire work day ahead of me, one that is sure to bring more stress. Being overly tired and just low on energy certainly isn’t going to help me today, and this vicious cycle is only preventing me from achieving the level of fitness that I’m striving for. I recognize what the problem is, now I just have to stop the self sabotage.


Paleo Sausage Cauliflower Casserole

After a long week, I find that I want to turn to pizza on Friday nights because it’s quick and delicious, and I am ready to relax at home and basically just veg out. With my healthy lifestyle mission, I instead turned to Pinterest for some easy paleo dinner ideas this past Friday and stumbled across some variations of this recipe, which I molded into something of my own and it was incredibly tasty and far more satisfying than a pizza. (Although sometimes you do just have to eat pizza.) I guarantee I’ll be adding this one to the meal rotation. It also makes plenty and would easily serve a small family, I’d say you could count on 4 full servings, plus some – which made for great leftovers when reheated in the oven. I hope you enjoy!

Not photographed would be the cauliflower preparation. I started out by cutting a head of  cauliflower into florets, and then blanching them in boiling water for 3 minutes, followed by removing and rinsing with cold water to stop the cooking process. I just set them aside while I moved on to everything else, and they still ended up with a slight crunch after the meal was completely done – but they were able to soak all of the flavors up which I thought was perfect in terms of texture and taste. If you prefer softer cauliflower, you could probably let them boil for about 4 minutes instead.

For the sausage, I used 12 oz. of uncured beef sausage, sliced. This would certainly be enough, but I wanted to add a bit of a kick, so I also use half a pound of hot Italian sausage, which added some nice heat. I would suggest you vary to your specific tastes, I think you could reasonably use just about any sausage option for this dish.


After browning the sausage in a bit of coconut oil, I added in the diced onion, garlic, fresh thyme, 3 fresh basil leaves (torn into pieces), and just a bit of dried oregano. I would suggest you adjust the basil to your liking, it can add a bit of sweetness and the 3 leaves worked quite well without overpowering the dish.


Once the onions were cooked until translucent, about 4-5 minutes, I added a can of diced San Marzano tomatoes and allowed this to cook with the sausage mixture for about 5 minutes. I had a 28 oz. can, but didn’t quite use the whole thing. I added about 3/4 of the can, along with the liquids. Next time, I’ll likely drain out some of the liquid from the can first, because there was a bit more liquid at the bottom of the casserole than I preferred, but you do still need some for the cauliflower to soak up. I’d say to play with this for your specific tastes, the extra liquid didn’t affect the taste or texture at all, I just had to drain a bit of it off before storing for leftovers.


After all of the above, I gently tossed in the cauliflower, poured the entire mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkled almond flour mixed with just a bit of Italian seasoning on top. After baking for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees F, I ran the boiler for a minute or so, watching carefully because I just wanted a bit more browning on the almond flour topping – not a burn. The result was absolutely delicious – and not bad to look at, either!


Paleo Sausage Cauliflower Casserole


  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 12 oz of uncured beef sausage (or sausage of your choice), sliced (I also added 8 oz of hot Italian sausage, you can be flexible here)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 springs of thyme, remove use the leaves and toss the stems
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, tear into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 28 oz can of diced San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (almond meal works best, as opposed to finely ground)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the cauliflower florets and boil for 3 minutes. (A minute longer if you prefer softer cauliflower) Remove and drain, rinsing under cold water in order to stop the cooking process, then set aside.
  3. Stir in the 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning into the 1/2 cup of almond flour and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil on medium heat. Add the sausage of your choosing and cook until browned, stirring often.
  5. Stir in the onion, garlic, thyme, basil and oregano. Stir often and cook until the onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes (you can add the whole can, or a bit less depending on your preference) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring periodically.
  7. Turn off the heat and slowly add the cauliflower to the sausage mixture and gently stir together. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish, sprinkle the top with the almond mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for minutes. You an also broil for 1-2 minutes after the baking process to brown the top a bit more, if you prefer.