WritersButt Wednesday: Suffering Salads Batman!

Are your salads suffering unnecessarily at your hands? Are you condemning them to a life of humdrum mediocrity?

Just stop. Put your hands up. And back away from the iceberg.

Now listen to me. Salads do not have to be a boring torturous part of whatever ‘diet’ to which you are currently subjecting yourself. In fact salads are a fabulous opportunity to get creative and add in so many components of healthy eating on one plate.

I eat salads all the time. I’m a bit of an expert at this point and it’s the single most often requested thing I’m asked to bring to potluck parties. And I can tell you my salads aren’t made with iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a waxy cucumber, smothered in some crap dressing from a jar.

Do me a favor. If you are using dressing from a jar and it’s non-fat or low-fat, DO NOT TELL ME.  You will kill a part of my soul.

As I was saying, creating a healthy, fresh salad is like staring at a blank canvas with a rainbow of paints to play with – and you don’t even have to be an artist! Last week, I posted a picture of my dinner salad on Facebook and was inundated with requests for the recipe. I’m a little embarrassed because it’s not really a recipe. Because I promised, I’m going to tell you what this particular salad consisted of, but then I’m going to give you all the ingredients, like those rainbow paints, and you can mix and match to make your own masterpiece.

Ginger's Figgy Salad

Ginger’s Figgy Salad

Fresh Romaine lettuce – Fresh Figs – Honeycrisp Apple – toasted walnuts (toasted them myself) – small sprinkling of blue cheese crumbles. Dressing: Olive Oil, white wine vinegar, cracked fresh pepper. That truly is all it was. It tasted DIVINE!

Lettuce tips: I always have some form of fresh greens on hand. I will buy romaine hearts in 3 or 6 packs. TIP: When you go to make your first salad with your romaine, wash ALL the lettuce. Use what you want that night and then roll the remaining lettuce in a clean kitchen towel (or in paper towels), spreading out the leaves so excess moisture will seep into the towel. Store in a plastic bag in your fridge. It will stay fresh all week, at least! I will also use those pre-washed containers of greens like spring mix, field greens, spinach, etc. I do find I have to use them faster before they start to spoil. TIP: If you use those and they are particularly wet inside the container, roll a few paper towels around the greens to soak up extra moisture.

The Fixin’s: This is where you really get to have some fun and please don’t limit yourself to tomatoes and cucumbers. Not that there is anything wrong with them but there is so much more out there. Mix it up – Pun Alert!  Remember, not all of the ingredients have to be cold and raw. I often add in sautéed or grilled asparagus or thin green beans, or even roasted beets! They add a warm layer of something awesome, trust me.

Savory Stuff: If you’re making more of a savory salad, you can add in your tomatoes and cucumbers, but also peppers – yellow, red and orange are fab for the color, snap peas, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower … anything!

Sweet Stuff: Very often I make salads that have a sweeter side which comes from adding fruit, like berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), mango, pineapple, or apples. In the salad I showed up above, I used fresh black mission figs.

Black Mission FIg

Black Mission FIg

The fruit itself is beautiful in addition to tasting delicious.

Food is beautiful

Food is beautiful

Yummy FATS: Y’all know how important it is to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Don’t deprive yourself of them. I always dress my salads in olive oil. I love the flavor. I add in fresh avocadoes most of the time too as well as nuts. While I don’t eat cheese very often, sometimes I will indulge and when I do, it’s usually in the form of goat, feta, blue or Gorgonzola and it’s very, very little. Just enough crumbles to add that little zing!

Protein: Usually a salad is eaten as a side with some sort of protein, like a steak or grilled chicken. I’m known for making a one-bowl-meal, especially if I’m pulling together a quick lunch for myself, so I incorporate the protein into my salad. I’ve used deli meats, eggs – hard boiled, scrambled or fried, dinner leftovers like chicken, sausage, steak, turkey. This way I’m getting my protein, fats and all those fabulous carbs in the form of greens, veggies and fruits. Complete meal!

Now it’s up to you. Mix and Match, experiment, taste, toss and ENJOY!!

Tell me what’s the most unique ingredient you can think of to have in a salad.  If I haven’t used it before, and I can get my hands on it, I’ll make a salad with your ingredient and post the finished result and recipe here on my blog.

WritersButt Wednesday: NEW Class debut – and SALSA to DIE for!

Happy WritersButt Wednesday!

Whew, it’s been a while, right? Well, I have a really fun and exciting announcement today as well as the most deliciously, awesome salsa recipe I have EVER made!

Let me start with my little announcement. Remember one year ago when I presented WritersButt at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference? Then the following January, I traveled to Sacramento to meet up with fellow writer and friend, Jansen Schmidt, to present my WritersButt workshop to her RWA chapter. Well, I had a blast both those times and I’d LOVE to do more traveling and presenting. (I really would – have your people talk to my people. And by my people, I mean me.)

That said, I can’t go gallivanting off all the time. I have my house natives who want to be fed, like every day, multiple times. (What is with that?) And I have a gym to run, classes to coach.  But, I also wanted a way to offer my WritersButt workshop in order to keep helping writers (or anyone!) to make that fabulous mind/body connection. To focus on their health as well as boost their creativity and productivity.

Well, WriterU has given me that chance and I’m so unbelievably excited! Check this out!

 

See Ginger Smiling!

See Ginger Smiling!

 

This coming January I’ll be teaching this two-week Masters Class.

~~SQUEE!!~~

My favorite part of this class description:

Prerequisite: Must be considering a change in habits to become more creative and productive.

If you are not being as creative and productive as you’d like to be, then there is something(s) in your daily routine that you are not doing in order to accomplish that. To yield different results … a CHANGE in habits HAS to happen!

It may feel a little early to be thinking about a class in January but they have put a cap on enrollment for this class. It may fill up before you or someone you know grabs a seat! I love that this class is taking place at the start of January, at the dawn of a brand new year. What better time to establish some new habits and set up for a successful and abundantly creative year!

And now – Salsa Time!

This recipe comes from Michele Tam’s Nom Nom Paleo iPad App.  I’ve recommended her APP before but it bears repeating. Even if you don’t eat a strict Paleo diet, this app is amazing! I’m not kidding. It’s gorgeous, easy to navigate and jam packed with delicious recipes.  Let me add that my pictures turned out blurry and just ‘eh’ … Michele’s photos make you want to lick your iPad and I bet it even tasted good. If you don’t have an iPad or don’t like to have cookbook apps, you can always follow her blog – it’s also amazing!

Nom Nom Paleo’s SALSA ROJA ASADA

1 lb tomatoes

2 medium Serrano chilis (I used 3 and 4 and it was SPICY!)

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled (or more!)

½ tsp Kosher salt

Juice from ½ a lime (I used a couple keylimes from my tree)

1 lg shallot, finely minced

¼ cup chopped cilantro (or pretty much the whole bunch)

Directions:

*Broil your tomatoes (washed and whole) on high for about 10 minutes, turning half way through. You want the skins blistered and blackened, and peeling off.

Broiled Tomatoes

Broiled Tomatoes

*Meanwhile, roast the chili peppers and unpeeled garlic in an ungreased skillet. Turn periodically for about 15 minutes until peppers are blackened/blistered a bit and garlic is soft. (You will find that peppers will finish first, take them out and let garlic finish.)

Bring on the flavor!

Bring on the flavor!

*Once the peppers and garlic are cool enough to handle, peel garlic and cut tops off peppers. I left in all seeds and ribs because I wanted the heat. You may remove them if you don’t like things spicy.

*I threw the peppers, garlic, and kosher salt into my Ninja blender (you can use a food processor)

*Add in your blistered, roasted tomatoes.

*Pulse until desired consistency.

Fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro

*Transfer salsa into a bowl and stir in your shallots and cilantro.

Fresh jicama stick + Nom Nom Paleo's Salsa = Nom Nom GOOOOD!!

Fresh jicama stick + Nom Nom Paleo’s Salsa = Nom Nom GOOOOD!!

 

It gets better as it sits. OH MY GOSH – our new family favorite. Thanks Nom Nom!!

Thanks for letting me share my news with you.

Have a GREAT week everyone!

Instagram Me

gingerillustration-1

 

I’m BAAACCKKK!!!!  I’m home from my little summer retreat at the lake. Whew! Had a great time but as always, even though it’s ‘reality’, it’s great to be home. I thought it was a good time to dust off my little blog here and give you all a fun little something to put a smile on your face and a giggle on your lips.

Today with a plethora of multi-media avenues, we can express ourselves to our family and friends … and absolute perfect strangers … in endless ways.  Some may say it’s too much. Keep a few things to yourself, for the love of over-sharing. And they may be right. But, you have to admit, it’s kind of fun.

The other day, a video was shared on Facebook that had me cracking up so hard, I had tears running down my face. I shared it with my husband and we both laughed/cried through it.

It’s priceless!

It’s priceless because it’s so TRUE.

I mean, I represent many of the very things they are mocking in the video. As a fairly new Instagrammer (is that a term?), I fully represent the mockery!! I own it with pride! As I watched, all I could think of was all the macro pics I took this summer, sharing both on Instagram and Facebook. I’m guilty of the ‘cloud’ pictures, in the form of sunsets. I’m just a sucker for a sunset. I mean, don’t you all want to see my sunsets? Doesn’t enjoying them together sort of mean we’re bonding, in some small way?

When I edit my pics, I feel like an cutting edge artist. I envision winning photo contests. I know I’m on the verge of ‘trending’.

For every ‘Like’ I get, I utter a quick ‘Ooo-OO-oooh’. (Yes, it’s 3 syllables)

Well, tell me what you think?  Do any of you relate to this video? Fess up!!  I know you do!

If nothing else, I hope you enjoy the laugh. I know I did.

 

Update from the Lake

A cold one after two days of driving!

A cold one after two days of driving!

Hi Everyone!  Is anyone still here? Knock Knock!  Sorry I have been utterly MIA but as I do every summer, I’m at the lake recharging and regrouping. During this time, I let life slow WAY down and disconnect a bit.

BUT —  I miss you guys!!  So I thought I’d say hello and show you some pics to share what I’ve been up to.

A family that SUP's together ...

A family that SUP’s together …

Two of the Calem Natives with Little Gia exploring the lake. Actually, this was right after Gia saw a flock of geese and leapt off the board to chase them. I mean, she just wants to make some friends. They were very snooty and flew off. RUDE!

Always put on sunscreen

Always put on sunscreen

My blondie did as he was told and put on some sunscreen.

And always wear your lifevest

And always wear your lifevest

Gia making sure the boat is going in the right direction.

Yoga SUP

Yoga SUP

Love this picture of my Pip getting some SUP yoga action.

Into the mist

Into the mist

This is one of the shots I took when we made a long trip from our house up towards the mountains. The water temp went from about 84 degrees down to 66. As we neared the dam at the base of the mountains, we passed through many vapor mists. It felt like cruising through a cloud, cold, heavy and a bit ‘woo woo — this is weird!’. As is tradition, we all took a plunge into the icy water. I stayed in all of .03 seconds. Blondie and Pip had a contest to see who could stay in the longest. They couldn’t feel their skin for awhile.

Macro bloom

Macro bloom

I have discovered a new passion. Macro photography. I accidentally took a macro picture with my Galaxy S4 cell phone and it turned out so cool that now I look for every single miniature piece of beauty. I can’t wait to compile them all into a project of some sort.

Little butterfly getting some pollen

Little butterfly getting some pollen

See it’s little pointy-tasty-thinger in the bloom. (Yes, that’s the official term.)

Good Morning Bumble Bee

Good Morning Bumble Bee

Ribbit!

Ribbit!

This is my favorite macro image. This little guy is perched on my daughter’s thumb. I adore him. A good friend says he needs a story and I agree. I’ll have to write one for him. He was made to be a STAR!

Writing in Paradise

Writing in Paradise

And finally, I’m writing! Yesterday I managed to reach “The End” on my YA novel. After it ‘sets’ I’ll start on rewrites and hope to get this book, my fun little Ninja, into some readers’ hands.

I’m anxiously waiting my husband and Mr. Big (oldest son) to arrive for a little vacation …. R&R with us all together. My Happy Place!  I feel so very blessed to have the chance to get away every summer.

I’ll be back blogging regularly by the end of August. In the meantime, tell me what you’ve been up to? Do you have a favorite summer memory? If you can’t escape reality for any length of time, do you take a chance to at least skip off for a weekend, an afternoon, … anything?  Tell us!! 🙂

Don’t Lick the Minivan TRUMPS We Don’t Kiss Penises

As a voracious reader and a writer, I recommend books all the time.  There is nothing I love more than adoring a book, telling everyone and their pet pig about it and having them love it too so we can talk about it.

And then sometimes there is a book that is so wonderful that I can’t simply just recommend it, I have to INSIST that people read it. Insist because I guarantee it will be time well spent.

I have read one of those books. So get ready to 1-click your way out of Amazon immediately so you can start reading and fall in love with this book.

Without further blathering, the book is:

Don’t Lick the Minivan … and other things I never thought I’d say to my kids, written by the lovely Leanne Shirtliffe.

Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe

CLICK to buy from Amazon!

They say that laughter is the best medicine. If that’s true, then Leanne has the cure for whatever ails ya! She’s my modern day Erma!!

This book, which is a series of humorous essays, had me laughing, reminiscing and even tearing up with a lump in my throat.  It’s written with such honesty and slice-of-life humor, it becomes a fast friend. The essays take you through the real-life (and often quite unbelievable) adventures of life with twins, from conception to school days, starting in India (where you can get fashion advice if you chase down a transvestite) to the frosty climes of Canada.

As the subtitle suggests, there are examples throughout the book where Leanne admits things she’s said to her kids that she never imagined she’d say. In the spirit of Leanne’s fantastic book, I’m going to share one of those same moments from our family story vault. Because I doubt my sons will ever read this blog, I think I’m safe from their wrath … so do not tell them I told you!

Back about a million years ago, our boys were 4 and 2 and their little sister wasn’t yet a twinkle in my eye. The boys were still small enough that we could fix boo-boos with a kiss and a cuddle. This was back when they were inseparable, and little brother idolized big brother, following him around everywhere.

So one day 4 year old bolts off to the bathroom, with 2 year old hot on his heels. The seat is barely lifted when there is some interference from little brother, and well, you know where this is going. The seat comes crashing down.

All of male readers just clutched their crotch and piked themselves in half.

Dad and Mom race in, knowing something quite unfortunate has happened. Dad assesses the situation and groans, trying not to double-cup his own package. I scoop up the 2 year old, who is clueless. But our stoic 4 year old, with a sheen of tears in his green eyes, looks up to his very empathic father and asks, “Are you going to kiss it?”

With as much sympathy as Dad can muster, he gives his son the truth, the bad news …

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 12.52.21 PM

Mom walks off with 2 year old. There may have been an “Amen!” involved, but I can’t recall for full certainty. ~cough~

Friends, let me tell you that this little story PALES in comparison to the fun you’re in for when you read Don’t Lick the Minivan. If you are a parent, if you love to laugh, you will LOVE this book. I promise you.

A copy of this book will be my go-to baby shower gift from now on.

I want to thank Leanne for writing with such wit and honesty and giving me a treasure of a book that I will reread because it was pure entertainment.

 

WritersButt Wednesday – Big Butts are Awesome!

Squats = Awesome Butts!

Squats = Awesome Butts!

Something happened last week that made me so happy, proud and hopeful, I have to share it with you all.  It’s no secret that we as a society are inundated with the message that skinny or thin means healthy. All you have to do is flip through any magazine, pop onto any infomercial channel or even glance at the ads glaring at you from your Facebook page.

Everyone is telling you they can help you ‘lose weight’!

UGH – I’m so sick of it!

It breaks my heart when I see young girls, as young as elementary and middle school, worried about ‘getting fat’, not fitting into size 0 skinny jeans and Lord forbid their thighs should touch. ACK!!

This is such a warped sense of value, it damages a person’s self-identity, sometimes forever. I used to be those girls. I made the same mistakes I see clients in my gym make all the time. I drastically reduced my caloric intake, I eliminated any form of fat and I believed a number on a scale showed my worth.

It took a very long time to overcome this self-defeating behavior and thought-process and some days, I still have to remind myself to get my thinking straight.

Now, back to what happened last week. For many months I have been giving personal training to a couple of high school athletic superstars. Both girls are absolutely beautiful inside and out, and they both happen to be genetically thin. They would be considered what many girls strive to look like. They are what I wanted to look like in high school instead of my genetically muscular self.

For months now we’ve been working on increasing their strength for their sports. They are lifting very heavy weights in the form of squats, deadlifts and working hard on Olympic weightlifting. Consequently, they have acquired a lot of lean muscle. Their newly acquired strength showed up on the fields of their perspective sports as well. This was our goal. Success!

Then last week one of them mentioned she should weigh herself because she hadn’t done so since we’d started. I had a swirl of unease twist in my gut. I tentatively warned her that if she did weigh herself, she might find that she’d gained weight.

Her reply, “I know because I’m so much stronger now.”

See Ginger’s relieved and satisfied smile.

Both the girls then proceed to tell me they’ve never had as much muscle tone and they couldn’t believe how big their legs were now. One said she had to get rid of all her shorts from last year because her butt and thighs had ‘out-grown’ them and that …

IT WAS AWESOME!

Cue the Halleluiah music!

I was so filled with pride in them, for their hard work, their effort, their commitment and their vision of what is ‘awesome’ …

Strength in body, spirit and heart.

I adore these two girls and I hope they are the new wave of what is considered healthy and beautiful. I hope they never lose it. They inspire me!

As I prepared this blog post, I ran across this article through Facebook and have to share it because it hits the nail on the head. A couple parts of the article I particularly LOVE:

“After all, we live in a society that prizes female bodies that are small and compact while still having bigger breasts (but not too big, because that’s just obscene).  Women eat salads, not meat. They adhere to low-calorie diets so they can keep their “girlish” figures.  Diet pills, surgery, liposuction, powders you sprinkle on your food, books and segments on daytime television, superfoods, Skinnygirl margaritas and Skinny Bitch diet books…a billion-dollar industry aimed at Fighting Fat. We are taught to believe that the content of our dinner plates dictates the content of our character.”

And the article ends with a fabulous, bang:

“We don’t need a new “skinny.”  We don’t need a new beauty standard, nor do we need yet another physical ideal hanging over our every thought and move like a little black cloud of doom.  What we need to do is change the paradigm so that we value our bodies for all of the amazing things they let us do.  We need to expand our standards of beauty to recognize that beauty shows up in all kinds of bodies.  And we need to get over this idea that the most important purpose we serve on is to be beautiful for other people.  We have a right to have healthy bodies, to take up space, to have appetites, to cultivate our strengths in whatever form that may take.  Our time on this planet is precious and we will never, ever get it back, so let’s stop squandering it in pursuit of meaningless ideals we will most likely never attain anyway.  We deserve so much better than that.”

I can’t recommend you read this article enough and share it …. Share it wide! (no pun intended!)

And because I know you all love recipes and good food, here’s a dinner I made recently that met with overwhelming approval and clean plates!

Asian meatballs with garlic mashed cauliflower and garlic/lemon wilted spinach.

Asian meatballs with garlic mashed cauliflower and garlic/lemon wilted spinach.

Asian Meatballs (from Nom Nom Paleo), nestled in mashed garlic cauliflower and snuggled up with wilted garlic, lemon spinach

Asian meatballs – This recipe comes from Michele Tam’s Nom Nom Paleo iPad app.  (I’ve said it before but this is the best app I have. It’s gorgeous, easy to navigate and packed with all things delicious!)  You can make any sort of meatballs you like but I do recommend these!

Cauliflower: Clean and roughly chop cauliflower in evenly sized chunks. I used 2 heads. Peel about 6 cloves of garlic. (I love garlic!) Steam the cauliflower and garlic in a steamer basket until it’s soft enough to mash.  You can blend in a powerful blender or do what I did which was to use a handheld mixer.  I seasoned with salt and pepper and added some full fat coconut milk, from the can.

Spinach: Slice a couple garlic cloves (yes more garlic) into slivers. Sauté them in coconut oil (or fat of your choice) until they are fragrant and a bit crispy. Zest 2 lemons and add some zest to oil and garlic.  Dump in a ton of fresh spinach, rest of zest and juice of both lemons. A little salt and pepper. Then toss and turn with some tongs. This will be done fast, like 30 seconds. Do not over cook it or you’ll have a very small ball of cooked spinach instead of a pan of lovely slightly wilted spinach that still has a bit of crunch left to it.

Plate and enjoy!

WritersButt Wednesday – Recipes that Impress!

Eating healthy does not have to be a boring helping of broiled chicken breast sitting forlornly next to a pile of broccoli.  Even though I love chicken and broccoli, it is not the only option when trying to eat healthier.

As many of you know, with a few exceptions here and there, I mainly eat a Paleo Diet. It is sometimes also called the Caveman’s diet or even a Primal Diet.  Basically, you eat as our ancestors did, before we started to process our food. They ate the meat of animals they hunted or fished. They ate vegetables and fruit, which they grew. And they foraged for nuts and seeds, or whatever they could find.

Now, while I think it would be pretty nifty to have my own huge garden from which to feed to my family, I live in suburbia, it’s not happening. I also couldn’t hunt my own meats. Yes, I’m one of ‘those people’.

So, I hop into my SUV and schlep the one mile to my local grocery store and get the healthiest meats, veggies, fruits and nuts I can find.

There is a plethora of information out there about the multitude of health benefits from following the Paleo diet. So I’m not going to list them all here. I will give you a resource though that I believe is fantastic and truly recommend! It’s a book written by Diane Sanfilippo called Practical Paleo. I enjoyed this book as much for the delicious recipes as I did for the easy to digest (no pun intended) information on WHY the Paleo diet is healthy and how it can literally change your health. What I particularly loved is all information on how eating Paleo can drastically help in the struggles dealing with auto-immune issues and other disorders.

Should you want to try to incorporate the Paleo diet into your life, I have another resource for you. It’s an iPad App written by Michelle Tam called Nom Nom Paleo. You guys, this app ROCKS! I’m not kidding. Whether you want to eat ‘paleo’ or not, this is packed with delicious recipes with gorgeous pictures and easy to follow instructions. I wouldn’t lie to you.

With all that said, I’m going to give you a couple of recipes I made recently. One is a salad inspired by one I had at a fabulous local restaurant last weekend. The salad at the restaurant had seasoned grilled chicken, figs, pears, spicy walnuts and blue cheese dressed in vinaigrette. My mouth watered reading the menu and I couldn’t resist trying it. I was not disappointed. It was one of the best salads I’ve ever had and I can tell you, I eat a LOT of salads!

My version is a little different. One, we had it on one of my ‘no cook’ nights, so I borrowed a little help from my grocery store and brought home a fully cooked rotisserie turkey breast. So right away we’ve switched from chicken to turkey.

What I used:

Mixed Greens plus some romaine hearts

2 ripe Bartlett pears

Walnuts – about ¾ cup

Crumbled blue cheese (a NON-Paleo item- but I only used 3 oz for a salad feeding 5)

*I couldn’t find figs in my grocery store, so I’ll add those next time.

Dressing: red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and kosher salt

Directions: I seasoned the walnuts with the tiniest amount of olive oil and then some smoked paprika and chili powder and then roasted them in a pan on my stove.

While I kept a close eye on my walnuts, I chopped and dumped all the other ingredients into a large salad bowl. I added the warm nuts when they were done, sprinkled on some vinegar, seasonings and drizzled the oil and tossed!

SO GOOD!

Pears, Spicy Walnuts, Blue Cheese … Oh MY!

Pears, Spicy Walnuts, Blue Cheese … Oh MY!

 

Next I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to make the most delicious ‘breakfast for dinner’ that we had last night. I got the idea for the eggs nested in the avocado from Michelle’s Nom Nom Paleo App I mentioned above. It worked perfect!

Ingredients on hand:

Eggs – free range, farm fresh, organic … the best you can get if possible.

2 large avocados – washed because peel will remain on them for cooking

baby portabello mushrooms, sliced

fresh tomato, chopped

fresh baby spinach

salt/pepper

Directions:

Slice your avocados in half. Then make another slice about ½ inch on either side, all the way around, so that when you take out the pit, you’ll have an avocado ring with a hole in the middle.

Heat some fat in a pan (coconut oil, butter) and put in your avocado rings. Then surround your rings with mushrooms so they can sauté at the same time.

Avo rings and mushrooms in the pan

Avo rings and mushrooms in the pan

Crack an egg into the center of each of your avocado rings.

Add your chopped tomatoes to your mushrooms around the edge of the pan.

Eggs in the Hole!

Eggs in the Hole!

When you eggs have set a bit, flip the entire egg-filled avocado slice over to cook the other side.

*NOTE: if you like your yolks runny, like sunny side up, you can ‘tent’ or cover your pan and not flip the avos!

As the eggs finish cooking, sprinkle the fresh spinach over your mushrooms and tomatoes so it can wilt a bit.

Spinach comes to the party!

Spinach comes to the party!

Transfer to a plate and truly ENJOY!!

Plate of Yumness!!

Plate of Yumness!!

 

 

WritersButt Wednesday – Sneeze Edition

I interrupt the regularly scheduled WritersButt Wednesday post to ask you a burning question. And by burning, I mean raw, itchy, strawberry-allergy-nose, question.

A friend of mind who shall remain nameless, and it’s definitely not Liz Jasper, believes that Kleenex tissue with lotion is the best option for chronic dripping. I disagree completely. I firmly believe the only tissue that shall be allowed to wipe my tender allergy nostrils is Puffs Plus with Lotion.

You all have to help me set her straight. Tell Liz which tissue is best and make sure you answer Puffs Plus with Lotion.

And to make sure you feel sorry for me, so that you’ll absolutely agree with me, here’s a little video that clearly demonstrates what I’ve been doing since last week and only subsides if I self-induce an antihistamine fog complete with glassy, vacant eyes.

 

WritersButt Wednesday: Inspiration through a compliment to another.

Hometown Sunset

Hometown Sunset

Something just happened in my day that compelled me to write this blog. I love how the universe works sometimes. Before I get into my story, I have a question for you all.  In the past 16 months of WritersButt Wednesday, I have shared quite a lot of information with you on health, fitness and nutrition and how they can positively impact your creativity.  When I come upon some nugget of inspiration or what I think is helpful information, I share it with you. I love sharing my family recipes with you. And I’ll never tire of inspiring you, if I can, to add more movement and fitness into your day.

What I want to know is … What do YOU want? I’d love to know what you’d like me to blog about in relation to health and creativity. Do you want more workouts? Do you want to learn more about healthy eating? More recipes, and if so, what kind are you most interested in? My goal with this weekly segment is to help, support and encourage you to live your life in the healthiest way possible to support your creative endeavors. This applies for all my writing friends, or other artists, or just anybody looking to become more fit and healthy.

So, if you have a topic you’d like for me to cover, or cover more thoroughly … let me know!

Now, back to what inspired me today. I had a phone conversation with a new CrossFit client who is going to start this week. She was so enthusiastic and friendly on the phone that I’m really looking forward to meeting her, and told her so. I even called my husband to tell him we have a really fun woman who will start this week.

This woman, why don’t I call her ‘Mary’, informs me that we have some common acquaintances, some clients and a couple friends. I remark that one of them is a very good friend of mine. Less than an hour after our conversation, Mary sends me a text thanking me for the encouragement and then tells me what a blessing I have in having one of our common acquaintances as a friend.

She proceeds to describe my friend using words like: genuine, kind, good and with a tender, precious heart.

I could not have agreed more with her assessment of my friend.  It made me feel even more blessed to call this woman one of the dearest people in my life. It also made me think so highly of Mary … to reach out to an almost perfect stranger to shower another with kind words. What an amazingly giving thing to do, a gift from the heart. The first thing I wanted to do was tell my friend of these kind words, not only because they are true because I know it will make her feel wonderful.

It also made me consider how I live my life and how I impact others. What would someone say of me? I can be opinionated (and I don’t mind sharing them!), bossy, sarcastic and stubborn. I don’t think these traits are all bad, mind you, as long as they are controlled and never aim to hurt others. I do actively work at this.

But when I read Mary’s compliments, it made me want to be a better person, the best person I can be. It made me view myself through others’ eyes.  That is not to say that I would live my life solely to gain approval or compliments from others.  Not in the least in fact. But it did make me see myself from a different perspective and take note. Do my outward actions and words represent who I am inside? I believe you can be yourself, true and honest, and still offer genuine kindness and consideration and respect to those around you, like my friend does.

I’m going to try to be the sort of person who would receive the same kind of appraisal as my friend so richly deserved.

What about you? Have you ever thought about how others view you? Does is change how you act, your choice of words or how you interact with other people? Do you have someone in your life who makes you want to be a better person?

I can tell you, it’s given me something to think about.

 

 

Gems in the Spam

Sorry I went a little MIA on you. I’ve been super focused on the online class I’m teaching through WriterU on Building a Blog. It’s been a lot of fun and unbelievably, we’re already half done!

I also just come out of a writing retreat with my amazing critique partners. I’m going to give that experience its own blog post. Suffice it to say, my mind has been stretched and creativity is bouncing off the walls. I’m going to miss my friends, who all fly home today. ~sniff~ But, it’s time to head back to my little family.

So, I popped into my spam folder to empty it and got caught up with many kind and thoughtful comments from various people interested in, well, enlarging my manhood.  First, I’d have to find this manhood and then once I do, I’d have to assess and we’ll talk about whether it needs to be enlarged. Thanks!

Since I got a good chuckle from some of the comments, I thought y’all might as well.  Here ya go, yanked straight out of my SPAM:

Thank you for making this website so relaxed to conceptualize assemblage. solid foul. Saving this one for afterwards.

***SOLID FOUL? Are you being mean to me?

Extremely intriguing journal post. Highly intriguing and surface enclosed article. Cheers over again – I will arise backrest.

***Why are you laying down reading my blog?

Wow! This could be one component of the most effective blogs We’ve e’er succeed across on this thing. Actually Superior. I’m also a physician in this theme so I can interpret your sweat.

***I can interpret my sweat too. Means I’m hot. I live in Texas. It happens a lot.

Highly intriguing and well penned article. Cheers over again – I module come hind.

***I got nuthin’ for this one? You??

AND – My favorite …

I cant imagine youre not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

***Wait … who says I’m not popular?

For those of you with blogs, care to share some of your lovely spam ‘compliments’?  I’d love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

 

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