New Year Wisdom Wednesday

This week marks another year around the sun for me. While most of you were celebrating New Year's in January, I always celebrate MY new year on my day of birth. For many of you, the start of 2017 may seem like a lifetime ago. Did you make resolutions? I have never been quiet on my views of resolutions, they are complete bullshit. What I believe in is setting intentions and to truly intend to make them happen. This year is the most intentions I have ever set. I am going to work on eliminating all the excess in my life that does not bring me joy or increase time, my most precious currency. I am going work on embracing my life:  the good, the bad and the ugly, all of it and all of me. I am going to elevate others by compliments, hand written notes, praise and acts of gratitude. I am going to give myself the gift of experiences through doing things out of my comfort zone, travel and other adventurous activities I have wanted to do outside of my everyday life. I am going to live this trip around the sun with complete intention. 

Ditch the resolutions (which I am guessing are long forgotten) and set your intentions, there is always time. 

Weekly Conversation

My conversation today is with Courtney Slater, RD, LD, CDE

Courtney has a strong personal connection to nutrition because of her own personal experiences and struggles with diabetes and celiac disease.  She initially started her career path in education and teaching because she loved working with kids and along the way she realized she wanted to educate others as a registered dietitian. She is now meshing her 2 passions, kids and diabetes education. Her dietitian journey so far is very inspiring and she openly shares her insight on living and help others, especially children, with these diseases.

Week in Review
This past week was a week of work and more work, ending with a little visit from my closest and dearest friend Carlena. Whenever we are together, it is full of laughs and more laughs. I think we are the only ones that find us funny, which I love. We spent the afternoon catching up on life, having a few cocktails and then spent the evening dancing away. Always an adventure with this lovely. 

I have been grateful to have the last few weekend filled with friends and family to celebrate my New Years since I will be working on my 4th intention with having an experience on my day of birth. There is no other gift more important than time with friends and family and the joy of every experience with them. 

Workout Playlist of the Week
Alright 41, bring it on! 

What I Love Right Now
I adore breakfast right now. If I could eat breakfast for all meals of the day, I probably would. Which is funny because when I was younger, I really wanted nothing to do with breakfast unless it was pop tarts or cereal. As I got older, my dad would make breakfast/brunch on Sunday mornings and I think I have kind of caught the bug. 

I had this vision the other night of this dish which involved prosciutto, hash browns, eggs, chives and a homemade white and creamy béchamel sauce. For the love of breakfast, I gave it a whirl!

I browned up 2 cups of Simply Potatoes hash browns in 2 tablespoons of butter. While those were getting toasty and happy, I whisked the following together:  7 eggs, 1/2 cup Fairlife skim milk, 6 slices of La Quercia prosciutto, diced and 3 tablespoons of diced fresh chives with a pinch of salt and pepper. I heated my non-stick skillet to medium and placed the eggs mixture in, scrambling until done. For my béchamel sauce, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and once melted, I stirred in 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour. After about 2 minutes, the mixture starts to bubble (but watch it so it doesn't brown). I then added 1 1/4 cups of Fairlife skim milk and I continuously stirred until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Once it begins to boil, drop the heat to a simmer and add 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and salt to taste. I then added 1/2 cup of 2% Sargento Shredded Sharp Cheddar and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Make sure to give it a taste and add salt if needed. By then, the potatoes are perfect, the eggs are scrambled and I was ready to plate. 

Place the 1/4 of the hash browns on the plate, top with a 1/4 of the egg scramble. Top the egg mixture with 1/4 cup of the béchamel sauce and sprinkle a few more chives on top. We had sides of fresh berries, cherry tomatoes and slices of avocado. Serves 4 people, heartily! 

Here's to another trip around the sun, full of complete joy, much love, endless adventure and time with who and what means the most to me in this world (and a slice of mom's homemade chocolate cake). 

Happy New Year!


Wisdom Wednesday

Yep, this is me! One adorable and badass babe born in February. I am pretty sure it is my favorite month because the world is splattered in glorious shades of pink and there is plethora of chocolate available everywhere. If you are like me and born in February or have someone in your life who is both adorable and badass, you are so lucky!  We are a group of people who have unique characteristics with a little bit of sass. We are original and not looking to copycat anyone.  Always expect honesty from us, no sugar coating a thing! We are very devoted friends, forever, to the very precious members of our tribe. Look for an innovative side from your Februarians, if you need help being creative or are in need for some inspiration, you know who to call. We are strong willed (my mom would emphatically agree with this trait) but tend to be reserved and quiet until we cannot hold back anymore.  And finally, my favorite adorable and badass trait, is that we love hard. We put our whole heart into people, places and things that bring complete joy into our lives. 

There is no love like the love of a badass, adorable, original, honest, innovative, strong willed and reserved babe born in February. 

Weekly Conversation

My conversation today is with Adria Huseth, RD, LD, CPT

Adria took a little different route to being a dietitian. She was not quite sure what she wanted to do in college and obtained a business degree. With strong family ties to health and the medical field, she always found the human body amazing and knew working in the medical field was in her future. After working in marketing research, she decided her love for the human body and food was her future and became a registered dietitian. In her current job with the National Pork Board, she has successfully combined business and dietetics as well as becoming a new mom and Certified Personal Trainer.

Week in Review

This babe started off the month with A LOT of food, family, friends and fun!  I got to spend some time catching up with my previous assistant Erin and her adorable and sweet daughter Grace at Wasabi Waukee. The lunch menu is huge and has such great options. I chose the seared scallops on grilled zucchini with miso sauce, paired with some pipping hot green tea. This is the same place my mom and I had sushi not to long ago and so far, everything has been delish!

New Year Celebration was early this year with my heartbeats!  My mom and cousins Christine and Denis came down for the weekend and seriously, I was completely overwhelmingly grateful for everything they did. My mom did some major hustle in the kitchen. She made my favorite snack mix, homemade muffins, homemade lasagna, a beautiful fresh salad AND, the creme de la creme, my favorite chocolate cake. I am sad I did not get pictures of this beautiful food, but since I have a few leftovers, I plan on celebrating in the near future and will share then. At almost 41 trips around the sun, I still love to be spoiled by my mom. She is too sweet to me, her strong willed child.

Christine brought fun and pretty polka dots and stripes to decorate my pad. She also made these beautifully deep red roasted tomatoes and goat cheese on toasty garlic-rubbed bread (I loved it so much I had to share the recipe below).

The next day was the big football game and I had to get some steps in to burn off some of the eats from the day before. Karlie and I hit the pavement for a walk in the sunny, brisk winter day. It was just what I needed to make more room for more food. 

I pretty much woke up and had cake and ice-cream for breakfast, snack mix for my midday snack, and then Christine whips up this. Fresh oysters, topped with a homemade compound butter and breadcrumbs, broiled in the oven. Damn. I don't know what else to say. So good.  Let's just say my pants were a little tight on Monday and it was all completely worth it!

Workout Playlist of the Week

Early New Year Celebration = major need for my Badass Babe Playlist to un-snug my pants. If you need some major workout motivation, let these songs get ya moving! Also, I included a fun song for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday for your cool down.  

What I Love Right Now

The tomato appetizer above is a must make for your next party. They are rich in flavor and pair well with goat cheese (mascarpone would be tasty too). I snapped a picture of the recipe Christine brought and just had to share. The tomatoes would be a great addition to pasta or pizza too!

For those of you gearing up to celebrate Valentines Day, this takes the top of my list of "something sweet" to give your special person or people. Ghirardelli has their milk and dark chocolate squares made special for the holiday with sweet messages embossed on white chocolate hearts in the middle. And how can you not LOVE the adorable pink packaging?  



Wisdom Wednesday

There are many of days when "I. Just. Can't." I can't get out of bed. I can't get my butt to the gym. I can't get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. I can't fall asleep. The list could go on and on. The reality is, "I can." I give myself a little time to wallow in my own bucket of "can't" and then remind myself those things I can't or in all seriousness, "don't" want to do, someone else in this world wishes they could do all those things. What the hell am I complaining about?  I can get out of bed, I can get my butt to the gym, I can afford makeup to cover up my dark circles and I can do mediation to fall asleep. Whenever I let my emotions get the best of me, I let them beat me up for a few minutes, but I do not let them consume my day. The other 1435 minutes I have left in my day will be full of "I can."

Weekly Conversation

My conversation today is with Ellen Davis, RD, LD, CSSD
Ellen was always passionate about being an athlete since 7th grade running track and cross country. It wasn’t until college did she realize the connection nutrition had with her performance and health as a Division I athlete. She suffered from many injuries and realized how not fueling her body properly was part of the equation. By being an athlete herself, she wanted to help other athletes learn from her experience and now spends her time working with athletes at all different levels in all different sports. Ellen is one of the most kind and genuine woman and registered dietitians I know. She truly cares about her clients and believes their successes are also her own.

Week in Review

This past week was a busy and crazy one. I seriously felt a little zombie-ish because I missed out on some sleep, but I got shit done!  I had happy hour, a podcast and a laundry list of things to accomplish over the weekend. I helped a friend out and watched 3 dogs while he was unexpectedly out of town for his grandmothers funeral. For my readers, you know I do not own a dog and I like dogs, just not sure about 3 dogs. They were all super sweet and it was interesting having Dusty, Tucker and Hazel all snuggled in bed with me. I tried so hard not to move, I forgot to sleep! I shall never complain again about Lil g snuggling up next to me on occasion. Ever.

After this whirlwind of the weekend, I headed to work on Monday and my normal routine is to go get hot water for my a.m. tea. Bonnie, the manager of the Caribou, knows my love for polka dots and so graciously got me this clipboard with my initial on it. Seriously, such a joy to start the week out. She is just the sweetest. Big hugs all around!

Monday evening, I had the privilege to speak with and get to know the Central Iowa Dietetic District Association (CIDDA) and the Iowa State Student Dietetic Association. I shared with them one of my biggest joys (that cute little book I wrote) and why it came about. My biggest message of the night was to go after what you want, life is too short and too precious to not be doing things you love, so go find it!  It is out there just waiting for you!  The best part of the night was seeing new faces and seeing familiar faces.  I think registered dietitians are just the coolest people in the world and I am very lucky to have added more of them to my tribe!

Workout Playlist of the Week 

To be consistent with my Wisdom Wednesday quote, here are a few songs that help me get my shit together after I get my butt to the gym.

What I Love Right Now

Pretty excited about medicine to treat congestion and the sniffles, paired with a couple of donuts. This crazy Iowa weather is struggling with what season it is right now. Is it winter?  Is it Spring?  Either way, this did the trick (I think it was mostly the work of the pretty pink, red and white donuts). No time for "I can't!"

When was the last time you had a real carrot?  I mean the ones like this with the green tops and have been pulled out of the soil to create a lovely bunch like this? How lucky are we to live where we can get beautiful and delicious produce like this all year around!  This week, pass by the baby carrots and go for the real deal. You will be able to taste the difference.

My 5 minutes are over, off to rule the world!



My Live Music Review of 2016 Wisdom Wednesday

Music tells a story. I embrace music of the past because it takes me to a place of memories of dance parties with my family, playing records with my sister, a slow dance with a cute boy, a fun summer night with my friends, studying in my dorm room, the smell of a spring thunderstorm, and the beginnings of new adventures. I embrace music of the present because it starts and ends my day, from my workout in the morning to the car ride home, it pumps me up and it calms me down. This is why I share my playlists with you, to keep telling you a story in hopes it inspires you to create a personal soundtrack of your own. 

Weekly Conversation

Chere Bork is an energy igniter, speaker, media spokesperson, a registered dietitian and is truly living her passion and purpose by helping others living a life where she believes that knowing your purpose, energizes your life, which creates your happiness which you need in order to live healthy and then you can truly feel balance and authentically love your life.  I meet Chere a few years ago and listened to her speak at a conference about this exact topic which I feel has had a sincere impact in my current life. I was excited when she was our keynote speaker at our Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference and shared her insight on living a life you love. I knew I had to have a conversation with Chere and be able to share her amazing insights with everyone. I think we could have talked for hours or maybe even days!  I hope to have her on again, but for now, absorb all you can and get a taste of Chere’s life from this next hour.

Live Music Review of 2016

Every year, I set a goal to see as much live music as I can. This year was no different. I saw quite a few concerts but here are my most memorable winners of my top 3 concerts of 2016. 

#3:  Justin Bieber First and foremost, the best thing about this concert was seeing it with one of my most favorite heartbeats, Jason. After attending a party in November and a few cocktails later, I caught myself hitting the "Buy Now" button on my phone for 2 tickets as a fun surprise for Jason, who shares in my love for his fun songs. Jason and I would spend warm summer days cruising the streets of Des Moines with the windows rolled down to the sweet stylings of the Biebs. We had a great night meeting up with Stacey and her friends, drinks and dinner at Gilroy's and sitting in the complete back row of Wells Fargo with other screaming 12-24 year old fans (we are that young right?). We both heard the songs we were longing for: "What Do You Mean" and "Baby." We did not care one bit that Justin lip-synced and laid down for awhile to take a siesta, big fun was had by all!

#2 Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness What can I saw about one of my most favorite artists of all time?  I think I have seen Andrew McMahon around 7 times now in my lifetime?  I did see him in Des Moines in 2015 as well and he decided to pass through town again this year and I couldn't resist. This year was not disappointing and was sold out at one of my favorite venues in Des Moines, Wooly's.

I cannot get enough of his music because of his talent playing the piano.  He played a little from his Jack's Mannequin days with Holiday From Real and Punk Rock Princess from his time with Something Corporate. The best parts of the concert was hearing Synesthesia and his new song Fire Escape, that I shared the video to in a previous post because some of the footage was from the concert in Des Moines AND I got to share this #7 experience with a couple more of my heartbeats, Carlena and Stacey. 

#1 Sturgill Simpson This was my absolute favorite concert to close down my live music adventures of 2016. I grew up listening to country music, the real country music like Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. When a friend suggested I give Sturgill a listen, it didn't take my ears long to be interested. I looked up his concert schedule and realized he was going to be in Des Moines, about 4 months too late. Long story short, a co-worked helped me find a ticket and it was all worth it. It was at a venue that looks down upon standing by stage, but 3/4's into the concert, the crowd said screw it and made their way to the front. The music was like being at home on a Saturday afternoon cleaning the house or like a family road trip in the minivan to Colorado Springs and popping "Bob's Favorites" into the tape player. "Oh Sarah" and "Long White Line" were my favorite songs of the evening and the cover of When In Rome's "I Promise" was pretty bad ass. Perfect concert to end the year with. 

Workout Playlist of the Week
Of course the playlist this week has to be all the artist from my concerts of 2016, enjoy the variety of my music adventures! 

What I Love Right Now

I have been enjoying a little relaxation in the shower with these essential oil shower tabs by Aura Cacia. Most items like this are made for the bath and I am not really a bath person. I have this beautiful (and extremely large) tiled shower and would prefer to spend as much time in there as possible. These tabs come in variety of flavors, lavender being my favorite and are locally made right here in Iowa. Just place one in the bottom of your shower and when the water hits it, the essential oils are released. Very, very relaxing. 

This is the other thing I love this week. One of the best gifts to date, was receiving this keyboard so I can brush up on my piano skills. And I am rusty!!!! Wow. I am excited to re-learn all the teachings of the piano lessons of my childhood with Jodie. I think back to the music I could play when I was in my prime and I am hopefully I can get there again with this meditative way to incorporate more music into my life. 

With chords of C, G, and F in mind, I hope your week is filled with the sweet sounds of your favorite music. 



Wisdom Wednesday

Diet. Not a word I really enjoy and apparently neither did Julia. My kind of woman!  As a registered dietitian, I love working with people who choose to live a healthy lifestyle and remove the word "diet from their vocabulary. Food is here to nourish our lives so we can think of great ideas, keep our heart beating, ride a bike or play piano. It should never be something we punish ourselves with. It should be something we enjoy and fuels our lives. For many of you, you may have set resolutions involving food and I would recommend tossing those resolutions in the trash. If you told yourself, "I cannot have" or "I will not eat" or "I will not eat out" you are attaching negativity to food. This will only make you desire these foods even more. It is time to build a healthy relationship with food and allow yourself to enjoy all of it. All foods fit, all year round. 

Weekly Conversation

By listening to my conversations, I hope you know by now how much I enjoy talking with registered dietitians and having them share their story. There is truly something special when I can share the story of a registered dietitian who had a huge impact in my life by being my preceptor, co-worker and now one of my most dearest friends. Brenda chose to become a registered dietitian a little later in life and has worked in a variety of settings with her current position as  a registered dietitian in Iowa who works for a special population of individuals at Glenwood Resource Center where her clients have significantly unique nutrition needs. This woman has taught me much and inspires me everyday.

Week(s) in Review
I am playing a little catch up from all my holiday adventures and I have to share pictures from one of the mostly lovely New Years Eve's I have had a in long time. It was such a great evening with the closest members of my tribe. My cousin Christine, her husband Denis and their pup Karlie hosted a mouthwatering dinner for my Mom, Gramma and I.  At first Gramma was going to stay in, but we talked in her to joining us for the evening. She shared stories about my great-grandpa's and grandma's and even spoke a little German for us! We all managed to kind of miss midnight for our toast but we made up for it.

 These are the moments, with family, that are so precious. All the cocktails and food were made with love and when enjoyed with the people you love, well that is the best combination. 

Gramma Alice telling her infamous stories
My favorite!  Rainer Cherries by candlelight.
Manhattan anyone?

Beautifully dressed table with white and cream lovelies everywhere! 
Denis prepping the Gruyere goodness

Homemade French Onion Soup recipe courtesy of Cooks Country 
My favorite view of the evening
Filet, Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus, and mashed potatoes!

Workout Playlist of the Week
This weeks playlist was inspired by the start of 2017 and some of my favorite oldies but goodies. The last one is my favorite to stretch to.

What I Love Right Now
Along all my adventures, I really get some great opportunities to try and experience new things.  My friend Andrew surprised me with a dozen of eggs. That may sound a little weird, but him and his wife Melissa, have couple of chickens they have raised and have at their home. I cannot wait to taste them. What a great gift! Talk about food made with love, truthfully from start to finish. There is nothing like  a farm fresh egg, find a farmer close to you and experience the difference for yourself.

Another awesome new thing I get to try is the Joule by Chef Steps. I have only gotten the box open and I am looking forward to sharing my adventure with this exciting cooking tool in the future. I have a lot a research to do to educate myself on working with it.  Let the cooking adventure begin!



Wisdom Wednesday

It is week 2 into 2017, how is it going so far for everyone?  In anticipation of my new year starting on February 17th, I am absorbing all the information and inspiration from all of you and gearing up for my own amazing start to another trip around the sun.  I challenge all of you to please not set resolutions (because we all know how they are usually complete BS and quickly fade) but to view your "New Year" with "Intention and Purpose."  What are your intentions and purpose this year?  What words describe what you want to do with this precious life you have on earth?  I am asking myself these same questions and deciding how this trip will be different than the past. Dig deep and choose 2 or 3 action words to give your 2017 the most meaning and add the most value to your life. Breath them in, be them and achieve them everyday as best as you can. 

Weekly Conversation

Jen is known nationwide as the Down to Earth Dietitian and I couldn’t agree more. I have been lucky to be a Nutrition Communicator for Midwest Dairy with Jen for the past 4 years and getting to know how her personal life has really influenced her professional life as a registered dietitian. She has come full circle with her passion of gardening, nutrition and nourishing the lives of others, especially her family and moms. As long as I have know Jen, I had no idea how deeply rooted gardening was in her life. It is wonderful how she is sharing her love for growth from the ground with growth at home around the dinner table. She has been a clinical dietitian at Mayo, a retail dietitian, and a media expert. She is now in her current role,  impacting the lives of children's health with school food service, becoming a newly published author with the writing of her first book The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden and a list of other exciting adventures. I am excited to share her story, thus far.

Week(s) in Review

Christmas Eve day started off with homemade banana muffies (made with love), freshly brewed coffee, beautiful flowers and peace and quiet. It was nice to start the day solo, have a great workout and prepare for a weekend at home with my family.

One of my joys was to get a picture of this little booger in his new abominable snow man slippers.

My mom and I lit our Christmas tree together this year, with a few tears and a lot of hugs. This was the tree my sister had in her room every Christmas. When I would drive up the street for a visit, I could see it all lit it from her bedroom window. My sister LOVED Christmas. So of course, she had her own special tree in her room. When she was in the hospital, my mom brought it down to her with some of her favorite ornaments and the star we have had on the top of our tree since I was little. It was great to have it on and present during the holiday season and it brought Kate's spirit and love for the holiday to the weekend.

Christmas morning tradition is mom's homemade Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Raisin rolls. YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!  I was so happy she mad them and kept a tradition going even with all of the changes we have had in the past couple of years. This year, I felt pretty special because she put golden raisins in the rolls and they are my favorite. This might have been the best roll I have ever had.

Why?  Because as I was on the couch under my blanket, all cozy, she warmed one up and placed real butter strategically on top. The butter melted perfectly into every little part of the soft, cinnamon bread. Paired with a warm cup of coffee and it was the best start to Christmas Day.

In the past, we have always had pretty amazing Christmas meals and this year was no different. My mom made the most amazing burger on homemade bread. Gramma joined in the burger fun. This is why I love Christmas at home. We do not have an set schedule or agenda, no major stress from a planned extravagant meal. Just simply homemade goodness and just being together.

That's what the holidays are all about.

Workout Playlist of the Week

Slowly but surely I am getting back into the routine of my week. This includes waking up and getting my fitness on. So hard!

The struggle is real. But I got this, you got this!  I will report on how well I am "getting it" next week.

 What I Love Right Now

Soooooo, it has been a little bit cold out. Just a little. Over the holiday, my cousin Christine made this adorable basket with all the makings for this delicious drinks in honor of my sister.

Not only did it make me smile and think of us two playing on the beach in Hawaii when we were younger, but it make me think about somewhere tropical!

Take me away!!!! Please!!!!

I had to share the recipe with you all for the Honolulu Lulu. It is totally worth the splurge for the umbrellas to whisk you away to a tropical island full of ocean, sand and sun. 

Each sip I took made me forget I was in blustery cold Iowa. 

Worth every sip and every sweet memory of my sister and Hawaii that I have. 

One last thing I love I want to leave you with. I started out this weeks Wisdom Wednesday with 2 words, intention and purpose. If you are on board with living 2017 this way, I really want you to give this documentary a watch. You can view the trailer here and the entire film is on Netflix. 

The greatest message from this film is to ask yourself:  Does it add value to your life?  I hope you give it a watch and let me know what you think!

Happy 2017 to you all! Let's make this the best damn year yet!