Lifestyle

Coffee + Journaling


Happy Saturday to all! We’ve finally made it to the weekend. I don’t know about y’all, but there were moments this week when I was desperate for this moment to come.

This weekend I am starting a new, intentional Saturday morning routine. It’s pretty simple really- all I’m doing is starting my day with coffee , journaling and natural light. Depending on the weather that will either mean sitting outside or finding an indoor spot near a window.

Today I am at Hunter Bay, my favorite local coffee shop, and I am writing about the prompt below.

Our journal prompt for the week.

Let me know that you’re writing along by tagging me on Instagram @TimshelLiving and using the hashtag #TimshelSaturdays!

Travel

Travel Diaries: Bachelorette Road Trip!

I’ve always dreaded the day when one of my friends will get engaged and drag me to Vegas for a weekend of insane antics and penis-shaped things. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve been lucky instead to be part of some thoughtfully planned, truly memorable experiences.

The most recent was one I’ll never forget. My longtime friend and former roommate Kayla is getting married in July, and for her bachelorette party she wanted a girls road trip full of adventure. So, that’s exactly what we did.

We started in Denver and made the 3 1/2 hour drive west to Grand Junction, where we checked in to the absolute cutest AirBnB. From there we were picked up by Roxann from Grand Junction Tours for a guided tour of the local wineries in neighboring Palisade.

Beautiful view from one of the wineries in Grand Junction / Palisade.

I’ve been lucky enough to participate in several winery tours in my life, and this was my absolute favorite (aside from South Africa, which is on its own level). Roxann picked us up and dropped us off directly at our AirBnB in her car, so we never had to worry about driving. She only takes one group at a time, so the tour was private and completely tailored to our group. She suggested wineries based on our wine preferences (we loved all of her recommendations) and even loaded boxes of wine into the car for us when we got carried away and bought quite a few bottles. Oops! Roxann herself was super friendly and we had a great time with her.

My favorite of the wineries we visited was Hermosa Vineyards. Hermosa was named the #1 vineyard outside of California by Travel & Leisure! The owner, Kenn, shared a great deal of wine knowledge with us. It was particularly fascinating to learn about why his Cabernet Franc, which is easily my favorite wine the world over, is so special. He actually grows Cabernet Franc grapes from 5 clones taken from different locations around the world. He blends the harvest from all 5 clones together to produce an incredibly complex, layered, delicious Cab Franc. He doesn’t distribute his wine at all, so the only place to buy it is directly from his tasting room. Bottles range from $20-40 but and are absolutely worth both the price and the effort.

After a delightful day of wine tasting, a relaxing evening at the AirBnB and a lovely breakfast/coffee stop, we were on our way to Moab.

Taking in the sight of the La Sal mountain range from our tent at Under Canvas Moab.

Our first stop in town was the famous Moab Diner. It was absolutely packed, and we pretty quickly found out why. The food was fantastic and affordable, and the diner is right in the heart of downtown. Their Sweetwater potatoes are to die for. YUM.

Next was our checkin at Under Canvas Moab, our little home away from home for the rest of our trip. I was really impressed with this place. As a backpacker and wilderness camper I have never experienced “glamping” before, but let me tell you- I didn’t hate it one bit! There’s nothing wrong with sleeping in a comfy bed piled high with blankets and pillows while still having stretches of undisturbed nature just a sheet of canvas away.

Hell’s Revenge ATV Tour with Moab Cowboy

The outing of the day was an ATV tour of Hell’s Revenge with Moab Cowboy. I had never been in at ATV before and it was AWESOME! Our group had our own vehicle, which we drove up and down some of the craziest landforms I’ve ever seen. Honestly there were a few moments when I was thinking “How are we not falling over?” But we kept following right behind our guide and had quite an adventure!

After all the adrenaline from the ATVs we were happy to relax by the fire pit at Under Canvas, enjoy some of our wine and make s’mores!

Canyonlands Ballooning hot air balloon inflating and preparing for flight!

The next day was the best. We rode in a hot air balloon! This has been a bucket list item for me for a long time so I could not have been more thrilled! It was such an immersive experience that I will have to to write a whole separate post about it. Floating above the earth was a feeling almost impossible to describe. Following our ride we were pretty hungry, so we stopped off for a latte and fantastic breakfast at the very cool Moab Garage Co. Their savory quinoa bowl is delicious!

Later we tried to visit Arches National Park, but the line to get in was so long we decided to detour and check out Dead Horse Point State Park instead. We were not disappointed! The pull offs in this park offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, and plenty of trails to explore along the canyons and rock formations.

Charcuterie on the “porch” of our tent at Under Canvas Moab.

We spent the rest of the day enjoying the scenery back at our tent, listening to a beautiful Native American flute demonstration, relaxing by the fire and soaking up the stars. Moab is a truly magical place, and I can’t wait to return!

Other Notes:
-Cell service and wifi are fairly unreliable if not all around impossible to find in the area. Those of us on this trip had different cell service providers, and we all found that even when our phones said LTE with high bars, nothing aside from the occasional text was actually getting through. Forget anything else. This is perfect if you’re wanting to unplug, but not great if you need to have any kind of connection to the outside world or you’re hoping to extend your trip by working remotely for a few days. The solution we found was Red Rock Bakery & Cafe, a cute little coffee shop downtown that offers free wifi for customers. When we really needed to connect, we were able to do it there. I’m sure there are other places as well, this was just the one we found and where we had a great experience.

Travel

Travel Diaries: Hawaii Pt. 2- 72 Hours in Maui

The flight from Oahu to Maui is a quick jump- barely enough time for the flight attendants to make it down the aisle with a tray of little foil-topped plastic cups filled with guava juice or water between takeoff and landing.

When I travel I like to plan for one big activity each day and leave the rest of the day unstructured. I’ve found this leaves plenty of time for exploration, spontaneous activities and reading books on the beach while also making sure I don’t look back on the trip and wish I had seen/done x, y, whatever. Something to keep in mind when visiting the Hawaiian islands in particular is that traffic during rush hour can be a real nightmare, so it’s never a bad idea to wrap up your excursions in time to spend the afternoon in the sand rather than on the roads.

For 3 days in Maui I would recommend:
1. Nakalele Point & Blowhole
2. Maui Tropical Plantation
3. Ocean Kayaking
4*. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

Nakalele Point is a super cool spot. You can walk down an easy trail to see the Blowhole, a natural hole in the rock that spouts water every few moments as the waves crash against the shore. Be sure not to get too close, as this very professional looking sign will remind you…

Don’t stop there, if you continue down the shoreline you’ll find beautiful views, tide pools and you may even see some sea turtles swimming around in the clear blue water!

Along the road to/from the blowhole you will see locals selling fruit and other goods. If you happen to see a lemonade stand, STOP THERE. We met a lovely woman and her husband who were selling mason jars of lemonade flavored with different tropical fruits, and they were incredible. Passionfruit was my particular favorite, and it was even better when I took it back to our hotel and added some vodka! Poolside drink game perfection.

2. Maui Tropical Plantation

This is place is so cool, and it’s home to The Mill House, one of the best restaurants I’ve ever experienced. Their farm driven menu features a constantly evolving selection of fresh, flavorful dishes and handcrafted cocktails. The decor and ambiance are just as great as the food, with unique decor representing the history of the plantation. They even trimmed the dried orange on my cocktail to look like the mill wheels originally used on the plantation!

You could easily spend a day here. There is a train tour of the plantation, but it’s just as enjoyable to walk. Start the day with a coffee at Mill House Roasting Co. where all the coffee is roasted in house using beans grown either on the plantation property or elsewhere on the island of Maui. Explore the grounds, learn about the history of the plantation and maybe even check out the zipline before lunch! After lunch you can check out the plantation store, farm stand and small boutiques featuring locally made goods. Finish up with some ice cream from The Scoop (macadamia nut was my personal favorite) before you say goodbye to this beautiful property. Or stay for dinner at one of the other restaurants and call it a day!

3. Ocean Kayaking + Snorkeling

We did our kayaking tour with Kayak Olowalu and we had a great time! To be totally honest, our guide was a bit of a nut but we loved it. He totally owned it too, and he was doing all kinds of wacky stuff while we were out on the water.

The coolest part of the tour was that this guy knew exactly where to find the most sea turtles for us to observe while snorkeling, and we also saw a group of whales with some calves! We kept our distance to avoid disturbing them, but watching them was one of the highlights of the entire trip. It was also nice that this company is the only one on the island with a private beach front location, so we were able to launch our kayaks right from the check in point rather than having to be driven somewhere.

Their location is adjacent to a really nice campground that I would definitely consider for our next trip. That particular beach also had the greatest wealth of washed up coral pieces and interesting rocks of all the beaches we walked throughout the islands.

If you’re hungry from kayaking, check out Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie shop right across the road. Their hand held savory mushroom pie really hit the spot for me, and some of the sweet pies were incredibly popular with other members of our group.

4*. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

I am offering this up as an alternative or as a great activity for those who have more than 3 days in Maui. We didn’t make it to the farm on this most recent trip, but I have been there before and it’s absolutely gorgeous! You can book a guided tour or walk around on your own to explore. If you’re looking for the perfect Instagram shot, this is a great place to go as we all know fields of lavender are having a real moment as of late!

Other Notes:

For this part of our trip we stayed at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, which were absolutely gorgeous. The beaches immediately accessible from the hotel are fairly small (in terms of distance from shoreline to sidewalk) but they extend quite far along the shoreline and are beautiful for walking. The outdoor space at this hotel was fantastic, they had multiple beautiful pools and plenty of outdoor recreation options including ping pong and an expansive grass lawn with cornhole (aka bags).

The absolute highlight of this particular hotel was the Sunday brunch, which was honestly the best I’ve ever had. The spread of fresh seafood alone would have made me happy (and the dessert table kept my vegetarian sister quite content) but when you combine that with bottomless mimosas in multiple flavors including guava and pineapple, it was pure heaven.

Overall we had a great experience here and I would highly recommend it.

Lifestyle

Sautéed Red Cabbage Recipe

I recently learned about the impressive benefits of red cabbage, and have been looking for more ways to incorporate it into my diet. It’s packed with nutrients, supports the heart and liver, helps with inflammation, supports healthy digestion, and it’s crazy cheap, so it’s a total win win!

This recipe gets a little added punch with green onions, which are also a nutrient dense food. What is a nutrient dense food? Great question! It’s anything that is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. Basically the food version of getting “a lot of bang for your buck.”

The first way is super basic. It only requires a few ingredients:
-1 head of red cabbage, sliced into ribbons
-3 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
-Salt + pepper
-Green onions, chopped

-In a large cast iron skillet or pan, heat the avocado or coconut oil on medium heat. If all your cabbage cannot fit in one pan, divide the oil in half and cook in two separate batches. If you like spice, add some red chili flakes to the oil.
-Add the cabbage to the pan, stirring regularly until it it becomes softer but not mushy.
-When the cabbage appears to be nearly finished, add the green onions, salt + pepper to taste.
-Allow the cabbage to cool, and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. A large head of cabbage can last that long even if you eat it daily!

You can easily add other toppings based on your preference. In the bottom picture you can see that I added some toasted sesame seeds. Sriracha is a great topper, and it is also nice to mix in a little sauerkraut for a tasty probiotic benefit!

Travel

Travel Diaries: Hawaii Pt. 1- 72 Hours in Oahu

One of the great things about traveling in Hawaii is the ability to island hop. Each island has its own personality, and once you’ve bothered to fly all the way to one you’d might as well take the opportunity to check out a few different spots!

We stayed at the Marriot Ko Olina Beach Club, which was easily one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever experienced. Aside from having amazing pools and beautiful views, the hotel is also right on the edge of a series of lagoons that are great for snorkeling! Along the lagoons are little outcroppings of lava rock that have really cool little tide pools on top. We walked out one night and had a lot of fun checking out all the little fish and crabs living there.

If you only have 72 hours in Oahu, there are 3 key things around which I would recommend you plan your days.
1. Pearl Harbor
2. Waimea Valley
3. Diamond Head State Monument

1: Pearl Harbor

If you have any interest in history at all, I strongly recommend spending a day at Pearl Harbor. Get there early and plan to stay for the whole day, because there is a lot to see! If you’re a hard core history buff, you may want to plan for two days here. Spring for the all access Passport to Pearl Harbor pass, which includes a comprehensive audio tour and admission to everything at Pearl Harbor, including the Battleship Missouri and Bowfin Submarine (plus you can bring your ticket back and receive a second day of access for only $10). At most of the sites you visit, there are docents offering free guided tours. These people really know what they are talking about and the tours are excellent.

Wear comfortable shoes, layers and sunscreen as you’ll be doing a lot of walking and it can get pretty toasty in the middle of the day.

2. Waimea Valley

There is no better place to experience the incredible natural beauty of Oahu than the Waimea Valley. This is another place where it is completely worthwhile to take the free tour with the local docents, who have a wealth of knowledge about the indigenous plants and the history of the region.

The valley is accessible via paved pathways that are handicap accessible, so I wouldn’t call this so much of a hike as it is a stroll. However, there are some dirt paths that go off to the sides for those who want to explore a bit more. In the valley you can find an example of a traditional Hawaiian village and, if you’re lucky, even spot a rare endangered bird species called the ’alae ’ula.

The vegetation in this area is absolutely astounding. Plants that I have in my home look completely different when thriving in their natural habitat. Golden Pothos, philodendrons, fiery colored crotons and Monstera Deliciosa with leaves the size of car doors flourished everywhere around us. This is a truly magical place.

3. Diamond Head State Monument

Don’t let the length of this trail fool you- this is not an easy stroll. Much of the trek at Diamond Head consists of stairs inside old military bunkers, and they are quite steep. I would recommend hitting this trail early in the morning, but not early enough for sunrise. This is a pretty popular trail and those who venture out for sunrise or who come later in the morning and likely to find themselves waiting in line to get to the top.

The views from the top are absolutely beautiful, and the hike is short enough that you will easily be finished with it in a couple of hours, even if you spend time wandering around at the top. Reward yourself with a pineapple smoothie or some Dole Whip from the fruit stand in the parking lot, and then leave yourself a leisurely afternoon for some snorkeling or lounging on the beach.

Other notes:

If you are looking for great dining on Oahu, it’s hard to find something better than MonkeyPod Kitchen at Ko Olina. They have a ridiculously great wine list, creative cocktails and incredible food. I had a pizza with rock lobster and mushrooms so delicious I could have cried. Everyone in our group ordered something different, and the response was universally ecstatic.

When you visit Hawaii, be sure to invest in learning about the history and indigenous culture. These beautiful islands are rich in traditions that have been endangered by colonialism and the destruction of Hawaiian sovereignty by the United States. Take the time to look beyond the natural beauty, tropical drinks and enticing beaches. Experience the true roots of Hawaii and respect the sacredness of these islands.

Yoga

Mala Care

Malas are my favorite tool to assist in my meditation and mindfulness practices. From beginning to end, the process of making and using malas is a rich opportunity to honor our intentions.

Because of the precious energy and intentions we put in to our malas, it is important to care for them like the sacred objects they are.

To start, I strongly suggest to avoid storing your malas by hanging them. This stresses the cord and will shorten the life of your mala. When not using or wearing them I always store my malas in little pouches or in bowls on my altar.

It is important to regularly cleanse your malas’ energy. The easiest way to do this is by burning sage or palo santo over them. I do this with my malas at least once each week, more frequently if I have been wearing a mala in a situation where there has been a lot of negative energy. I also like to cleanse/charge my malas using the sun and the moon. To cleanse your mala using the light of the sun, simply leave it in a place where the sun’s rays will shine upon it directly and leave it there for a few hours. Be aware that solar exposure is not good for all stones- Opal, Turquoise, Amethyst and others will fade under prolonged sun exposure. Moonlight is much gentler and a safer option for all stones. To charge your malas under the moon, first consider the type of energy you are wanting your mala to carry. Different phases of the moon impart different energies- read more about that here. To add a grounding, rooting element you can rest your mala in a dish of dirt or even place it in with a potted plant. Make sure it is in a place where the moonlight will touch it, perhaps in a windowsill or on your patio.

If your mala is made of seed or wood, rub a little olive oil on the beads every now and then to prevent them from drying out and cracking. 

If the tassel on your mala gets dirty, wash it in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent. comb the strands and let dry. If the ends of the tassel are looking raggedy you can trim the ends with a pair of sharp scissors.

Avoid placing your malas directly onto the floor or wearing them when using the restroom.

Just remember- your mala is sacred because your precious intentions make it so. Treat your mala with respect and cherish it as you cherish your intentions.

Happy Meditating!
KD

Lifestyle

Homesteading Skills: Brewing Kombucha

If you have ever met me or H, you know that we have a dream of creating a net-zero homestead in the mountains. Our goal of being maximally self-sustainable guides a lot of choices I make as I consider how to spend my free time. I have always enjoyed learning how to do new things, but now the pursuit of knowledge has taken on a special purpose. Every time I am ready to take on a new project, I consider what kind of things will benefit our family in the future when we are establishing our home.

One of these projects has been learning to brew kombucha. H and I drink it regularly to support digestion through a healthy microbiome, but buying it at the store can be extremely expensive. When comparing store prices to the affordability and ease of home brewing, it becomes a no brainer!

For those who are unfamiliar, kombucha is a fermented tea that is made using a culture of gut-healthy bacteria called a scoby. A scoby, for lack of a better description, basically looks like a thick slice of deli turkey and has a slimy feel. It’s not exactly pretty! Every time you brew it “reproduces” by growing a new layer, which can be peeled off and shared! My first scoby was given to me as a gift, and as it has grown new layers I have given baby scobys to others to start their own brew. If you know someone who makes kombucha, ask them to share their next layer with you! If not, you can also order live scobys on Amazon. I know some people who have used this one and had great results.

To start your own home brew you need:
1 gallon glass jar
A scoby
Organic *plain* black and green tea bags
Organic cane sugar (must use cane sugar- NO coconut sugar, honey or sugar substitute, these will harm your scoby!)
Vinegar (plain ol’ white vinegar)
Cheesecloth or paper towels
Rubber band or string
Mason jars with plastic lids or swing top bottles

Start by boiling a gallon of water in a large stockpot. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and let sit for one minute or until there are no longer active bubbles in the water. Add 1 cup sugar, 3 black tea bags and 3 green tea bags. Do not use flavored teas, as these can upset the ph balance of your scoby. Stir to dissolve sugar, then cover the pot and let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes. I usually just leave the tea bags in until the water returns to room temperature. This won’t hurt your tea and it means you can walk away from your pot as soon as the sugar is dissolved and come back to it later in the day.

Once your tea cools to room temperature, rinse your gallon jar with water and then rinse with white vinegar. Don’t worry about drying it, leave a coating of the vinegar on the inside of the jar and dump out the excess. Add your tea, then add the scoby (which should be stored in some “mother tea” from its original jar- add this to your jar as well). Make sure the rim of the jar is completely dry, then cover the mouth of the jar with a double layer of cheesecloth or paper towels. Secure with a rubber band or tightly tied string. Make sure the covering is well secured! Using cheesecloth or paper towels allows your scoby to breathe, but prevents fruit flies or anything from else getting in. You can store the lid of the jar for some other use, you won’t need it for kombucha.

Store your jar in a dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet, and leave for 10-14 days. The longer you leave your kombucha, the stronger it will be both in terms of flavor and fermentation. Do not leave longer than 14 days.

At the end of this first fermentation period, it is time to prepare for the second fermentation. This is when the kombucha carbonates! This is also where you can get creative with your kombucha. You may prefer to have it unflavored, but if you would like to flavor your kombucha there are endless options!

For unflavored kombucha, remove your big jar from the cabinet and rinse the insides of your small mason jars or swing bottles with the white vinegar. Fill each jar or bottle with the kombucha, reserving 2 cups of it to stay in the gallon jar with the scoby as mother tea for your next batch. Seal the small jars or bottles, then put them back into the cabinet and leave to ferment for 7 more days. At the end of this 7 day period, transfer the jars to the refrigerator and enjoy within a month.

For flavored kombucha, begin by filling the small jars or bottles about 4/5 of the way full with the kombucha from your big jar. Then, top off with organic fruit juice, other kinds of tea, fruit, ginger, or other flavorings! My favorite combination is lemon ginger, which can be made by adding slices of fresh organic lemon and a little knob of peeled, fresh ginger root to each jar. Blueberry mint is also very tasty and can be made by adding mint tea and fresh blueberries or blueberry juice. You can experiment with adding rose petals or lavender, basil, etc! You can find a million other ideas for flavorings online. Just keep in mind that whatever you are adding to your kombucha needs to be organic and clean- anything with chemical pesticides can mess with your culture. Seal the small jars or bottles, then put them back into the cabinet and leave to ferment for 7 more days. At the end of this 7 day period strain any solids from the tea, then transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy within 2 weeks.

You may notice when you prepare to enjoy your kombucha that a small scoby or some stringy bacterial colonies have grown in your tea. This is totally normal. The small scobys can be discarded and while some people choose to drink the stringy bits, I personally don’t have the stomach for it and I choose to discard them as well.

I like to always have kombucha brewing, since we drink a lot of it. To make this happen, I make a new batch of sweetened tea on the morning when I know I am going to transfer my kombucha to the smaller containers for second fermentation. Then, once I have filled the small jars, I move my scoby and 2 cups of reserved mother tea to a clean glass (or any non-metal) bowl, rinse the gallon jar with vinegar to keep it clean, then start my new batch just like the previous batch. If you need to take a break from brewing, you can store your scoby in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Just place your scoby in a tightly sealed glass container with 2 cups mother tea and enough fresh, sweetened tea to cover it. This basically puts your scoby into hibernation. Once you hit the 3 month mark, you will need to remove your scoby from the fridge and make at least 1 batch of kombucha with it before returning it to hibernation.

**Caution: If your scoby begins to drastically change color, omit a strong nasty odor (aside from its normal, vinegary odor) or shrivel, discard it and the tea immediately. This indicates a problem with your scoby such as contamination or a ph imbalance. It is better to discard everything and start over than risk getting sick from a compromised scoby. To be fair, I have been brewing kombucha for 5 years and have never had this problem. However, it is possible and should be taken seriously.

Have you ever made your own kombucha at home? Do you have a flavor combination that will rock our socks off? Share with us below!

KD

Lifestyle

Cycle Syncing Recipes: Ketogenic Menstrual Phase Friendly Soup

I tend to meal prep each Sunday, and as I consider what to prepare for the week I look at my cycle calendar on MyFlo (best app ever). Will I be in the same phase all week? Will I transition to a new phase half way through the week? I use this knowledge to make decisions and prepare meals that will support me, and my hormones, as I move through my cycle.

During the menstrual phase, the body benefits from foods rich in protein, healthy fats, and low-glycemic produce. These things, along with special spices like cinnamon, help to regulate blood sugar. These food recommendations fall in line with the Ketogenic Diet, so I will often combine the two. The strict requirements of Ketosis help me to avoid the pitfalls of cravings, which in this stage for me often revolve around salty soft pretzels and sourdough bread (ironically the exact opposite of what I should be eating at that time).

One of my favorite recipes to prep for my menstrual phase is this amazing, fatty, tasty soup. A small serving packs a nutritious punch and keeps me full for a long time, eliminating the urge to snack.

Ingredients:
1lb fatty organic grass-fed ground beef (I tend to grab the Simple Truth 80/20 pack from Target)
20 Brussels sprouts
3 tb Coconut oil
1 tb Ghee
1 Jalapeno, sliced into thin rounds (keep the seeds in for a spicier soup- discard seeds for a more mild flavor)
1/4 cup Red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tb Tomato paste
2 scoops Ancient Nutrition Turmeric Bone Broth Protein Powder
Handful Spinach, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
Himalayan pink sea salt
Ground black pepper
Optional: Red chili flakes, scallions to garnish

Chop the sprouts into quarters, then toss in the coconut oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400F degrees  for 40 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes to mix the sprouts.

Melt the ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Season with salt & pepper and sauté until soft. Add the tomato paste and stir consistently for 30 seconds, allowing the flavors to combine.

Add water slowly, continuously stirring the mixture to combine. Then stir in the bone broth powder. Let simmer for 20 minutes, adding the spinach for the last 5 minutes.

I like to divide the soup into mason jars and freeze them for lunches at work. If you do this, make sure you leave about an inch and a half of room in the top of the jar, do not fill to the top. I grab one on my way out the door in the morning, leave it wrapped in a dish towel at my desk and it’s thawed by lunch time! This also ensures that I don’t waste any soup if I don’t eat it all by the end of my menstrual phase.

Enjoy!
KD

 

Lifestyle

WTF is Cycle Syncing?

I recently posted in my Instagram story about how I was adjusting my morning routine on a specific day to accommodate my cycle syncing needs for that day, and received a barrage of responses and texts from my friends, all essentially asking me, “What the f*** is cycle syncing?”. Out of curiosity I did a poll and discovered that 93% of the women I interact with on social media had never heard of it before!

I wish I was surprised, but I can’t say that I am. I had never heard of cycle syncing myself until recently, when I saw the phrase casually mentioned on a health Q+A. I was curious and started doing a great deal of research, eventually finding myself buried in books, articles and testimonials about the myriad benefits of this practice.

So… let’s answer the question! Cycle syncing is the practice of adjusting your food, exercise, mental focus and sex life to the stages of your fertility cycle. Did you know that we have 4 distinct stages in our cycle, and that the fluctuations of our hormones in each stage affect us in a variety of ways? They prime us to be more successful in different types of mental tasks at different times of the month, they influence our energy/endurance levels, make us feel more/less amorous and cause our body to crave different nutrients. By understanding these fluctuations we can make decisions to support our bodies and come into a harmonious flow with our, well, flow. Benefits of cycle syncing can include reduction of PMS symptoms, weight loss and other physical improvements, increased happiness… I could go on and on.

The four stages of our cycle are Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal, and (you guessed it) Menstrual. I’ll be doing more in depth posts about each phase in the coming months, and sharing my own tips for harnessing the power of this practice for your health.

If you are feeling the pull to dive in deep with cycle syncing, I recommend this book and the MyFlo app (it’s the best couple of bucks I’ve ever spent).

With Love,
KD

Lifestyle

Ketogenic Cauliflower Fried Rice

I love being in ketosis. My body is strong, my skin is clear, my brain is firing and my energy levels are consistent throughout the day. I never feel better than when I am in ketosis.

What I don’t particularly love is living without some of my favorite comfort foods- particularly chicken fried rice takeout, which is one of my all time favorite things.

Recently while searching for frozen broccoli at the store I stumbled across a bag of riced cauliflower- basically just frozen cauliflower that has been put through a food processor to achieve a rice-like size and consistency. Cauliflower is pretty low in carbs so I figured I would give it a shot, and MAN OH MAN am I glad I did. Game changer.

It’s discoveries like this that make me believe that Keto could be a long term option for me.

Recipe:

1 cup riced cauliflower
1 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 jalapeño pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 egg
Cooked, shredded or cubed chicken (I use 3oz but you can adjust to your macros)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more, to your taste!)
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt

  1. Heat the ghee and coconut oil over medium high heat.
  2. Sautee the jalapeños, red chili chili flakes and salt until the jalapeños are soft.
  3. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook, stirring every 30 seconds or so, allowing the cauliflower to brown but not burn.
  4. When the cauliflower is cooked, add the cooked chicken and stir just long enough for the chicken to heat through.
  5. Crack the egg into the pan and stir gently, breaking the yolk and distributing the egg throughout the mixture.
  6. Add the soy sauce and continue to stir until the egg has cooked completely.
  7. Enjoy!

Consider adding a little hot sauce or topping with green onions if you’d like! You can also add peas and carrots, just be careful and consider your macros.

Enjoy!
KD