The New + Kettlebell Arm Bar

“It’s only the new that awakens the mind. That fully engages us with the world. We become anthropologist in a new environment. We transcend the banality and boredom and triviality of the everyday. But when we are engorged by a new experience, we become alive. We feel as children. We gawk. We are enraptured. When we say we want to be happy, what you mean is. I want to continue To explore. To learn. to discover novel lands. We can never stop learning. We can never stop seeking. Happiness lives in the space of novelties.” ~Jason Silva

I am a big fan of Jason Silva and I watched this video on repeat. He is so right on it!

Last week upon scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stopped on a video of a kettlebell move I had never seen! This is rare. I have studied kettlebells for over a decade now. But here it was. And then a day later, I had a friend post a video of the same move, the very day I had intended to try it. Clearly all signs were pointing towards me adding this. The move is a kettlebell arm bar. After watching and rewatching the video multiple times, my mom and I were ready to give it a go. The whole experience. The discovery. The learning. The practice and first attempts. The newness. It literally made me giddy (it doesn’t take much). And then I remembered this Jason Silva video. It is right on.

Think of the last time you did something for the first time. When did you switch up your routine? When did you change your look? When was the last time you decided to learn something new? Try a new skill? Start a new program? When was the last time you had an adventure? When did you forge a new and exciting friendship? When did you take a new route to work? New can be small. All I did was add a new kettlebell move and look what it did for me. Continue reading

Sunbutter Cookie Cheesecake Jar

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Sunbutter can be one of my favorite nut butters to use. I like to make sunbutter cookies. Sometimes (most of the time) at home I just put things in a bowl and hope it turns out. Sometimes that doesn’t work and a batch of cookies turn out flat or crumbly. When this happens, I am just stubborn and hard-headed enough not to give up yet. I am going to make this work. Actually, fuck that, I am going to make something better! Clearly I am a strong-headed little thing.

So one day I was making a batch of my favorite sunbutter cookies. They were ugly (note to self, space better next time). I can’t present these to anyone. My brain races for a creative solution. Cheesecake. It is one of my favorite desserts to make. My granny made me cherry cheesecake growing up rather than cake on my birthday. I am into making cheesecake in jar form the last year. This time I opted for a mug. And I had 10 pounds of sunbutter, so I figured I could add some to the batter. I am told that this was absolutely delicious in spite of the muted color, the taste was on point. And it was easy to make!

Sunbutter Cookies

  • 2 cups sunbutter
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 local, pasture-raised eggs
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cheesecake Filing

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup local honey

Let’s Make it Happen: Preheat oven to 350. Stir all the cookie ingredients. Roll into balls. Press down. Bake until slightly browned like 8 or 10 minutes.

For the filling just process it all.

Once the cookies have cooled. Assemble. Crumble cookies into the bottom of a mug. Layer cheesecake. Crumble more cookies. Repeat until you’ve reached the top! Sprinkling a little more cookie on the top.

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This recipe comes via my best friend Tabitha.

She is going back to grad school to become a nurse practitioner. With this and working the rest of the time at the ICU I have promised to be there. For more dinner and laundry dates. Whatever it takes to get her through school.

I love her. We have been friends for well over a year. We are so odd. Not only are we physically opposites. Her dark hair, tan, dark eyes, Romanian and more exotic looking. Me blonde (usually), hair, blue eyes, pale skin. We both are the same height and incredibly strong women (willed and physically). This theme of being polar opposites, but the same oddly runs throughout our friendship. I love mornings. She is constantly telling me to shut the fuck up. Who is that happy in the morning? I love people. Tab is pickier. I am a free-spirit hippy. She is a bad ass nurse who gets shit done. She is more practical and brings me back to reality. The list is on going. However, somehow we are a perfect duo, who has withstood the test of time and life’s challenges. If ever the other is needed, the other shows up. As she says, I am her ride her die.  Continue reading

Gluten-Free Zucchini Casserole

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This weekend brought about a lot of reflection. Taking my little cousin out on Saturday, educating her on bar etiquette, taking care of her, and passing along my party girl wisdom. It really just solidified how much I have changed and how done I am with that stage of my life. My advice: be young and stupid. Approaching my 30’s looking through my 20’s, I am thankful I had that wild party phase done and out of the way. I feel I am ready now. Ready for life. For love. For family. For goal getting. I feel more settled. And I feel like I will not have a mid-life crisis, I got that shit out of my system. Be young. Have fun.

Yesterday I spent with my best friend. Doing her laundry. Cooking lunch. Cleaning out the fridge. Editing papers. It was all very adult like. Standing in the kitchen with my best friend, prepping food, listening to 90’s R & B, laughing and catching up, I fell in love with this moment. The older I get the more I celebrate the small. Especially this. This transformation. The simplicity of our day. The women we have become. The way our relationship has grown and evolved through fun times and break-ups and challenges. We are always there for each other. This moment in the kitchen is the now us. Helping her study for grad school. Lifting each other up. I am so thankful for these moments.

And while we are in the kitchen she requests a zucchini lasagna. The zucchini were smaller and I like to add a lot of color and different veggies in a dish, so I just started chopping things up and combining different flavors. Put it in a pan and made a casserole of sorts. So then we could sit together and enjoy a meal together. Such a small, special, magical, perfect moment. This is me now. How thankful I am for the transformation.

A Zucchini Vegetable Casserole  Continue reading

Gluten-Free Spinach Wraps

11205076_10101171757500843_2279475637093721669_nI have never really been a sandwich/wrap girl. Sometimes, however I like an unwich. You know a sandwich wrapped up in lettuce. Last week while dreaming up recipes, I decided I should try a wrap. I had some spare spinach in the fridge, why not toss that in, get some spare veggies in?

What to put with it? Chicken of course comes to mind. How about some more green? Add cucumbers for some freshness. Also there is an avocado in my fridge, let’s make a spread with it. Sounds tasty and good for a little after-work meal before I head out for a walk. It is nice and cold/freezing here in Indiana. The colder weather is paradoxical for me. It fills me with cabin fever, restless energy, and wanderlust. I want to be outside playing and exploring in the snow. Yet I also love to post up in my cozy apartment creating. Painting the huge canvas in my living room. Or working on my cookbook project. Or in my kitchen making up recipes. And so I get my fix on it all. I go for a hike in the snow and come home to warm up in my kitchen! This is a lovely little post-hike feel-good-fill-you-up meal. Plus once you make the wrap, you can fill it however YOU like!!!

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Gluten-Free Spinach Wraps

  • 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup flaxmral

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Wrap Insides:

  • 4 oz. pulled chicken
  • Avocado puree with cayenne pepper and sea salt
  • Cucumber slices

Let’s Make it Happen: Pulse tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, and spinach in a food processor. Add the ghee. While it is still running, pour in water. Add flour or more water depending on texture. If it is wet and sticky, add more flour. If it is dry, add more water. Divide into 4 balls. Cover with a cloth for 10 minutes. Roll out. Heat coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Toss the dough in there. Allow to cook 20 seconds on each side, until slightly browned. Cool slightly. Fill. Roll. Enjoy! Feel free to freeze and stock-up.

Why to Kettlebell: Functional Exercise

 

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My first 80 pound Turkish Get-Up

My love affair began a decade ago. When I was a senior in high school and when my parents still had their fitness business, we began incorporating kettlebells. It was love at first swing. I spent the summer studying Pavlo, an amazing Russian who is master with a bell. I was quickly addicted. Addicted to practicing. I was set on developing my skills. Some of these moves can be complex, I wanted to nail them. Plus I was going to school for exercise science. I am also a naturally strong women. I spent my summers working out with my dad, brother-in-law, college athletes and guys from the gym. Eager to show myself and that I could hang with the guys. That is how we once broke a 90 lbs. bell on a Sunday summer workout. Men and their pride. I spent over 5 years training kettlebells (before I realized I liked the cooking aspect more).

Ten years later, kettlebells are still my weight of choice, even though I no longer teach them. Why? Why do I go back to them repeatedly? There are a multitude of reasons to start a kettlebell practice:  Continue reading

Gluten-Free Butternut & Kale Lasagna

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I have really been working on cooking for myself lately. I work in a kitchen. I spend a decent amount of time baking and cooking for others or thinking about cooking for others or about creating recipes to post. Rare do I stop to think of myself. Frankly I am  And I go back to what my father always tells me, you can’t be of service to anyone else, if you don’t take care of yourself. Of your own health. So I have been creating space, making time.

This past week I made a delicious rutabaga pizza crust, stuffed portabella mushrooms and this beautiful dish which I am calling a lasagna. Being single and living alone means that these three dishes can feed me for days! This dish in particular was extremely filling and it made a lot of servings, so I ate on it for 4 days.

Butternut and Kale Lasagna

  • Ghee
  • 2 Butternut Squash (I used ones with longer necks), thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Bunch of Kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 6 oz Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 lbs. ground pork (mine was spicy!)

Continue reading