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Meal Plan Inspiration|September 28, 2014

Meal Plan Inspiration via @familysportlifeThis week I went back to the Naturopath. After a few weeks of having some good days and some bad days, I just had a really bad week. Clearly we are missing something.

I think we all thought the stress causing the Adrenal Fatigue was life stress. However, when I look at the changes I have made recently and compare my stress today to past experiences it just doesn’t rate. I am certainly busy with life but it’s good busy. And it certainly isn’t a busy that is going to go away anytime soon with two young kids.

I have learned a lot about myself, my wellness, and how to optimize my health over the past few months.  So! What gives?

I am going to have some more blood tests including allergy testing and testing to see if my Epstein Barr is active. We are certain that there is some kind of physical stress causing the Adrenal Fatigue.

In the absence of the results from the blood testing, the Naturopath thinks I have gut issues. I know, you are wondering how this all factors in to the meal plan this week. This week’s meal plan will be missing some foods and incorporating others for gut health.

Gone are dairy and grains. I didn’t eat much grains to begin with but no dairy is going to be a bummer. I do eat a few servings of dairy a day.

What can I eat?

The Naturopath recommended a diet higher in fat, moderate protein, and moderate to lower carbs. She specifically wants to make sure I am eating the following foods:

  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Beets
  • Artichokes
  • Garlic
  • Tumeric (this will be a daily supplement)
  • Drinking Green Tea daily

The Plan

I will spend most of Sunday in the kitchen prepping to make sure I have every meal planned out and at my finger tips. Since I am a little out of my comfort zone, I am just going to list what I am making.

While not recommended by my Naturopath, anything you read on leaky gut syndrome recommends bone broth. I bought some bones from the local organic farm and after much research (and nervousness) bone broth will be in my crock pot as you are reading this.

Another first for me is roasting a chicken. Nope, never have I ever roasted a chicken. I am hoping this works as well as I think. Seems pretty easy and will have a bunch of leftovers for lunches. I will be saving the carcass and freezing it for a second batch of bone broth (different recipe)!

Roasted artichokes.  Also, how to cook and eat them!

Butternut Squash and Beets.

While this grain-free lasagna won’t be on my meal plan this week, I thought some of you might like it!

And after a week of no dairy, I am going to drown my sorrows in this.

Wishing you all a week filled with health, rest, and inner wisdom.

What are your favorite recipes for gut health? Feel free to leave me the links in the comment section.

16 comments - Latest by:
  • Cary @ Fine Fit Day I'm sorry you're not feeling well! I would find it really difficult to give up dairy too, but hopefully the …
  • Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life I do make my own chicken broth a good portion of the time, and bone broth as well. I never …

Why You Need to Hit the Pause Button in Life

Why You Need to Hit Pause via @familysportlife“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

Our MP3 players and televisions have a pause button but what many of us don’t realize is we have a pause button too. At any time, in any given situation, we have the choice on whether or not to hit our very own pause button for our lives.

Each day at work I am presented with problems that require careful attention to detail to come up with a solution that takes into account policy, practice, prior determinations, the current set of facts and the future implications.  I learned early on that I couldn’t make quick decisions even if I was confident in my ability to resolve the situation.  No matter how bad the person sitting in front of me wants swift resolution, I have to hit pause.  Hitting pause allows me to gather all the relevant information in order to weigh the consequences of the decision.

It has taken me far longer to understand the importance of hitting the pause button in life.  When I hit pause in my personal life it allows me to give deference to my mind, body, and spirit.  Hitting pause is my way of giving myself permission to step off the roller coaster for an indeterminate period of time.  Sometimes I can hit PLAY after three deep breaths and other times I need a week.

Appropriate times to press pause in our lives include when we feel overwhelmed, lack self-confidence, are mentally or physically fatigued, and/or have an overall sensitivity to the stimuli around us.  Hitting pause gives us the ability to step back and assess a situation before making a determination on how to proceed. Hitting our pause button is the first step in self-care and learning how to embrace rest.

By pressing the pause button on life, we give ourselves the space to realign with our values and our vision.  To reconnect with our inner voice of knowing, calm, and gratitude.  When we hit pause, we are able to make decisions from a place of strength and discern what is critical to our goals.

Our nature is becoming one that wants to continually drive forward without thought for our own well being.  However, stepping back often allows us to step forward with greater awareness and purpose.

Not sure how to hit the pause button?

  1. Awareness.  Acknowledge when you are feeling stuck, frenzied, frenetic, rushed, overwhelmed, or needing to make important decisions.  These are all reasons to hit the pause button in life.  If you are feeling illness coming on, hit pause immediately.
  2. Reflect.  This is a great time to take 15 minutes and reflect on what you are feeling and what your next steps are.  WRITE THEM DOWN! This will help you build a consistent process around hitting the pause button going forward.
  3. Embrace your fears.  Often times we are afraid to unburden our schedules.  We fear missing something or being perceived as “flakey” if we have to back out of a commitment.  Find a way to talk yourself through the fear so you can make the best decision for yourself. Ask for help facing your fears.  I have started to refer to it as “sharing my shame.”
  4. Do what feels authentic.  While you might feel hitting the pause button is a sign you don’t have it all together, realize that none of us have it all together. Accept yourself for who you are and where you are.   Trust your intuition.  You have all the answers you seek as long as you have the courage to listen.  One aspect of authentic living having the confidence to do what you need for your mind, body, and spirit.

How do you press the pause button on life?  Do you feel like you need permission to step back and take a break?

PS. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Successletter, for more tips and resources to keep you navigating life successfully.  This week’s inside scoop will talk about a recent experience I had with pressing pause.  I answer questions like what made me hit pause, what I did when I hit pause, and my personal reflections.

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Meal Plan Inspiration|September 21, 2014

Meal Plan Inspiration via @familysportlife

Heyo! Jumping in here super quick with some fun, interesting and nutritious recipes I have found in the last week.  Our biggest challenge these days – BUSY weeknights.  We have been doing a combination of cooking, winging it, and left overs!  Second big challenge – making sure The A’s get some protein in their bodies.  They are total Carbaholics!

Meal Plan Inspiration|September 21, 2014

Sunday:  Salted Cinnamon Salmon – never would I have ever made Salmon with Cinnamon so I have to try it.  Thankfully The A Team will eat Salmon.

Monday:  Crockpot Meatballs and Brown Rice Spaghetti.  The left overs make a great school lunch.  I can’t wait to try this recipe because it calls for hemp hearts!

Tuesday: Flapjacked Pancakes! Pancakes with protein.  Win! They have great recipes on their website.

Wednesday: Cauliflower Fried Rice.  This is John’s recipe.  We will have to share it when he is done perfecting it.

Thursday: Balsamic Chicken and Butternut Squash

Friday: Out

Saturday: Out

If anyone is looking for a fun football recipe, I found Buffalo Hot Dogs this week.  I am dying to try them!

What are you having for dinner this week? If you have a favorite recipe, leave it in the comments below!

11 comments - Latest by:
  • Kristen I'm totally trying the crockpot meatballs this week - so glad you do this! I lost my meal plan mojo....need …
  • Serena Hi Tara! The combination of salmon and cinnamon sounds interesting for me too. It made me curious and it looks …

How to Embrace Rest

Today I am over at Cotter Crunch sharing my story about Adrenal Fatigue and the lessons I have learned about embracing rest from a physical and mental perspective.  I was so honored that Lindsay asked me to guest for her so she could take some much needed rest! If you are new to Lindsay’s blog, hang around a while and check out her posts.  She is an honest blogger who writes from her perspective as the wife of a Pro Triathlete, nutrition manager, and fitness consultant.  She has great health tips and gluten free recipes that focus on gut health.  If you are willing to learn, she has a lot to teach!

Oh! Lindsay is also the founder of a company called Healthy Bites.  I highly recommend you check out her Healthy Bites E-Cookbooks (Book 1 and Book 2).  These little bites are packed with healthy fats and protein.  I like mine with a cup of coffee in the morning!

WIAW The Protein Challenge via @familysportlife


Well, what are you waiting for? Go check out How to Embrace Mental and Physical Rest.

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The Art of Uncluttered Living

The Art of Uncluttered Living via @familysportlife #organizationI am so excited to be writing about this topic today. We are big believers that a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. The very first thing I do when I am feeling overwhelmed is to do a mini purge. A mini purge for me is when I pick a nook or cranny of my house and spend 15 minutes freeing that space from clutter.

The reason why I am jazzed to be writing on this subject is because I am at the tail end of a 3 week purge. I have never in my life purged so many items from my home.  I can say without a doubt this experience has been life altering.

There are absolutely people who thrive in spaces that are more cluttered and this is comforting to some. As a matter of fact, many creatives need to fill their spaces to feel inspired. I judge you not.  Defining what clutter vs. a productive living space means to me has taken the better part of 10 years and will most likely evolve throughout my lifetime.

We have always had minimalist tendencies. We aren’t big on “stuff” but then you buy a house, you furnish a house, you throw in some kids, a cat, and triathlon.  Before you know it things are feeling a little congested.

I feel like we have parted with the majority of our personal items but surely the actual number is much less. Most were donated.  Bigger ticket items were sold on Craigslist or in closed Facebook groups which received a lot of attention from people we know and people we don’t know.

Are we moving? Are we in financial crisis? Are we sick? Will you let me into your home to have a private showing of your belongings?

Nope. Nope. Nope. Huh?

We are all good. Actually, we are better than good. We are fantabulous! And then came the next questions.

WHY? Followed by HOW?


We believe our lives needed to be simplified. Drastically simplified. We believe our focus is better spent on the most important things – our relationships.  Our relationship to our spiritual selves, as husband and wife, with our children, with our health and with the achievement of our highest potential.

If you think about what these relationships require, the answer is simply our MOST focused energy. It doesn’t require:

  • 4 sets of sheets for every bed.
  • Enough towels to outfit an NFL locker room.
  • More toys than there is time to play.
  • Furniture for show.
  • An extra set of dishes.
  • 4 tablecloths that get used maybe once a year.
  • A dining room table for folding laundry.
  • Beauty products and clothes that are rarely used.
  • Home decor items that I don’t LOVE.

We felt that we had abundance but in the wrong places. Freeing our space allowed us to make room for the right abundance when the time presents itself.


If you having been hanging with my crew for a while, you know there was a time in our lives when things were tight financially. To be completely honest, we were totally broke.

To help ease the financial strain we would hold a few garage sales each year. Lots of items that we prided ourselves on went during these fire sales.  It was way back then that we started making peace with letting our possessions go. It has been an arduous process of separating emotion and sentiment from “things.” This did not come easily to us.  A sad commentary on our culture is that we as a society place too high of a value on the material. In my opinion, it is easier for us to make a connection with a tangible object than something intangible like an emotion or feeling.

So, for those who have asked me HOW do we do this? How do we unclutter our space and our life?

I don’t have that answer. I can’t give you a process to prepare you emotionally. I can only share with you what might be helpful to get you started.

The Art of Uncluttered Living|Getting Started:

  • Create a vision for what an uncluttered life looks like to YOU. Be introspective in determining what this means for you and those who live in your space. In June, I sent John an email outlining my thoughts for our vision and goals after Ironman Lake Placid. Included was a mission to Live Simply.
  • Set a concrete goal. Uncluttering your space can be objective. For example, donate all items from the kitchen that we don’t use on a monthly basis by the end of September.
  • Take it slow and start small. People look at what we did and thought “Wow that was…( brave or extreme or enviable).” However, there is no such thing as an overnight anything. We have been on this path for a while and our journey just took a major shift.  Don’t compare your beginning to my middle.
  • Find inspiration. Ever watch Tiny House Nation? Watching people dramatically downsize their living spaces contributed to our evolution of thought.
  • Be Patient. If this is something you want to do but are struggling, be patient. The universe works in mysterious ways and when you least expect it you will experience the right shift in thinking that will allow you to continue your journey. An episode of Tiny House Nation spotlighted a couple who lost everything in the Colorado wild fires. It was heartbreaking. A few weeks later I was gappling with letting an item go when I asked myself “what would you save in a fire?” The answer was surprisingly simple – my family.

There are very few words to describe how I feel after letting so much go…

Freedom. Peace. Happiness.  Gratitude.

Humbled.  Blessed. Uncomplicated.

Do you have a recent example of how you recently challenged yourself to live differently?

34 comments - Latest by:
  • Tara Newman Excellent awareness and a great strategy. We can only change the things we have control over. My kids …
  • Tara Newman Yes, we are shopping twins! I hardly buy anything anymore.