Let’s Get Real.

A few days ago I posted this picture on Instagram with the following caption:

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Life is so different these days. Things have changed, and continue to change. It’s often painful, heartbreaking, exhausting, just plain hard. But then it’s wonderful, soul-filling, beautiful, easy. I’m only just beginning to realize how quickly time is passing, and to think of how much time I have spent being sad or anxious or stressed… well, that’s a damn shame. All that is ever expected of us is to be happy, do what makes us happy, and love and lift each other up while we’re at it. I know this, now it’s time to start actively living the rest of my life in this body like I’m actually awake.

It felt good to be that open and real on social media for a change. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I feel like it’s time I started being a little more authentic, a little more vulnerable, in this space, and in my life off-screen. Why shouldn’t I be? At the end of the day, all I ever really want(ed) for the Heyday Diaries to be was a space I could share my life, with my family and friends near and far, and with the rest of the people of the world who on some level, might be able to relate. And for a long time now, it’s been anything but that.

I’ve held on to the Heyday Diaries for a long time; it’s a name I love and one with which I identify, that represents my life and adventures as a twenty- then thirty-something, in love (and rarely, but sometimes, in hate) with life and forever attempting to connect with her true nature, her true self. When I stood the name Heyday next to my business, I was reluctant to admit that it just didn’t work. Deep in my heart of hearts, I knew it just wasn’t right. So today, that changes.

You may have already noticed a few changes, namely, that my business headers and pages are gone. That’s no accident. And no, I’m not giving up on my yoga or nutritional therapy – those parts of me are taking on a life of their own in another space, separate from this one. When I’m ready to unveil that project, I will be sure to share it with you here, too.

My greatest, wisest teacher said something to me last weekend that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. In fact, it wasn’t the first time that he said it to me, in some way or another, but this time it stuck. It was something along the lines of, how we all have an exterior version of ourselves that we present to the world, the best version of ourselves (so we think)… you see it on social media, blogs, Facebook especially… we create a snapshot of our lives that is a far cry from the reality we actually live each day. Then maybe one day we muster the courage to let a little bit of our grit, our truth, our reality, creep into the foreground, and suddenly we begin to find that others resonate with our real story, they reach out to say, “yeah, me too”, and slowly it becomes easier and easier to remove the layers of nonsense – aka, our Facebook facade. It’s that grit, that truth, that makes us human, and which allows us to connect with other humans who share the same anxieties, heartbreak, happiness, and triumphs. And when we can break down the wall and stand in our truth, that, my friends, is when the magic happens.

So the Diaries are going to look a little different from here on out. You will see a bit less of my nutrition geekiness (though it will probably creep in here and there because, let’s face it, I can’t help it), and a bit more of my day to day… which now involves figuring out life with a five-month-old. Things will undoubtedly go deep from time to time, which I’m actually really looking forward to. If you’ve found me through nutrition or yoga, this blog may turn into something that you could do without, but then again… maybe not.

In truth,

erin 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail – The 21-Day Sugar Detox Shopping List

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With the 21-Day Sugar Detox in full swing (yep, the official detox started yesterday), and with my standard routine grocery list coming up in conversation more than once this past week (yes, really), I thought I’d share what I keep on hand at all times for easy Primal eats ‘round the clock.

Trader Joe’s. How do I love thee? I used to trek to Westlake when I lived in Lakewood, OH just to stock up on trail mixes and chile spiced dried mangoes. My list looks a little different these days (yikes, those mangoes have a load of added sugar and don’t even bother looking at the ingredients on the cilantro dressing, just don’t get it), but TJ’s does have a lot of great options if you know what to look for (and what to steer clear of). I’m in love with the fact that there’s a brand new TJ in Palm Beach Gardens so that I can stock up on staples and just visit Whole Paycheck Foods for the rest of the stuff I can’t get at TJ (like Japanese sweet potatoes, Rao’s Marinara, G.T.’s Kombucha, and a variety of other cuts of high-quality meat, to name a few). Here’s what usually ends up in my cart at TJ (oh, and, because I like to be OCD super prepared, I organize my list by how the store is mapped out – it’s a simple trick that keeps me from back-tracking or circling the store a hundred times, and I don’t end up leaving without checking off my whole list!):

Produce (usually organic unless they don’t have it):

  • Kale (in a bag)
  • Chard (in a bag)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • Romaine Hearts
  • Cruciferous Crunch (it’s a shredded blend of cabbage, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts)
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Celery Hearts
  • Beets (ready to eat)
  • Portobello Mushrooms or Mini Portobello Mushrooms
  • Granny Smith Apples (if I’m not on the 21DSD, I’ll splurge and get my favorites – Fuji)
  • Bananas (green-tipped for the 21DSD)
  • Sweet Onions
  • Bag of Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes (sometimes they have mini heirlooms which I love!)
  • Spaghetti Squash (or any variety of squash if they have it – sometimes they don’t)
  • Sauerkraut (in some stores, this is by the meat; others, with the produce)

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Pantry/Snacks

  • Organic Salted Crunchy Almond Butter – It’s so good! (the minimal amount of cashews – less than 1% – in it make me feel like it’s fine for the 21DSD)
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews (not on 21DSD), macadamias, pistachios… and my most recent favorite, TRUFFLE Marcona almonds (I love the rosemary ones too – YUM!). TJs really has a great selection of nuts but be careful to look for dry roasted if you aren’t getting raw! (This is where the NTP in me is supposed to say… you really should soak and dehydrate your own raw nuts for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption… got it? Good.)
  • Plantain Chips (get more than one bag – you’ll thank me!)
  • Broccoli… Chips? Snacks? What are these things? Whatever, they’re good, and they’re Primal compliant – only three ingredients.
  • Olives
  • Organic broths (beef, chicken, etc – for when I don’t have my own homemade stash supply up)

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Meat

  • Organic Chicken – breasts, thighs, variety pack, whole chickens, all of it
  • Organic, Grass-fed Ground Beef (these come in 1lb packs – I get a few and throw a couple in the freezer if I need to)
  • Organic chicken sausages (check the ingredients before picking just any package)
  • Organic, Grass-fed Beef Hot Dogs
  • Bacon – definitely the Black Forest (so good!)

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Dairy

  • Cage-free eggs
  • Kerrygold Butter
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • Crumbled Goat Feta
  • Manchego (unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese)

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Frozen Stuff

  • Mushroom Medley (contains just mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and parsley! And it’s pretty yummy!)
  • Fish – although I don’t get this as much now that I can get it fresh and local, but in a pinch, the mahi is great (um, also, make this amazing recipe!)
  • Sometimes I get frozen veggies just to have on hand for backup, but rarely… because I like the fresh stuff better!

AND since I know you’re curious… here are a few sweet treats I like to have on hand when I’m NOT on the 21DSD… keep in mind, they’re still considered part of the Primal Blueprint, but just something I like to keep OUT of the house if I’m trying to curb my sugar cravings (because Lord knows I can eat an entire bag of Honey Mints in two days!):

  • Just Mangoes (the organic, dried ones with no added sugar)
  • Honey Mints (um, if you don’t know what these are – you’re welcome. And I’m sorry, because you will soon be addicted!)
  • Dark Chocolate – any bar I can find that is 85% or higher
  • Lara Bars
  • Fruit Leather
  • OCCASIONALLY I grab a bag of Coconut Cashews because I’M HUMAN… but be forewarned there are some not-so-gut-friendly ingredients in those bad boys. I try not to get them often because they are so delicious that Tim and I can eat an entire bag in a day. Or, just I can. Do yourself a favor and ration those puppies if you dare make the splurge.

And there you have it! I usually make one trip a week, and I don’t always get EVERYTHING on this list, because it’s a lot. Buuut, we do eat a lot of protein and veggies! Like I said, I will get the bulk of what fills my fridge at TJs, and then hit Whole Foods or Fresh Market for some special items or for better meat options. Stay tuned for some good ideas of how to prepare this stuff!

Happy shopping & detoxing!

xx e

Dear Lennon

You are three months old today. How did this happen? It seems like only a day has passed since I was staring at your perfect little round face for the first time and praying you would love me as much as I instantly loved you. I guess this is what they mean when they say… it goes so fast.

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A few days ago, I caught you playing with Sophie – actually playing with her! – for the first time. You knew you had a hold of her and managed to get her pointy little ears into your slobbery mouth a few times. As I sat and typed, you yelped for my attention as if to show me, “look, mama!” Now, in the days that follow, holding onto random objects and getting them in your mouth has begun to seem effortless for you. You amaze me. I hope you will always know how proud of you I am.

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A little over a week ago, your daddy, you, and I piled into a rented minivan with the dogs and suitcases stuffed to the brim (and a few other necessities like mama’s beloved glider that she loves to cuddle you to sleep in – which she sat in for the entire nine hour drive), and drove you all the way to Florida where we will stay now, for good. Since we got you here, you’ve had a little trouble adjusting, refusing to nap more than 30 minutes unless I’m cuddled by your side, and throwing fits at bedtime, only to melt my heart (and make me laugh) with your big puppy eyes and sweet gummy, open-mouthed smile once I think I’ve gotten you settled to sleep. Wrong again, mom.

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There are days when I think I have you figured out. I’ve found your sweet spot with the white noise app, know just how you like to be swaddled (first one, now both arms out),how you like to be hummed and swayed to sleep, and you’ll happily lay down for an hour and a half or more. I feel like super mom! Then a few hours later, you’ll surprise me with a 15-minute catnap and I feel like a failure all over again. I guess this is just the beginning of you keeping me on my toes.

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When I think of what we’ve put you through in these first few months of your life, my heart aches. We’ve had you in the car so much, for the 11-hour drive from South Carolina to Ohio and back, twice. You waited in the car with your aunt, miserable and crying so hard for me at only one week old, while I said goodbye to your grandpa in the hospital. And now another long trip has once again turned your world upside down. You’ve probably felt my stress and sadness in one way or another. I can only hope it’s effect is temporary and that this heartbreak for me won’t even be a memory for you.

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One day maybe you’ll know that everything we ever did since the day we knew you were on the way, was for you.

We love you, sweet Lennon.

Mama

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2014 – The Year in Review

I can’t believe we’re already nearly entirely through January. That once again it’s been months since my last post. That this month, tomorrow, actually, my baby (yep, had that baby!) will be a three-month-old and not a brand new baby. That 2014 is over. It went so fast, and yet, last January seems like eons ago when I stop to think that we were still living in Miami and so anxious to get out of there. Gosh, so much can change in a year.

Where do I even begin?

This year was the best and worst year of my life thus far. Tim and I have agreed that 2014 will be one of those years (the only year, in my opinion) that we will talk about for years to come. Remember 2014?

To keep it somewhat light, and to just touch gently on a few of the things that happened this year, I figured I’d borrow a prompt I read (and loved!) on becoming jolie – one she writes each year and which I hope to write from here on out each January as well. Enjoy…

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

  • Bought a house.
  • Did some real life homeowner landscaping – as in, used my brute strength (at 6 months pregnant) to uproot shrubs and transplant them, and spent countless summer mornings standing outside with the hose watering said landscaping to maintain it during some brutal summer South Carolina heat after working so hard to make it pretty in the first place.
  • Had a baby! This event will probably dominate this post, so I won’t go into too much detail on the first question, lest you start yawning.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

  • I wrote a post last January with some goals I would have liked to accomplish… when I looked back at that post this afternoon I was immediately, uh, depressed? I hadn’t accomplished a single one! Like, not. A. One. What that says to me is 1) that I didn’t post them in a place where I would see them and be reminded of them so that I could actively work toward them or 2) that they weren’t really that important to me anyway. Also, I’m going easy on myself here because I did get pregnant which means that my goal of learning to climb and taking trips to the mountains probably wasn’t feasible anyway. And buying a house and moving across several states meant maybe that all-inclusive vacation would have to wait another year (or more).
  • This year, I’d like to let go a little. In just under three months of having a newborn baby, I’ve learned what a valuable lesson it is to be flexible and to not cling so tightly to perfection because, well, let’s face it, that is just not real life. Without getting too deep and philosophical, I think it’s my constant striving for perfection that has held me back from a lot… not trusting myself that I can do something because it won’t be perfect, etc. This year, I want to be more flexible. I want to give myself the chance to have experiences in which I’m allowed to be imperfect. I want to be okay with going with the flow and not being so OCD. I have some other goals that are a little more concrete, namely getting back into a more regular yoga and meditation practice, teaching yoga again, trying some new things like stand-up paddle racing, and finally getting my photos organized (um, maybe get a wedding album made four years later?).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

  • Well… EYE gave birth! And a lot of my friends and family did also. I feel like everyone I know got pregnant or gave birth this year, so, yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

  • My dad died this year. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in August and died on November 7, just shy of three months later. I am devastated, heartbroken, and still mostly in shock. At some point, when I’m ready, I will write more about this because I believe it deserves so much more of my time and thought than to be documented in a bulleted list.

5. What countries did you visit?

  • I didn’t visit any, sadly. I’d like to change that soon… maybe next year though.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

  • Patience. Ha!

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • February 11 – That morning, I found out I was pregnant.
  • March 10 – the day before my mom’s birthday, when we told her she would be a grandma!
  • August 14 – I was opening a package from my parents, filled with treats for the baby, clothes, bath supplies, blankets, little baby socks… I got a phone call from my dad at that very moment. He was calling from the hospital to tell me that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It was like being hit by a car. Tim was out of town on business but changed his travel plans to fly into Charlotte and then drive three hours just to lie in bed with me that night and hold me while I cried.
  • October 22 – I gave birth to my perfect little baby girl, Lennon Mayla. For a day, a night, my world was calm and still and nothing else mattered except that I existed to love and protect her. A long-awaited light in the midst of the darkness.
  • November 7 – Dad passed away in hospice. It was Tim’s birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

  • Giving birth to my perfect little baby girl, au naturale. I would be lying if there wasn’t a point where Tim had to get in my face to tell me I didn’t need the drugs, and I’m so glad he did because I believe that alone was why it was smooth sailing. Maybe one day I will write her birth story. Birth is so damn amazing, seriously. I had no idea what I was in for.

9. What was your biggest failure?

  • I hate to spend too much time thinking about this, but I do have regrets about feeling sad or sorry for myself, feeling lonely, wanting things I didn’t have, being impatient and selfish, and not making any concerted effort to change.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

  • I experienced a bout of first trimester nausea (for a solid 12 weeks) but never actually barfed, so I consider that a win. I went to the emergency room once when I thought I had deep vein thrombosis (NOPE, JUST PREGNANT), but I wasn’t really sick at all. I did get mastitis in the first week after Lennon was born, which suuuuucked. When I started to get it again a few weeks later (after only taking an antibiotic for two days because big pharma drugs = the devil, right?), I just drank a ton of water and bone broth and cured myself within 24 hours. NUTRITION FOR THE WIN, FELLAS!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

  • I just asked Tim this question… his answer? “The Boppy.” HA! I love that his answer is a baby item. When I reminded him that it was a shower gift, his second answer was, “The K’tan.” Also a baby item. Then suddenly, he said, “no, the motorcycle” as if to reclaim some sort of pre-dad coolness. Ha. I love him.
  • My answer, which he agreed with when I reminded him, is our giant sectional couch. We had been using a very chic down-filled couch a la West Elm that was perfect in our Miami loft, but in our 4 bedroom home, it was just way too small and uncomfortable for any kind of lounging. The giant, cushy, albeit slightly ugly, sectional couch is… pretty bomb. It wins.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

  • Tim’s. Every day. He pulled me out of the depths countless times over the course of the year (this and every year).

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

  • I can instantly think of an answer for this, but honestly, it’s not worth dwelling on or even just mentioning or rewarding with any credit in this post, or ever, anywhere.

14. Where did most of your money go?

  • Furnishing a 4-bedroom house after living in a no-bedroom loft. Couch, dining room set, bedroom set, office furniture, nursery furniture… dang, being a grown-up is ‘spensive!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

  • Having a babe!

16. What songs will always remind you of 2014?

  • Mayla, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Not that it was particularly popular this year, but it was one we listened to time and time again, particularly during our visit to Ohio in the fall, and what we chose as Lennon’s middle name.

17. Did you make any new friendships?

  • Surely I must have made a new friend. Nope.

18. Did you go on vacation?

  • Nope.

19. What do you wish you had done (more and less) of?

  • Less pining, wanting, complaining.
  • More doing.

20. How did you spend the holidays?

  • Thanksgiving was new for us this year – instead of the usual trek to Ohio to take part in the annual Thankstravaganza with my side of the fam, we decided to stay put in South Carolina with our one month old baby (she’d had enough travel in her first month, we expected). Mom came to us and cooked up a Paleo feast (which was absolutely delicious and has me convinced I never need to stray from Paleo no matter what the occasion). It was quiet and peaceful and small and sweet. But so very different from Thanksgivings past.
  • We spent Christmas and New Years both snuggled up together, the three of us, in our cozy home in SC. We had she-crab soup on Christmas Eve, I made almond scones for breakfast on Christmas morning and we spent the last week of the year talking about the past, present, and future.

21.  What new food did you discover?

  • I can’t really say I discovered a new food, per se, but living in/close to Charleston, we were able to really experience what Southern food is all about. Collard greens, pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes… And every restaurant claiming to have award-winning mac ‘n’ cheese. Not the best options for Paleo foodies like us! A few of our fave restaurants? The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island and The Mackintosh downtown Charleston. Oh, and Acme Lowcountry on Isle of Palms for brunch – they have the best eggs Benedict in town atop fried green tomatoes… The best! (.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

  • I’m not a big TV person, and neither is Tim, but one shared guilty pleasure of ours is Netflix. Last year we watched the entire series of Weeds which was awesome, and in 2014 we started really getting into Bones. I love Bones. It’s the perfect show… A little drama, a little gore, a little sex, a little suspense, a little humor… It’s got everything AND it makes you use your brain! I don’t see how anyone could not like it.

23.  What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?

  • Giving birth. Are you sensing a theme, here? I’m not sure what could top it. Spending the night in the hospital, sitting awake with Lennon in the middle of the night thinking, man, I am a-freakin’-MAZING. I just spent nine months growing a human and I just pushed her out of my body and now she’s sleeping in my arms. WHAT. That is so cool!
  • Also, as lonesome as I was, not knowing anyone in SC, I loved spending the summer getting up early, donning my bikini (giant baby belly and all) and heading to Sullivan’s Island with a beach chair and a book. I’d get an iced coffee at the little local coffee shop and park myself in the sand for a few hours every morning… It was so peaceful and quiet and so needed.

24. What was the best book you read?

  • I feel like such a loser that I don’t have a good answer for this. I read half a dozen baby books probably and now that I’m three months in to motherhood, I feel like I should throw them all out the window while driving on the highway. What a waste. I did start re-reading A Path With Heart, which really fills my cup. Hm, I should finish that…

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

  • I listened to a lot of Lana Del Ray over the summer… While lying on the beach on those warm summer mornings.

26. What did you want and get?

  • A ticket out of Miami.
  • A girl!

27. What did you want and not get?

  • I definitely have no answer for this one.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

  • I don’t know if it came out in 2014 but I saw it toward the end of the year and LOVED IT – Chef. Do yourself a favor and redbox/Netflix it asap.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

  • Is it bad that I don’t even remember? I had just been in Ohio for our baby showers… Man, I seriously do not remember. I think Tim was out of town. Sheesh, this year was such a blur.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

  • Honestly? If we had moved back to Jupiter instead of going to South Carolina. I feel like I would be a year ahead of where I am now. It’s like I’ve been in limbo ever since leaving Florida, just waiting to return so I could get my life back. So weird.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

  • Hm, considering I was pregnant for most of it (!), COMFORT was my top priority. Leggings, maxi skirts, loose tops or tanks and cardigans.

32. What kept you sane?

  • Tim. Duh.
  • My mornings at the beach. Duh.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

  • Is this seriously a question? Gag. Pass.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

  • See answer to #33.

35. Who did you miss?

  • My family when I found out about dad. My friends from Jupiter when we left Florida. My friends from Miami when they moved to North Carolina. My husband when he had to travel. My family at the holidays. My dad when he passed… And today, and forever.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

  • I met a gentleman on an airplane who had so much to say to me that was relevant and which I needed to hear – it was like he was sent from God. We hugged when the flight was over and I remember sitting at a wine bar in the Charlotte airport making notes on everything I could remember from our conversation. It was crazy.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

  • Take good care of your precious earthly body, because you only have one and it is so, so fragile.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

  • Mayla long time
    May the sunshine
    Mayla, know I’m
    Tryin to see it through
    Our future to the new horizon

    Mayla long time
    May the sunshine
    Hold on we’re trying
    Our hands our bleeding through
    We’re building us a new horizon

    Mayla long time
    May the sunshine
    Mayla we’re trying
    Our hands are black and blue
    Our death says that we’re due, and falling

    And all I have to do to rise
    Is look into your eyes

    Mayla

Until tomorrow, friends.

xx
e

On Blogging, or… Not Blogging

Okay, so do I ignore the fact that it’s been almost three months since my last post? Do I even need to start this post with an apology? I feel like in the past year, I’ve had at least half a dozen posts start with something along the lines of “sorry it’s been so long since my last post…” followed by a promise of more regular posts and lots of exciting future posts lined up, blah blah. But let’s be real: life happens. I’m a real person and I have flaws, not the least of which is my non-ability to adhere to a strict blogging schedule for your reading pleasure. Sorry! While I love blogging, sometimes it takes a backseat to the rest of my life… which sucks because I get so much pleasure out of writing and posting (regardless of the feedback, or lack thereof), that I really should make an effort to cultivate and nurture the habit.

Came across this post in my feed this morning (because I’m still somewhat of a regular reader, and always feel more inspired after filling my cup with a dose of Camp Patton or Swanky and Dapper or some other favorite)… from zenhabits: The Biggest Reasons You Haven’t Changed Your Habits.

Aka: Good morning, Erin, this post is for you.

Let’s take a moment, shall we? In fact, YOU take a moment – go read it, then come back, and we’ll discuss.

The first three reasons for failure listed in Leo’s post are the biggest for me, personally, and seem to be for people I work with regarding nutritional therapy, too.

1. Not changing your habit environment. This is a biggie. Set yourself up for success. For me (and for most people) it means, for example, if you know you’re watching your sugar intake, don’t buy the ice cream and pretend you’re just going to have a small spoonful of it every now and then. Why even have it in your house? If you’re cutting grains, don’t buy bread! Don’t torture yourself! Change your environment: clean out your fridge, your freezer, your cupboards, and only stock your kitchen with whole, nutrient-dense foods you won’t feel guilty about putting into your body.

2. Expecting comfort. Change is not comfortable. Change freaks people out. But you’ve got to understand that anything worth having – that goal that you want so badly to accomplish – takes some effort on your part and it’s not going to be easy. We all have aspects of our life we want to change, but the real challenge comes in taking the necessary steps to get there. We want to lose weight, exercise more, be stronger, be healthier, save money, go on trips, have hobbies, spend more time with friends, cook more, read more, write more, get more out of each day, live a full life. It takes a little planning and commitment on our part, and the action items themselves are not necessarily difficult… it’s just the getting started, the act of doing something differently than you are used to, changing your comfortable routine, that is the most uncomfortable part. You have to start somewhere.

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3. Not starting small. I am notorious for biting off more than I can chew when it comes to setting goals or having a plan to develop a new habit. Especially when it comes to blogging. Haven’t blogged for months? That’s it! I’m going to blog every day for the next week. Monday, great. Tuesday, I have a topic, but it’s a little forced. Wednesday, crap, I have lost all zest for writing and this sounds like phony baloney garbage. Forget it, I’ll start up again when I feel inspired… *crickets*… three months later… I’M BACK AND I’M GOING TO BLOG EVERY DAY! *Insert side-eye emoticon here.* It’s just not realistic, nor is it sustainable. Habits take time to create and to grow… and to maintain! Attempting to climb Mount Everest or run a marathon on a whim without the proper training is just asking to be disappointed. I know better, and so do you.

That being said, I’m going to start small, today. Currently, my plate is full. I’m eight months pregnant; I own a house in one state and I’m currently (though temporarily) living out of a suitcase in another; I’m attempting to map out yet another move, to yet another state… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and did I mention I’m about to have a baby in four weeks? Possibly (hopefully) less? Yeah, there’s that. So there may be a few other things taking precedence over the Diaries. Still, I want to make time for it. Maybe if I don’t set the blogging bar so high in the first place, maybe if I set myself up for success by mapping out time each week, maybe if I get comfortable with being uncomfortable… maybe, just maybe, you’ll be graced with a little more of my wit and wisdom here on the Heyday Diaries. ;)

See you soon, but not too soon…

xx

e

erinyoga

5 Tips to Kill it in the Kitchen

First of all, I owe you all a big fat apology for my absenteeism. We’ve been having a little bit of technical difficulty around the Heyday household, and other things have taken priority to getting the computer fixed… which is kind of awesome, actually. I love me some blogging, but it has been kind of nice to get up in the a.m. and work on some other nagging projects before finding an alternate way to check emails and social media. I’ve pretty much developed a new routine of drinking a giant glass of lemon water while I water the landscape and my tomato plant and ponder life’s wonders in the shade of the morning before the day turns sweltering. It’s been a nice change of pace. But alas, I come to you today from the iPad, (which is mildly annoying, but works, so, whatever) while the MacBook is in the hospital. Not sure how many of these posts I’ll be able to tolerate before requiring an actual keyboard, so bear with me in case you don’t hear anything for another week.

Today’s post is brought to you by: your culinary fears! You know you want to be a wiz in the kitch, but something’s holding you back. You’re overwhelmed, you’re afraid to try something new, you burn toast… Whatever it is, it’s time to let it go and embrace your inner chef! Here are 5 ways to step up your game and start killing it in the kitchen.

  1. Get out of your comfort zone! Try new things! Pick up a vegetable you’ve never tried before (Sunchokes? Kohlrabi, anyone?). Use a new pantry staple like grass-fed gelatin or fish sauce or ghee or coconut butter. Get out an appliance you never use (Maybe your food processor or crock pot or double boiler?).Things get boring really fast when you’re serving up the same ol’ chicken breasts, roasted sweet potatoes and salad night after night. It doesn’t have to be complicated… just try a new side dish, an unusual marinade or a new sauce that will add some spice to your regular favorites. What about some braised red cabbage with sherry vinegar or some sunshine sauce (a great substitute for peanut sauce). Get out some cookbooks and get creative! But with that said… image
  2. Don’t be a slave to your cookbooks! Sure, follow a recipe exactly the first time… Make notes on what you loved or didn’t love so much, and make it your own the next few times you make it. Maybe it needed more spice or maybe it was too spicy? Maybe it would’ve tasted a bit better with a touch of acid from a lemon or a splash of vinegar? Whatever your changes, write them down, but then commit your favorite recipes to memory so that you can whip them up sans cookbook.
  3. Clean as you go, it’s the sign of a pro! This is seriously one of my favorite tips. I hate messes and clutter, and when my countertops start filling up with tools of the trade during a batch-cooking session, I start to have an anxiety attack – scratch that – I used to have an anxiety attack. Now I avoid that mess all together and just clean up as I go. It saves me the headache of having to clean up a huge mess after the meal and keeps me sane during the process because my workspace is clutter-free. It’s not hard to do, just be mindful to make it a habit!
  4. Make it pretty! By now we all know that we eat with our eyes first – so why limit that visual stimulation to only the meals you eat at restaurants? Start making your plates Instagram-worthy and a few things will happen: the ones eating off those plates will take note (and eat up), and you’ll find yourself getting greater pleasure from the fruits of your labor in the kitchen. We all have a little artist in us, this might just be your new creative outlet.

    Sooo, I mainly shoot my breakfast plates... deal.

    Sooo, I mainly shoot my breakfast plates… deal.

  5. Learn to laugh at yourself. Pretty sure this one is a must. Once you’ve turned on the blender after forgetting to make sure the blade was fully screwed on (done) or accidentally let a cracked egg slip down the crevasse between the oven and the kitchen counter (done that, too), you’ll quickly realize that having a sense of humor is a necessity in all areas of life, including the area where you cook. It also helps to have a pet who doesn’t mind cleaning up your kitchen floor from time to time.

    Malone, otherwise known as, my trusty sous chef.

    Malone, otherwise known as, my trusty sous chef.

Happy cooking!

xx

e

Post-Travel Craving: JUICE

We had an awesome trip trekking up to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for a cousin’s wedding this past weekend. I took zero pictures which has me feeling kind of bummed. I know there will be plenty of wedding pics surfacing on Facebook over the next few days, but I’m mostly bumming over the pics of the cute little secret breakfast spot we found or the hidden gem of a pub serving up eggplant fries in a pool of tarragon honey mustard (YUM) that I didn’t take. I suppose in the moment, the lack of photos was my attempt at being present, really experiencing the rare weekend away with Tim and our family and taking it all in. Okay… I take it back, no regrets.

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This was the singular photo I took over the weekend. It’s the stone pathway back to the secret-garden-like breakfast spot we discovered… and I only took it because I want to recreate a stone path like this in our backyard. I’m pathetic, I know.

Weekend travel makes me thirsty. Seriously. Hours in a car trying to make as few stops as possible means limiting my normal generous intake of water, and what feels like limited access to filtered water while staying in a hotel room, not to mention consumption of some extra-salty foods that aren’t typically in my day-to-day meal plan (fried cheese, anyone?), leave me feeling parched and puffy upon return to real life. 

I got in about 60 ounces of water in the afternoon once we returned, but I woke up this morning thirsty as ever. Enter fresh summer watermelon and a convenient need to clean out the produce nearest wilting in my fridge.

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This particular concoction included some hydrating veggies like romaine, cucumber, and celery, along with some bright (and lower-sugar) fruits like lemon, lime, and green apple. Add in a few carrots (I didn’t have the white ones this time) and a little mint, and the color of the resulting mixture appeared a little less than appetizing. It was delish, though! Proof that juice doesn’t always have to be pretty to taste amazing and fresh.

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Just because it looks like I filled this glass from the marsh behind our house doesn’t mean I did.

I always cut my juice by mixing in some cold, filtered water. And though it’s best to consume your juice right away, I just make sure I keep it covered in the fridge and drink it all the same day I make it in order to avoid loss of nutrients. You can read more about my adventures in juice here.

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This one was a little more Instagram-worthy… the frothy goodness before I stirred! Taste the rainbow!

Cheers!

erin