May 30th, 2012 by Lisa

5 things that happened when I stopped following the Primal lifestyle.  Aka …. If you fall off the Primal Wagon, you’ll feel like a zombie.

Going primal made so many great changes in my life. You can read about them in my post 5 things that happened to me as a result of starting a Primal lifestyle.    I should have called the post 5 Great things…because every one of the changes was a positive one.

You might wonder how I would ever let myself slip off.  And you’d be justified in wondering this.  I am perplexed myself.  Essentially, it boiled down to laziness and procrastination.  I had been very consistent with my efforts for the first 6 weeks and then with a trip away (all you can eat and drink is hard to completely resist,) and some unexpected life hiccups it just became less of a priority.

These are the things that happened when I fell off.  They didn’t happen all at once, but they all built up simultaneously over time.

1. I gained weight.  It didn’t happen all at once, it creeped up.  I was off track for about 5 weeks and I  managed to gain 5 pounds.  This was after losing between 9 and 10 pounds in the first 2 months I was on Primal.  Gaining weight you just lost is like losing money on the stock market.  Now my jeans are snug at the waist again.  No fun at all.

2. I was more tired.  It became harder to get up in the morning when the alarm went off.  And I wasn’t sleeping as well.

3. I was less regular.  I’m not going to elaborate on this one, since I think most of my readers are not 7 year old boys who enjoy discussions about toilet issues.

4. I became cranky.  Tiredness, weight gain and irregularity can do that to a girl.

5. I was less motivated.  Less motivated to dance, to run, to bound up the stairs.  I had less resolve to jump start my way back into the Primal way of eating.  I was succumbing to the SAD (Standard American Diet.)  I felt a bit like a zombie, just not the flesh eating kind.

(6. I stopped blogging.) Likely a result of #5 combined with super-busy life events.

Anyway, you’ll be happy to learn that I’ve the spark I needed to get back on track and I am starting to feel the goodness from it already.

Posted in Dieting, Health, Health and Lifestyle, Primal/Paleo Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 29th, 2012 by Lisa

You might all be wondering what happened to me lately.  No worries I’m back!

I had a well-needed and fabulous trip to Cuba.  And then all kinds of things happened that temporarily had me stop blogging.  Some topics you might see coming up in the near future: helping children deal with the loss of a loved one, navigating X-family relationships during loss, real estate shopping, dividend stock investing, temporary room-mates, puppy sitting, and of course vacationing in Cuba.  Yes, I’ve been busy!

So…soup.  Mmmmmm!

I made this scrumptious soup yesterday. It’s my own “recipe.”  I guess it fits the concept of Primal Soup – you know the kind they suggest making out of all the left overs in your refrigerator.

I’m a recent convert to the pureed soup.  I didn’t used to like it, but I think I had such limited experience that I didn’t know how delicious it could be.

I have a house guest right now who is Gluten Free Vegetarian, and this recipe is good for them as well.

Here’s the recipe:

(you don’t have to measure or time things exactly so the recipe is barebones.)

Curry Cauliflower Soup 

25 minutes, serves 6

fry in bottom of soup pot, until browned:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • butter
  • Spices to taste:
    black pepper (4 cranks)
    celery seed (1/4 tsp)
    curry (2 tsp)
    turmeric (1.2 tsp)
    you might add salt, I didn’t the broth I add is salty enough.
add these ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 mins:
  • 4 cups veg broth
  • cauliflower (I had about 1/3 of a head)
  • carrots (handful baby carrots)
  • broccoli (about a cup)
  • tomatoes and green pepper chopped (1 cup total)
Blenderize – I also added a bit of
  • coconut milk (for depth of flavor)


This recipe makes about 6 or 7 cups of soup.  Mmmmmmm

What is your favorite soup?


Posted in Dieting, Health, Health and Lifestyle, Primal/Paleo, Recipes Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

March 23rd, 2012 by Lisa

There has been a lot of hype over today’s release of The Hunger Games, a movie based on the book by Suzanne Collins.    I read The Hunger Games book last year and found it enthralling.  I will be reading the second book, fairly soon.

Here’s the thing I’m wondering about: Who is this movie targeting as it’s audience?

Many of the Hunger Games readers were in their early teens, and I’m certain that many young teens want to see the film.  It’s rated PG-13.  Which means if you’re under 13  an adult must attend the movie with you.

I don’t want to give too much about the book away, but it’s no secret that story is about kids killing kids. There are 24 kids a the start of the competition, and it’s a fight to the death with only one winner.  You do the math, that means that 23 kids are slain in the course of the story.

Is this a concept that we want to become jaded to?  Do we want to use the slaying of children as entertainment.  I know that the characters are actors and no one is killed for real in the making of the movie…but.  People generally are sent to jail for killing people. In this story the characters are put into the situation by the government and then it is televised, reality television style.  And now, we’ve made it into a movie.  Does this glorify killing?

As an adult I know that I can deal with the disconnect between reality and the premise of this story.  How young is too young for a child to watch this movie?  I’m not really sure.  I do know, however, that when we read a book our imagination will only take us so far, but when we see graphic violence on a screen, we are inflicted with the directors imagination brought to life before us.

Once we see something, we can’t “un-see” it.    How much is too much?    Please, let me know what you think.


Posted in Parenting Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 20th, 2012 by Lisa

I wish I had something inspirational, witty or bold to say today.  Sadly, I’m off to bed with a touch of a headache from lack of sleep.  For the past 4 days  and nights I’ve been nursing 2 sick children who have fever and coughs.  No fun!

Things that help a cough:

1.  Hydration:  This can come in the form of drinking fluids or a vaporizer.  Drinking fluids works best if done slowly over the course of the day, sipping a glass an hour to keep the throat well lubricated.

2.  Honey:  Honey has a natural healing property that causes phlegm to liquify making it easier to cough out.  So, we’ve been going through lots of it this week. We’ve been serving it straight-up on a teaspoon, on English Muffins and in hot lemon and honey.

3.  Rest:  Enough said.

4.  Vicks Vapo-rub:  It worked when I was a kid and it still works today.

5.  Television:  Well, it’s a good distraction if nothing else.

6.  Hugs:  A hug makes everything better.


(I can never seem to stop at 5 can I.  LOL)


Here’s to good health!  And soon!!!


Posted in colds, Health, Parenting Tagged with: , , , , ,

March 12th, 2012 by Lisa

We had this conversation at lunch time today, my kids and I: What should you do when your friend asks you not to tell about something they’ve done?

My advice:  Tell your Mom.  It’s helpful of course to invoke the “don’t get mad” spell before beginning the story. Let’s face it, if your friends have told you not to tell your parents something, clearly they’ve done something they’ll get in trouble for and they know it.  Wouldn’t you rather know the kinds of things your kids and their friends are finding themselves involved in before it’s too late to counsel them about it or help out in some way?

I know I would.

We discussed how some people have kids who are causing trouble and doing bad things when the parents aren’t around.  I told them that, likely, their parents probably have no idea that these “things” have  happened and believe that their kids are  “perfect angels,” with not a clue about the danger or the wrong doing that might have transpired.

Wouldn’t it be better if their parents knew?

I guess it depends on the parents.  If they’re going to dole out unreasonable punishment and not discuss the issues with their children, then maybe it’s better that they don’t know.  But, if they’re good parents, it would be better if they did.



I gave my boys the example that if they were older and were drag racing (for example) on the main street during busy traffic, I would love to know about it and not hear it third hand.  I joked to my kids “honestly, then I could at least suggest to you that you do the drag racing in the factory district on the weekend.”

They laughed.  But seriously, my kids are entering the age where they are going to be put on the spot with peers who don’t want parents to know their business.  It’s not my job to parent those other children, but I do want to keep mine safe and arm them with strategies for dealing with avoiding trouble and danger.  In all seriousness, I won’t advise them of a safer drag strip, but I might suggest that they take up speed racing as a sport and learn how to do it safely.  We’ve got a motorway just up the highway.

Posted in Parenting Tagged with: , , , ,

February 26th, 2012 by Lisa

If you Love Life, Life will Love you Back.

Think back to when you were graduating from high school.  Did you ever in a million years think that you would become the person that you are today?

Life has a funny way of throwing people and events at you that will cause you to go in a direction that you didn’t foresee.  Some of them make life easier and some of them make life more challenging.  But regardless, they have brought you exactly where you are.

I’ve come to realize that there is only one thing that can shape the course of your life path.  You can’t buy it.  No one can help you with it.  You can’t find it online or in a store.  You’ve got to look for it inside yourself.

‘What is it’ you ask?  The answer will be so simple that might be disappointed.

It’s your attitude, your outlook.  That’s the frame for everything in your life.  Good and bad, happy and sad.

What is your overall attitude?  Are you mostly cynical?  Mostly cheerful?   Mostly unhappy?  Mostly contented?  Mostly worried?  Do you embrace change?  Are you confident? Are you a martyr?

I’m primarily an optimist.  I wasn’t always one.  But over the course of time I came to realize that I could choose to be optimistic.  Optimists were a group that drew me to them.    I decided that I wanted to be one of those.  That’s right, it’s a choice.

Over a decade ago, I had a life-changing event that gave me pause to consider the type of person that I was.  I had a falling out with a long-time friend.  We didn’t have a specific fight, the problem was that  she was poisoning my life outlook and making me feel  and act cynical and judgemental.  It wasn’t easy to break up with her.  We had been best friends in high school, and we were each other’s maids of honor.  Not an easy break up.  But I could no longer allow her to be a toxic influence in my life.  I was turning into a cynical, judgemental person.  I had to choose not to have her in my life any more.

Have you ever met someone who can never be satisfied?  If you ask them how their trip was they’ll tell you all the negative things that happened.  If you ask them how they are doing they’ll tell you that they’re cold or just getting over an illness.  If you ask them if they’re looking forward to the holidays they’ll complain to you about the work that it will take to pull it off and how no one will appreciate it anyway.

No matter how lovely the topic, this Cynic will tell you the down side of the story.  This is a reflection of their attitude.  I’m certain that all of those topics have a good side, but they have chosen to focus on the negative, and so they have perceived only the negative aspects of those events.

Have you ever met someone who is always optimistic? Someone who just rolls with the punches and move through life with a smile.

If you visit this Optimist at the hospital after a major surgery they’ll tell you which nurse is their favorite (you’ll probably notice lots of smiling nurses hovering around their bed.)  If they lose their job, they hit the streets with perseverance certain that there’s a better one out there.  When they lose someone close to them and have worked through their mourning period they are quick to recount happy stories of times shared, and think about the lost one with fondness rather than grief.

Many of us find ourselves in the middle.

I would describe myself as a realistic, logical, optimistic, loving, helpful person. Sometimes I’m a little bit soft, and criticism can be painful for me.  But I do make a point to embrace each day and task with a positive outlook and attitude.  Even distasteful jobs become less distasteful when you decide to be positive about getting them completed.

Make a point of noticing your attitude.  Next time you’re mopping the floor, whistle a happy tune and enjoy how clean it has become.  This is advice I offer to my kids on a routine basis.  It’s all in your attitude.  If yours needs adjustment, it’s up to you to do it.

Posted in Health and Lifestyle, Love, Marriage and Relationships Tagged with: , , , ,

February 26th, 2012 by Lisa

Life is What You Make It.  This is something that I’m sure you’ve heard many times.  Have you thought about how it relates to your life? 

Are you dedicated to creating your life?  Each day we are presented with choices.  Sometimes we don’t realize that they are choices, but they are choices.

Do you choose to get out of bed on time?  Or hit the snooze button?

Do you choose to eat healthy food?  Or indulge in decadent foods?

Do you choose to treat your loved ones with respect?  Or snap at them when things don’t go your way?

Most of the time we take the path of least resistance.   Getting up on time allows us to be on time for work, and that means we don’t get fired.  Eating healthy food means we maintain a healthy body and have plenty of of energy.  Treating loved ones (and strangers for that matter) with respect means that we feel good about our interactions, and are likely treated respectfully in return.

If you want to make a life that is rewarding, I recommend you follow the directions of this sign:  Life what you love.  And conversely, love what you live.

Posted in Health and Lifestyle, Marriage and Relationships Tagged with: , , , ,

February 24th, 2012 by Lisa

After you get to know me, you’ll appreciate that I like to state the obvious.

Obvious:  Saving money means saving money.

Explaination:  Let’s say you go to  the grocery store and you got specials on cereal  and peanut butter so you stocked up and got 3 of each, reducing the total cost by $9.  (Some stores even put a note at the bottom of your receipt ” you saved $9.06 today.”)

Did you save money?  Answer:  No – You spent less money.  You didn’t save money.  Not unless you transfer $9 to your savings account and actually save the money.

The rationale here is that your budget should include being able to purchase all of your needs at the regular price. If you get a deal that doesn’t mean you should be spending more on something else.    It means that you should be saving more.  So do it!  Save the difference.

Challenge:  Next time you get something for a reduced price and you save money, actually save the money.  Right, log in to your online banking account and make a transfer to your savings account.  I recently cancelled cable television reducing my costs by $46 a month.  So, now I’m saving $46 a month extra by transferring what used to be a cable bill into my savings account!

That’s a savings of almost $600 a year.  For real.

PS, I’m saving that extra $600 into my vacation account.  Cable TV was entertainment, and so is a nice south vacation!

Posted in Health and Lifestyle, Money Tagged with: , , , , ,


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