Whole30 SuccessDecember 18 2016

Whole30 Success

The Whole30 was a huge success.  Losing 17 pounds has been wonderful, but the internal and external transformation is the best part of this experience.  As I take the time to listen to what my body needs or doesn't need, I have discovered that shifts in my life seem to occur almost effortlessly.  I can't force my recovery, but I have learned that I can cooperate with the process by having a more open heart in conjunction with healthy boundaries....

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Skate From My HeartDecember 01 2016

Skate From My Heart

Today is Day 15 and the halfway point of the Whole30.  YAY!!  The most challenging part was not surviving Thanksgiving without stuffing my face with lots of pie. It has been to sit with and allow very strong waves of emotions to roll through me.  Sometimes, it feels more like I am drowning in an ocean of rage or grief.  I now know that it is a temporary state and I am not going to die.  This may seem like...

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The Year of NormalNovember 17 2016

The Year of Normal

For the past 6 months, I have been gradually finding my normal.  Even the awareness that there is an in between state of being has been helpful.  It's comforting to know that I don't have to be either "falling off the cliff" or doing really well.  I am pretty damn happy finding my feet land on some "run of the mill" ways of living.  If someone had told me that I'd still be dealing with the affects of domestic violence...

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A Safe PlaceNovember 01 2016

A Safe Place

I am a good and difficult employee.  I am good in that my character is set; I am hardworking, honest, loyal, and trustworthy.  When I am better, I do better.  I am a difficult employee because I am in recovery from an abusive marriage.  My brain and body struggle daily with a mixture of grief, anxiety, and depression. (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a gift that keeps on giving.)  It ain't pretty, folks.  The food industry is demanding with...

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My Misplaced Mindful MagazineOctober 09 2016

My Misplaced Mindful Magazine

One of the tasks in my circle of responsibility at Back to Basics Kitchen is shopping on Monday mornings.  At the Lafayette Vitamin Cottage checkout counter, I recently discovered the Mindful Magazine.  I am fascinated by how the brain works, especially with managing my Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms on a daily basis.  (I confess that the handsome man on the cover really caught my eye.)  The irony of misplacing the magazine for a few days while comical was...

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Bourne AgainSeptember 04 2016

Bourne Again

During dinner with a friend (also in recovery from domestic violence), we discussed how healing is usually revealed in small ways.  As I was driving to pick up my #2 to watch the newest Jason Bourne movie, I realized that this is the first time I have easily been able to take part in two social activities back to back in one day.  Typically, I would have had to create a plan for a PTSD episode or rest until the...

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Produce GroundingAugust 22 2016

Produce Grounding

Most folks know that gardening is a grounding activity.  Thankfully for me, the other end of the process works well, too.  Prepping and putting up produce in the kitchen has brought me much relief.  The passion of Back to Basics Kitchen to nourish others (and ourselves) is at its root a grounding experience.  A green bean isn't just a green bean anymore but a wonder of the world.  I am grateful to be able to work from home, on the...

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The Valmont Bike Park SurpriseJuly 24 2016

The Valmont Bike Park Surprise

Kiddo #3 and I visited the Valmont Bike Park yesterday.  I kept anticipating a point when my body goes south and I experience a great deal of physical pain (from PTSD).  I am out of shape and rode intermittently for about an hour.  I even planned the weekend thinking that I would need time to recover.  The paralyzing pain never came!  Experiencing this relief means that I can now be more active and productive.  This is a terrific reminder that...

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A Rough Night!?! Try REV Kombucha with Guayusa TeaJuly 20 2016

A Rough Night!?!  Try REV Kombucha with Guayusa Tea

I typically get between 8-12 hours of sleep.  I was sleep deprived for many years and a good night's sleep helps keep my physical PTSD symptoms low.  I was really dreading doing deliveries today with a restless, frustrating night of only 1.5 hours of sleep.  While traversing Boulder County, I drank coffee, water, and REV Kombucha.  Of all three, the REV made me feel as good as I possibly could under the circumstances.  I didn't even get jittery or get...

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Happy Independence Day!July 04 2016

Happy Independence Day!

As we all celebrate the fourth of July, I marvel at the difficulties of living in a resilient yet fragile free society.  Independence from an abusive government (or person(s)) provides the greatest opportunity for recourse, correction, and justice.  This is important to remember nationally, locally, and personally.  240 years ago our colonies declared their independence from Great Britain.  Be encouraged to claim your collective and individual independence today!  NPR's annual tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence continues.  I hope...

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The Hops Plant and ResiliencyJune 25 2016

The Hops Plant and Resiliency

I had purchased a hops sprout from Boulder Fermentation Supply (a pickup site partner) for my #1 daughter's cat.  Cookie loves to eat it and "chill out".  I ended up misplacing the sprout and not planting it.  Chef Bri had told me that you can do almost anything to a hops plant and it'll still grow.  So three weeks ago, I transplanted a small section into a BBK Styrofoam cooler.  (Why purchase a pot when I can reuse a cooler!?!) ...

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My Tool Bag and ResourcingJune 24 2016

My Tool Bag and Resourcing

With each Jeep repair comes the necessity to purchase more tools.  I get pretty sentimental about my tools even when I purchase the wrong ones.  The feeling of empowerment from fixing my own car only compares to giving natural child birth to my three girls.  At these moments, "I AM Wonder Woman!"  This week was filled with giant pendulum swings between highs and lows.  Totally exhausting!  During the lows, the thought comes to me that I don't deserve to feel...

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The Fuel Pump and Making ConnectionsJune 19 2016

The Fuel Pump and Making Connections

The problem with my Jeep's fuel pump was a lack of an electrical connection.  The intermittent contact was making my gas gauge go wonky, causing a loss of power during acceleration, and, most of the time, not even starting.  A strong connection has been made with a zip tie and electrical tape.  YAY!  It amazes me how the Jeep's repairs continue to parallel my recovery.  I am at the end of an intensive 12 week counseling series.  Domestic abuse over...

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Trust and My Gas GaugeJune 18 2016

Trust and My Gas Gauge

While working on my Jeep, a neighbor commented that I had done so much research that I didn't know which information to trust.  I can't even trust my gas gauge since the fuel pump was recently replaced.  Recovery from domestic violence has revealed a huge lack of trust, understandably.  What I can trust?  The Triune God (The only one that has never let me down.), literally my next footstep, Back to Basics Kitchen's food (I know what we say is...

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Crankshaft Position SensorJune 10 2016

Crankshaft Position Sensor

I am finishing the replacement of my Jeep's crankshaft position sensor.  When decelerating, the engine would cut off.  Evidently, the sensor wasn't letting the Jeep know it still needed to run.  It's funny how the work I do on my Jeep typically mirrors my personal recovery from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I am, also, finishing an intensive 12 week counseling series.  I have been learning more about how to regulate my life so I don't shut down.  Just like...

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1 Night 4 DinnersMay 16 2016

1 Night 4 Dinners

In my household, most mealtimes are filled with PTSD triggers, plus there are various food allergies. It gets tricky!  Back to Basics Kitchen is a lifesaver!  #1 daughter ate something totally different and on her own, #2 ate a brothless Tom Kha Gai, #3 ate Cappello's Gnocchi and the white chicken from the Tom Kha Gai, and I ate Bolognese and Gnocchi.  I heated up food in 3 pots, served real food, and we are one more meal into a...

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High 5!May 15 2016

High 5!

My youngest daughter (a 9 year old) gave me a high five for keeping a clean sink all morning.  (Yes, we are still eating.)  I know this is a common challenge no matter the household or number of kids.  Personally, this is a milestone for me and my girls.  There are many triggers collectively and individually intertwined throughout our living area.  In-home counseling has been helping me reclaim my living space through rewiring my nervous system.  There's less and less...

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Healing Fueled by The Coffee RideApril 27 2016

Healing Fueled by The Coffee Ride

An in-home counselor observed that I am continuing the habit of occupying a very small area within my own home which is leftover from my marriage.  Each week, I am gradually increasing my evening footprint.  Reclaiming ownership of my space starts each night with prepping the coffee maker, and it is really helping.  I've been blessed with getting to know Josh Crane, the owner of The Coffee Ride.  As I prepared the coffee tonight, I felt his kindness and encouragement...

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Sweetie PetieApril 08 2016

Sweetie Petie

Petie is "my" first dog. I can see why dogs are called man's best friend. Each day, he wakes up ready to go happy to wag his tail, chew on socks, be petted, have his tummy rubbed, go on a walk, bark, eat, etc. (as opposed to our cat that kind of puts up with us).  He is an emotional support to us all, but especially my middle daughter.  Owning a dog has been her dream since she was about...

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Reframing WeekendsApril 04 2016

Reframing Weekends

An in-house counselor has helped me realize that I have been constantly triggered and overwhelmed in my own home.  I used to survive an abusive marriage by fragmenting and compartmentalizing my entire life.  I had been getting "lost" during the less structured weekends.  It is freeing to create a new way of being and existing in my own skin.  I am excited to find new ways to live a fully integrated life.  Now, I am increasingly spending time outside with...

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Rock BalancingApril 02 2016

Rock Balancing

My first attempt at rock balancing while on a walk with my youngest around Lake McIntosh in Longmont.  The top heart rock was between our palms as we held hands.  The girls routinely bless me with heart rocks.

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Beloved - AS ISMarch 28 2016

Beloved - AS IS

I confess that I am the heaviest I have ever been (even including three pregnancies). It's been interesting to observe myself throughout this weight gain.  I know my metabolism is recovering (along with the rest of me).  There's, also, the reality that I am in my 40's and foods are affecting me differently.  Curiously and happily, I have been able to fully accept myself -  AS IS.  After all, my kids, family, friends, and Creator love me AS IS.  Why...

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Body MemoriesMarch 20 2016

Body Memories

I have returned to my crossfit tribe!  YAY!  Due to an added layer of counseling, I've been better able to understand the debilitating physical pain I experience.  On a trauma scale of 0-10, my baseline is a 3.  Physical exertion and stress triggers my body into thinking it is in danger and will begin to shut down if I don't short circuit the response.  The body prepares to die (which is exactly what it can feel like).  I am able...

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Aperio! (Open! ~ A Harry Potter Spell)March 16 2016

Aperio! (Open! ~ A Harry Potter Spell)

When I am in the kitchen, Chef Bri asks me to open containers.  I was lamenting how sore I was from starting to workout at TwinFreaks Crossfit.  As the Marine's say, "Pain is weakness leaving your body."  (A LOT of weakness is leaving me.)  When it opened, we gave a hilariously gleeful response.  I am wearing a Hogwarts hoodie from my family's trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.  I bought this hoodie to remind me...

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The Twilight ZoneMarch 11 2016

The Twilight Zone

So far, the events of this year have been a roller coaster.  "Back in the day", I would say, "Whatever happens is going to be an adventure."  Then, the mantra morphed into, "Whatever happens isn't going to be boring."  Now, I say, "This is totally out of my hands."   I feel like I have "entered the Twilight Zone".  I am finding myself even more grateful to have such incredible real food available to fuel and ground me. I ordered some...

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Discovered: The Pot of GoldMarch 10 2016

Discovered: The Pot of Gold

This morning, I uncovered an order of Ancho Chile Grassfed Beef Burgers with Liver deep in the fridge.  My middle daughter and I love to eat them for breakfast and throughout the day.  For both of us, it was like discovering a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  (Yes, I am Irish.  Bring on the corned beef!)  My enthusiasm caught me a little off guard, but I totally get it.  We should get this excited because food...

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Progress NOT PerfectionMarch 03 2016

Progress NOT Perfection

If you are taking two steps backward and one step forward, then at worst you are two steps closer to moving forward.

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Where in the world is Amy?March 02 2016

Where in the world is Amy?

I've been "out of pocket" recently reconnecting with family and friends on trips to Indiana and Florida.  Reflecting back on these two trips, the power of travel amazes me.  My oldest daughter came out of her shell, my middle daughter began to understand some important life lessons, and my youngest thoroughly enjoyed every moment in Florida's pools and beaches.  As a family, a two year dream of visiting Harry Potter's World at Universal was fulfilled.  It was truly magical. My...

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Longs Peak ClimbFebruary 01 2016

Longs Peak Climb

This summer, my goal is to climb Longs Peak in late July or early August with a dear friend.  Breaking through my physical #ptsd symptoms is going to be a challenge, but I look forward to being in the mountains more.  My girls are going to train with me, and I will be fueled by our #realfood.  I am anticipating a successful climb and continued healing. Photo by Ansel Adams  

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Final Whole30 DayJanuary 31 2016

Final Whole30 Day

It's been an interesting 30 days.  The Whole30 folks would have given me an "F", but I learned a ton about my relationship with food.  Mainly, how important it is in supporting my recovery.  I also learned more about my food sensitivities.  I can have non-gmo corn, beans, and rice.  If I don't have enough protein in a day, then I typically end up caving to a craving at some point.  I've known for a long time that I can...

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Comfort FoodJanuary 17 2016

Comfort Food

Day 16 ‪#‎whole30‬ observation... I am coming out of a minor ‪#‎ptsd‬ episode in which I realized how important food is for emotional support. This is a huge mind shift in understanding the role of food in my life. I am well acquainted with the downside of emotional eating. Through the help of some comfort food over the past 2 days, I was able to recover well. And, I still feel good since I have been detoxing. Without being on...

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Feeling GoodJanuary 08 2016

Feeling Good

Day 7 of the ‪#‎whole30‬ and I am feeling good! Eating a clean diet is so much better than even a little bit of a dirty diet that I wonder why I ever stop. I know, it's that dastardly sugar. Once I start, my consumption just snowballs. I hope you are doing well on your detox, too. Cheers! From this week's menu, I am looking forward to the Curried Roast Chicken, Citrus Garlic Wild Alaskan Salmon, Chicken Stock, and Capello's...

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The Checklist ManifestoJanuary 07 2016

The Checklist Manifesto

"Experts need checklists--literally--written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure." ~ Malcolm Gladwell (Amazon review) In my ‪#‎recovery‬, I have been relearning life skills. If checklists help doctors, builders, and pilots, then they should help me be an expert at home. I recently created 5 different checklists in an effort to navigate and master my daily activities. I have already experienced relief from overwhelm, confusion, and anxiety. The checklists effectively reinforce my values, desires, and...

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Guided Sleep MeditationJanuary 05 2016

Guided Sleep Meditation

I am going through an extended ‪#‎ptsd‬ episode which includes high ‪#‎anxiety‬ and deep sadness. My typical sleep tools haven't been working. Out of desperation, I found this effective guided sleep meditation. I have been "here" before and am riding out this giant wave. This too shall pass. https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/yoga-nidra-sleep

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Easy PeasyJanuary 02 2016

Easy Peasy

Day 1 of the ‪#‎Whole30‬ has been easy peasy. I enjoy the practice of consciously thinking about what I am eating.

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Cheers to Inside-Out HealingDecember 31 2015

Cheers to Inside-Out Healing

January is a perfect time to detox from the holidays. If anyone wants to join me, I am beginning the ‪#‎Whole30‬ on January 2nd. (I make an exception for raw, unfiltered honey.) The ‪#‎b2bkitchen‬ menu items will fuel the process. The current menu includes Pork Burgers, Rack of Lamb, Parsnip and Potato Soup, and Beet Salad which fit this program. Cheers to eating ‪#‎realfood‬ in 2016 and healing from the inside-out! http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf  

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