This morning on the farm

It was absolutely beautiful at the farm this morning and I grabbed a few photos as I was feeding and watering the babies.


Cinnamon always likes to greet me first thing in the morning in case I have treats.

Some of our chickens are fully free ranging right now so I got some great photos of their morning water cooler talk.



What do you guys think they were talking about? I assume the Walking Dead finale (no spoilers ladies!).



Quick Paleo Prep For the Week

I had less time for weekly meal prep this weekend due to classes being back in full swing. But there are a couple of things I was able to do to make the week just a little bit smoother. I did make a plan for what meats we’d eat each night and took those out of the fridge to defrost (on the menu this week is a roasted chicken from White Oak Pastures, T Bone steaks, Beef Rump Roast, ground beef and beef liver all from Riverview Farms). I also chopped up some sweet potatoes and onions. I have found it to be extremely helpful to have these particular ingredients already prepped because a) we have both in or with almost every dinner and b) they are both kind of a pain to chop in general so getting it out of the way when I have a little bit more time is a life saver during the week. I also cooked up 2lbs of collard greens for a quick leafy addition to our lunches and then packed up my lunch and dinner for Monday.


p.s. I told you I have a small kitchen and I was not kidding (it doesn’t help that a particular dog finds it imperative to be right next to me no matter where I go in the kitchen). Honestly I feel like I actually save some time by not having to take any extra steps since I can reach everything I might possibly need to cook with from one standing location in my kitchen. Today I alternated between cooking ribs and Paleo BBQ sauce (recipes for both from Paleo Cupboard) and studying Financial Accounting.


And finally, Clayton and I are getting our house ready to put on the market for sale. At the same time, we’re also saving up as much as we can to buy our next home. One of the easiest ways to save some money is cutting back on eating out. We used to eat out a lot on the weekends and thus are making a concerted effort to cut back. Here’s our Burger Night dinner from Friday evening. Its my take on our Yeah Burger regular night out.


Pro Tip: Cook bacon for your burgers in the oven and then use the same pan to roast your potatoes.

I pin almost every recipe I find and cook over on my Pinterest page so if you’re wondering what I’m cooking or looking for more recipe resources, check out my Paleo boards. Have a great week!



Mo Cookies Mo Problems: What to do the Monday after a weekend of indulgences…

I have been here 1 million times in my life. I have a few days, maybe even a few weeks, of eating in a way that doesn’t make me feel good, feels out of control, or isn’t in line with what I know is best for me and my body. For me this frequently is the result of an event, celebration or party. Something where I feel sort of self-conscious or awkward and rather than smoke a cigarette or take shots of tequila, I eat party snacks. And even though my party snacks are “paleo” or “gluten free,” I still end up feeling kinda gross and kinda bummed at myself. And then I find myself waking up on Monday morning, still feeling crappy, but determined to ‘reset’ and ‘get a fresh start.’

If you’re like me and you have struggled with a disordered relationship with food, that probably means you’re ready to start a restrictive diet. You might be certain that you, at the core of your being, cannot be trusted with food, and that you must be ‘whipped back into shape.’

However, I would argue that the MOST important thing for you to do on the Monday after a weekend of indulgences is to spoil yourself. The bottom line really is that you haven’t been taking very good care of yourself. I would argue that what you really need to do is lavish yourself with love and care so that you and your body are able to get back on the same side.

When you inflict a restrictive diet/detox/fast on yourself as a way to try to “get yourself back in line,” you are really doing two things. One, you are pitting yourself against yourself. You create an oppositional relationship within your being where one side pushes against the other. This is what leads to on-wagon/off-wagon cycles, yo-yo dieting, binging and purging, and a whole host of other disordered behavior. Second, you are telling yourself that you can’t be trusted to do what is best for you.

How do you feel about people in your life that you know you can’t trust? Probably not very good. Is that the feeling that you want to carry around about yourself? Do you think that is really true? Isn’t it at least possible that you have good reasons for your behavior with food? That perhaps your actions around food are a learned coping mechanism and that what underlies that is your attempt to protect yourself from something else?  For me, that was possible, and what I discovered was that I did have good reasons for my behavior with food. Once I learned some healthier tools for dealing with the things that I used food to protect myself from, everything changed.

That being said, I still find myself on the occasional Monday morning, looking in the mirror and thinking about all my cookie problems. So, what do I do? I set out with a fierce commitment to self care.

I focus primarily on:

a) listening to my body, eating when I’m hungry and stopping when my body tells me its had enough.
b) being a nutrient seeker by eating both what sounds good to my body and what I know will be the most nourishing.

Here are some tactical ways that plays out for me:

1. First thing’s first, eat breakfast. Even better, eat a warm breakfast with a good dose of protein.

2. Eat when you are hungry.

3. Eat what your body craves.

Listen to what your body wants to eat.  I try to re-focus my priorities on nourishment and fulfillment. If I wake up and I want an omelet with veggies and potatoes, and I’ve prepared hard boiled eggs the night before, I save my hard boiled eggs and seek out an omelet with veggies and potatoes. When I do this, I am honoring my body and what it is telling me. I am apologizing for ignoring it the weekend before. What I am not doing is punishing my body or myself in any way because I don’t need to be punished, I need to be cared for.

If you are new to this whole listen-to-your-body thing, you may feel like your body is telling you it wants ice cream and cookies. The better you get at listening to your body and withholding judgement on yourself about what you choose to eat, the easier it will be to hear what your body is saying rather than what some of your disordered thinking around food is telling you.

4. Take a shower, get dressed in your favorite outfit, and consider wearing a belt.

When I mope around in my sweat pants and sweatshirt, its easier to feel like I’ve gained 1 million pounds in a few short days or weeks. It is easy to loose sight of the reality of my body. However, when I take care of myself by showering and putting on my favorite outfit, I’m fighting the subconscious idea that I don’t deserve to look pretty or nice or that I should wait until my body feels perfect to get dressed up. And, if I can work a belt into my outfit, I create a clear boundary about my perceived roundness. I prove to myself that I am not as big as a house. I am as big as my belt, which must be reasonable because I bought my belt at a store where belts are sold to all sorts of normal people.

I will be honest. Doing this is really hard. Everything in our world is set up to tell you that you cannot be trusted to take care of yourself. That you must be whipped into shape. That if you do not buy every Shape, Fitness and Women’s Health magazine you will never achieve true beauty or inner peace. But all this advice hasn’t helped us heal our relationship with food or with our bodies. So perhaps it is time to try something different. Just like it is time to embrace grass-fed meat and fat as ways to nourish your body and improve your overall health, it is time to trust yourself and your body rather than a glossy photoshopped magazine.

Meet Our Newest Farm Members

I waited long enough to write this that we actually have a few new farm members to announce.

Several weeks ago our community garden coordinators came home from a training with a Great Pyrenees puppy who has been named Pyrhee (pronounced Purr-ee). She’s about 3 months old and came from a farm with many goats and chickens so our little family was no big deal for her. As you can see, she loves water and is adapting quite well to our little community farm.

Next, just a week ago, a baby goat was dropped off at our farm. He’s been named Sketch (although I like to call him Gregory) and he is pretty sick. We’re working hard with the community farm vet to get him back to full health. 

And finally our newest farm member was rescued from a community member whose circumstances no longer allowed them to care for their adorable pot bellied pig, Pork Chop. He’s learning his place in the garden family and has already found a nice place to hang out in Pyrhee’s dog house. 

In other news, I recently read a really interesting and horrifying article in Modern Farmer about food waste. It has inspired me to get our family’s waste under control. So get ready for updates from No Waste November as we embark on a journey to change our habits and reduce food and overall waste one household at a time. Luckily we’ve gotten some initial ideas from our MF friends as well.