Falling in Love with the Details of Life

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What adventures and wondrous things life brings us at every turn and bend in our journey. It has been some time since I have had the time to sit down and write a blog post. It is because 6 days a week I am working on my life's work in and out of the kitchen. These are moments that have been a long time in the making and it feels like I am on the podium in the olympics of my life as a chef. 

Although my days are very busy, at the same time I am taking time to notice the little things. Since I work a very full day at the coffee shop now, I find that I really savor time with my dear sweet family and friends all the more. I even am taking time to really be in the moment while doing chores such as watering the flowers, noticing their colors and delicate petals. I take extra pride in doing a few chores at home after work at the shop because I have fallen in love with my home again as well. I realize how very fortunate we are to have such a lovely home and garden I relish in taking good care of it for all of us. 

My dear husband and son are so very sweet and supportive, coming by on Saturdays to the shop to visit. Lots of friends and family have come by for brunch or pastries too! I feel so very honored by their presence. I want to look at each moment in life and hold it next to my heart because that is what life is about. Not the next step, not 5 years from now, but NOW. 

I know that I have always worked very hard and I love working, but I feel that now that I have a set schedule I realize how important each moment is to be thankful for what we have and what is right there in front of us. I have everything I need. I am blessed by the love of family, friends, food and beauty all around me. 

In this moment I feel that the universe has given me all that I have ever dreamt about. Exact things are coming true off of my vision boards- the coffee shop, the community, the love and support- it is all coming together! Everything that I have written down in detail is beginning to unfold like a delicate flower opening in the springtime. 

This is a moment of enormous beauty and I don't want to miss a single second, relishing in each step. There are many wonderful things happening that I will go into more detail about very soon, but as a coffeeshop and community we are coming together as one to create something amazing! We already have everything we need! 

I'd love to hear about times where you knew everything was coming together for you, or times when you have wanted to savor every moment. 

With lots of care and love,

Trista

Daily Self Care

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Daily self care is something that I am constantly refining. Because the beginning of the year for me and for many others can be quite a challenging, I believe that self care is something that we all need more than ever this time of year. Here are some of the habits that I have either started to do or have done for quite some time. I hope that some of these help you. I am a work in progress and some of these habits are sticking and others I need to re-integrate into my schedule. 

Daily Exercise: 

This year I started to go to a gym again. This is something I hadn't done in around 20 years. It has been such a wonderful self care habit for me to start. I have found that I am motivated to exercise by going to the gym and also be being a part of a group class. These two factors keep me on schedule and going because I am accountable to the instructor and the group. I also am part of a daily Facebook accountability group for exercise which keeps me motivated as well. On top of this I put a red star on each day on the calendar that I exercise. I love seeing all of those stars! I find that I have more energy when I exercise and I love that there are classes that I can attend first thing in the morning. That is when I am at my best. I encourage you to find a way to exercise that you enjoy and that keeps you accountable. That is different for everyone, but I do believe there is a way for each person to find that will motivate them. 

Daily Reading: 

This is a great habit that I started 2-3 years ago. I now make a yearly goal to read 52 books. This means that I always have two or three books that I am reading. I usually read first thing in the morning and during work breaks. I also sometimes read in the evenings. I am going to need to change my schedule slightly because since my exercise classes are during a time when I would normally be reading or journaling. I think I might get up 15 minutes earlier so that I can set intentions, journal and read before I go to my workout class. I learn a lot from each book that I read and I feel like I gain new habits, skills or outlooks from each one. I sometimes buy my books or many times get them from the library. Reading is a self-care habit to me because I believe that learning is a way to care deeply for yourself. 

Setting Intentions/Journaling: 

Every day I try to set aside time before I go to the gym in the morning to write down my intentions for the day in my journal. Then, I write about my goals, gratitude and daily action steps in my Freedom Journal. This really sets the stage for the day and focuses me on what I need to get done that day to meet my goals. I know that this is a very important piece of my self care because it sets my mindset and it sets my actions for the day. 

Saving Email and Social Media for the Afternoon: 

This is a habit that I am not always perfect at. However, I know that on the days that I don't look at email, social media and messages first thing in the morning are days that I feel better, am more productive and less preoccupied with what is going on. This is such an important piece of self care because it focuses my day on what I need to accomplish to serve others and myself instead of what is going on in messages and social media. I believe that those things have their place and are wonderful tools but they can be so very distracting, especially first thing in the morning. This is something I am still working at and I'm not perfect! I'm better at not answering or posting anything in my FB check-in groups until around lunchtime, but often I still need to work hard to stay away from email earlier than that. 

Creative Time in the Evening: 

I was a graphic design major in college and I was fortunate to take a lot of art classes including drawing, painting, calligraphy and sculpture. I really enjoyed those creative outlets. However, with time I let all of those pursuits go. Lately I have been finding myself needing some creative time at the end of each day. For Christmas I got a great dot-to-dot book. I have started doing those, then coloring them in with colors and patterns and sometimes adding in painted scenes in the background. I also have a detailed coloring book and I have done some collages. Sometime this month I might try my hand at some sculptures as well. Find time to do something fun or creative each day and really restore your creative soul! 

Monthly Pedicures: 

This is a monthly habit that I started more than a year ago. I found a fantastic local salon  that does a wonderful pedicure that I really look forward to. As a chef I am on my feet a lot each day and find that this self care piece is really non-negotiable. I make sure to schedule in a pedicure every month and make sure that my feet are healthy and well taken care of. I also love the pretty nail colors! 

Resting in the Evening: 

For a workaholic like me, this is so new! I actually write "rest" on my to-do list otherwise in the evenings I find myself trying to do more and more chores. Now, at 7pm, my workday is done and that includes household chores. It can wait until tomorrow. This is a brand new mindset for me because I think that I was just obsessed with working so much. At 7pm I change into pajamas, read a book or join the family for an activity. I have also found that I love to watch historical documentaries on Netflix if my husband and son are busy doing Legos or playing a game. This is also a time to do my creative projects if I am so inclined. 

I hope that some of these self care ideas helps you! Please let me know what you do for daily, weekly or monthly self care for yourself. 

With lots of care,

Trista

 

Soaked Oatmeal Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Soaked Oatmeal Bread

The other day I really wanted some bread! But I was looking for a bread that really could deliver on nutrition as well as texture and flavor. I had been hearing from lots of people and articles about soaked grains. So, I got the idea to soak some oats and try to make a gluten and dairy free bread from them. This is the yummy result and I am so thrilled to share the recipe with you! It's great with all kinds of toppings and makes 2 small loaves. Enjoy! 

Soaked Oatmeal Gluten Free Bread: 

1 cup soaked gluten free oats (soak 1 cup gluten free oats in water (to cover) and a splash of lemon juice for 8-12 hours in a glass measuring cup)

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (recipe below)* 

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds (process until fairly ground in a food processor) 

2 teaspoon yeast

2 teaspoon physillium husk powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup coconut milk (warm) 

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 eggs

gluten free oats to top bread

Two 4x8 rectangular bread pans, greased with coconut oil

1. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer + the soaked oats. Mix together. 

2. Warm the coconut milk in the microwave until warm to the touch but not hot. 

3. Combine the honey and the coconut oil and warm them together in a glass measuring cup until the coconut oil is melted. 

4. Beat the warm coconut milk into the dry ingredients. Add the honey-coconut oil mixture and mix well. 

5. Add the eggs, one at a time. After that, beat this mixture for about 3 minutes on high speed. 

6. Cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise about 90 minutes. 

7. Grease your bread pans with coconut oil thoroughly. 

8. After the mixture has risen for 90 minutes, divide the mixture between the two greased bread pans. Sprinkle the top of each with gluten free oats. 

9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 90 minutes. 

10. Heat the oven to 350F. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. The bread should be golden brown. 

* gluten free flour mix: 

Brown Rice Flour Blend: Mix together in a bowl with a wire whisk. Store the extra in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. 

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups potato starch or arrowroot starch

1 cup tapioca flour

 

My Health and Fitness Goal for 2018

My health and fitness goal for 2018

Happy 2018! We are 3 days into the new year and I know everyone is working on goals this time of year. I love to work on goals and most of the time I really follow through they have a lasting effect, other times old habits creep up again. That is why it is important to do some things to guard against those old habits overtaking the new again. I am using an amazing journal called The Freedom Journal to help me in this process. This is my 5th Freedom journal to date and I just love how this journal helps you set daily action plans and intentions along your journey to your goal. Check out the journal here: 

https://thefreedomjournal.com/

For example, last year I set a health goal to lose 15 pounds in 100 days. I set the intention to eat 3 servings of veggies a day, drink 8 glasses of water a day and workout 5 times a week. I did lose the weight, but then over time I lost some of those habits and "fell off the wagon." I did keep some of the habits of eating a healthy breakfast every morning and drinking more water, but my workouts at home fell by the wayside. 

At the end of 2017 I found myself thinking about this. I thought about why the workouts didn't stick for me. I began to think back to the past and try to recall a time that I really liked doing a particular type of exercise. That time was probably around 20 years ago for a brief time I went to the same gym as my brother and we did weight lifting and some cardio together. I really enjoyed those workouts. I loved the gym environment, the structure and working out with someone else. So, I paid attention to those thoughts. I encourage you to always listen to your intuition and those little thoughts that pass through your mind like that one did. Because of those thoughts I found out why my at home workouts had not inspired me to keep up with them. Here are the reasons: 

1. I like working out with other people and at home I'm by myself. 

2. I like a structured routine or environment. At home I'd just invent workouts and then ended up doing the same ones over and over and that bored me. 

3. I like the accountability of being in a group environment or class. At home I'm again, by myself and was only accountable to myself. 

4. I like a combination of weight lifting and cardio/aerobic exercise. At home I was only doing body weight exercises which didn't really excite me a whole lot. 

Now, I decided to change my routine into a routine where I can: enjoy the activities, stick with the program, have variety, be with other people & have accountability. How? Here is how: 

1. I joined a gym that is very close to home. It is the closest one that has the classes and programs that I enjoy. 

2. I found classes Monday to Friday that I can join. 

3. I will have 4 training sessions so that I can learn how to use the weight lifting equipment on days that I am not doing classes and want to do that. 

4. I have a friend who set up a daily Facebook accountability group for exercise so I can check in there. 

5. I just tried my 1st class at the gym: Tread and Shred- a fun class on the treadmill. I loved it! Can't wait to go back! 

I'd say that the changes that I made in my fitness routine alone have really made a difference and I feel much more confident that this is an overall lifestyle change rather than just a goal I only stick with for 100 days. 

Here is my nutrition goal for 2018: 

I am sticking to a keto (low-carb, high fat + veggies) type of diet. That doesn't mean that I won't have the occasional treat, but I feel much better on this eating plan. I have had much more energy so far and I am really loving it. I absolutely love food and I love that this diet has a lot more dairy in it because I have always responded well to dairy. I do believe that there is a different way of eating that works for each person, their body, their lifestyle and their goals. This is simply one that I am exploring to see how it works for me. 

Here is my current goal: 

"Get down to 125 pounds by March 31st by: Working out at the gym in classes and weight lifting/group coaching sessions 5 days a week, eating a keto/paleo diet at least 6 days a week, eating 3 servings of vegetables a day, drinking 8 glasses of water a day and remaining accountable to my online fitness group." 

This goal is much more specific and I have many more ways to keep myself interested in the fitness and the nutrition aspects. This does not mean that I will be perfect, but I will do my best and strive for the best. I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2018! I look forward to cooking many healthy meals for you as well! 

With care,

Trista