Thanks Coach - It's Okay To Ask For Help

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Today I wanted to write a quick post giving a shout out to one of my great friends and current health and wellness coach, Emily. It was three months ago I decided I needed to make a lifestyle change and get serious about myself physically and mentally.  While we all know what you should eat, how much you should exercise and how you should mentally prepare yourself for this life challenge, it’s not always easy to do alone. That’s when I decided I needed Emily. Emily is a certified Health and Wellness Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and she is the owner of Nextdoor Wellness. Each and every week she is my mentor and motivator, offering me support by educating me on foods and wellness, providing knowledge on what foods I should be eating, what foods are healthiest for my body and what works best for ME. I am at my halfway point with Emily and I’m beyond thankful to have her with me along this journey. With the new year coming and goals of losing weight/feeling better about yourself, you should absolutely sign up for your free health consultation with her. I know we all want to not admit to needing someone to guide you, but it’s okay to ask for help. Even if you don’t want to chat with her, she gives great advice on her Facebook page.

Here is where I would REALLY like to brag about her accomplishments – Em is also a certified Spin instructor, teaching at several locations throughout the week on top of a full time job AND finishing up her MBA (god Em, make us all look awful.) But this weekend Emily had the opportunity to try out for a position at Body Cycle in Center City. With nine total individuals trying out for ONE spot I could easily see Emily was nervous during our FaceTime bi-weekly meeting (we wanted to experience not in person if it would work out just as well!!). She knew they may cut her off short during the try out and she wanted to stand out with her music selection. I was dying to know how she did and talked to her after and she was skeptical on how she did….well, pish posh she found out yesterday SHE GOT THE SPOT! So instead of you motivating and congratulating ME, it’s my turn to give it back to you.  CONGRATS EM, you deserve every bit of it!!! xo

P.S. – Check out my sister’s latest blog post: Single Mom Survival Guide – Surviving the Holidays. Keep killin' it Missy! So proud of you and I know your kids are as well!

Happy Blog Anniversary to Me!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It’s been one year since I launched Take Your Pic and this blog has by far been one of my favorite hobbies! November 27, 2012.
It started off as a work-based blog when I worked at The Reporter and quickly transformed into a blog about writing what I want, when I want, about what I want on

So here you are, 365 days later and you’re all still hanging on with me. THANK YOU to everyone who reads Take Your Pic (when I post of course – I’ve been so busy which I will explain.) It truly makes my day when I look at how many people read my posts. At first it was 13 people and now on average its about 100 people. WHATTTT?!?!? It’s all because of you – thanks sweets!

As you can tell by my last post date it’s been a while but life has been wild – a little like this entire year, actually! During 2012 I had a bit of a rut with life: my sister went through a divorce that of course affected the entire family, my dad was sick but luckily is healthy again after good care, and I was at a pretty low point mentally.

But at the end of 2012 I was determined to make 2013 my bitch and I definitely have! This year so far as been FILLED with excitement, love, success and motivation. I started a new job at the beginning of the year and it has brought me plenty of other opportunities. My lack of blogging lately was because this summer I was offered a freelance position with another country club in Montgomery County. They brought me on board and had be assist in COMPLETELY redesigning their website – everything from the layout, all of the content, the site map and pictures. Click here to check it out. While it sure was exhausting working nights after 8 hours at work and seeing my main squeeze/playing soccer/playing with the pup, staying up until 2 a.m. was rough especially when my wake up is at 5 a.m... every minute was worth it!! In addition to that I’ve also been helping out a local realtor create marketing materials for his homes for sale.

Also this past year I’ve had vacations and girls getaways, I’ve fell in love with a man I can absolutely consider my better half, I’ve been able to watch (soon-to-be) EIGHT of my greatest friends marry the loves of their lives and after 26 years I’ve officially got my shit together and I’m focusing on taking care of my body physically working with Nextdoor Wellness (one of my college roomies, Emily!).

I’m absolutely looking forward to what the rest of the year holds – starting off with a wedding this weekend!

My next blog goals:
Try to post once a week
Try and get more reader comments
Have a series of guest bloggers again (it was a HUGE hit!)

Love you all! xox

Three Weekends of Celebration Madness

Monday, August 5, 2013

I’m exhausted. I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted after three straight weekends of traveling, celebrating and drinking/eating wayyy too much. I miss my Gatsby boy and miss being lazy on a Friday night.

All bitching aside, the last three weekends have been some of the most exciting times of my life. I was able to see 6 friends confess their love and commitment to each other, I celebrated one bride-to-be and I was able to show my cousin the best 30th birthday possible.

I slept in four different hotels, drove over 1,000 miles in the Juke and spent over 15 hours in the car with Mr. Shrimp (which honestly I was worried we were going to kill each other – but it was an amazing time….OK confession time: When I was co-pilot I had a three strike rule, three back seat driver comments/out bursts or I was walking home. Luckily he gave me 4 strikes because he likes me, thanks babe).

Every single dollar spent, mile driven and sleepless night was worth it because these individuals mean the world to me. I am so honored each of you allowed me to be a part of your special day and I’m truly honored to call you a friend.  


P.S. – Great bloggers think alike because my best friend Donavan (who also had three weekends of traveling) posted today about being beat from her travels. So happy during our travels we ran into each other (or running into Kyle on the Blue Route.






B-I-N-G-OMG!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Almost a whole month without a post again, I swear I’m not slacking – life has just been TOO busy. I’ve had weddings, bridal shower, bachelorette parties, traveling up and down the east coast. I’m doing my best I promise. On top of it, I have a freelance job I’m working on at nights which I will blog about eventually. But here is a post I’ve been dying to write. 


When I worked at The Reporter inputting dreadful calendar items (yes, I was the poor asshole typing in every event because for some reason we didn’t have an online submission form), I feel like I was ALWAYS adding Bingo nights at local churches. Monday night here, Wednesday night there, Friday nights at this place with Vera Bradley prizes (woo-freakin-hoo!!!)


To be honest when I thought of Bingo I thought of a few old people sitting around playing the game, not really a big deal. BOYYYYY AM I WRONG!

Last month I had the pleasure of experiencing my first night out for bingo. Taylor’s grandfather is an avid player and he asked us to tag along. From the start we made some rookie moves and it continued throughout the evening...or atleast for me, I’m not sure about Taylor! We went to Corpus Christi to play – games started at 6:30, I think we rolled right in at 6:30. Games already started, old people gave us the stink eye as the gym door closed and echoed throughout the whole gymnasium. No joke, there was well over 150 people (mostly over the age of 60) stamping away on their big sheets.

We headed back into this tiny room to buy bingo sheets (which they were already counting the money they collected and we screwed them up a bit.) When I think bingo, I think of small grids you stamp, buy as many as youd like. Right? WRONG! Bingo cards are in sheets – you get this big packet that looks like this picture. In each game you get 9 cards and you play a total of 35ish rounds. When you buy your packets there is a schedule – what the games are worth in money, if it’s regular bingo (straight line, diagonal, 4 corner or postage stamp which is the top right area) or if you have to make a crazy shape (like a letter Z, all outside lines, etc.)

So here I am, sitting at this table, pink ink stamper in hand and the lady starts rattling off numbers. “A 12”..ok ok stamp A 12s…ok one there…ok one ….and another there “N 31!” GOD DAMN IT! I’m not even done stamping the A number!!! Bingo is hard as shit! I could not keep up with what letter was called, Taylor’s mom sat across me stamping my sheet after she was done hers in no time. Haha

About 10 minutes in I told Taylor I will play Bingo when I’m older…the speed at which numbers are called is SOO good for your mental strength – you need to read numbers quick, stamp like a mofo and listen. I’ve never failed more miserably at something in my life then I did in Bingo.

Finally by MAYBE the 6th or 7th round I got in my groove, just in time for them to let you use your “bonus” cards for a round making me stamp my 9 original cards and another 6 on the bonus sheet…sweet Lord I lasted about three letter/number calls and just stuck to the 9 card sheet which I couldn’t even get.

You can pay more money for special tickets that look like lottery tickets (I’m going for them next time, some woman won $600!!!) I’m telling you, this entire event boggled my mind!

Things got REAL weird when certain bingo junkies have special cat calls for certain numbers. One lady up by the stage every time she heard B11 she blew this annoying wood train whistle. Another lady every time the caller read this certain G letter she’d ring some damn bell. My favorite by FAR was when the caller would say O69 and you’d get some giggles out of a few of the old church ladies (KILLED ME!)

Long story short, bingo is tough as hell – my eyes were burning from reading the letters, I had zero luck at winning (I’m bringing a troll next time!!) and the chairs are more than uncomfortable. Maybe I’ll go grandpop’s route next time and buy one of the electrical game boards. Either way, I’m going back, I’m redeeming my winning and I want a fancy sound when a certain letter is called. Any suggestions on a bell/whistle/sound and Ill take suggestions for a letter. GO!

Smoke Room Mysteries ... I'm dying to know!

Monday, July 8, 2013

This may be one of the most random posts I will ever have but I need to get this off my chest and I need to
post it. At every job I have worked there has always been smokers. Most go outside to light up their heaters…like good old Dan Sharer smoking by the old delivery ramp at The Reporter (where I still have my interactions with him at when I pick up pizza for home) and people like this guy Mike who I worked with at Bed, Bath and Beyond smoking behind the building. You go outside, come back in smelling like ass and continue on with your day until you have the urge to go back out again.

But here at my new job, there is a Smoke Room. One after one, they all pile behind this closed door that looks like an office door and they burn ‘em. They bullshit and smoke…they reek of smoke after they get out of there (of course they do, they are hot boxing it in a little room.) But here is the point of the post… I WANNA KNOW WHAT’S BACK THERE BEHIND THAT DOOR!

I want to know what it looks like! Do they have a fan? Do they all sit back there on plastic box crates? Do they have chairs? How big/small is that room? How many people can they fit in there at a time? Are the lights on or off? Do they share cigs or everyone always brings their own pack? Do they have air fresheners? Gum? ANYTHING?!?!

It is seriously the craziest thing, but I get a little feeling of anxiety when I watch them all pile in and SLAM! The door shuts quickly before you can’t even get a peak in there. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Amanda, stop being an asshole and just open the door and look!’ Yes, that would make things simple for me, but to be honest, I like the mystery. I like not knowing as much as I crave to know.

I’ve always been one to gossip and always want to know the “ins” on things, but this simple thing of not knowing what is behind that door while LOTS of our staff does, it keeps me in check. I need to stop being so nosey and get over it. So here I am, confessing about how I want to open that Smoke Room door so bad to solve the mystery, but I’m going to fight the feeling and use this post as my venting source. Cheers to one of the most random posts in the world.

And smokers – lay off the heaters!! They are going to kill your lungs and if you’re my friend I want you around as long as possible. Stop cutting your life short, a lot of us will miss you.

America -- F#$& yeah

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I love America.
I love having the right to vote. 
I love having the freedom of speech. 
I love wearing my American flag headband. 
I love the BBQ/drinks with friends. 
I love the red, white and blue. 
I love that I'm not working covering 46854 parades in one day. 

God bless America!! 

Chicken and Waffles: Mama likey!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hey everyone, I’m back!! Let me first start off with saying I’m sorry for leaving everyone to hang over the last month. I did not write ONE post in June – God I suck! Maybe that alphabet challenge took more out of me than I thought – or like I said, I could have just been a crap blogger for a month. (I think it’s more lazy than anything.) But believe me, I am sorry and I had many intentions to write. I’ve been noting to myself posts idea that have come to my mind throughout the month of June, I have over 15 in total. So better late than never, I am back. I’m sorry. Lets blog!

June was an awesome month, filled with activities and adventures from start to finish. I kicked off the month with a trip down to Virginia visiting Donavan (check out her blog) and Kyle. Ashley, Zach, Taylor and I headed down 95 South for a fully packed weekend that included laughter, stories, drinks and fun. Saturday afternoon we headed to Georgetown for an afternoon of walking around and some cocktails. We later in the evening went out to dinner and a roof top bar where we all had a little too much fun, but that is typical with us all.


Now onto my REAL reasoning of this blog post. On Sunday morning we headed into DC and had brunchLincoln – a restaurant on Vermont Avenue that features local and fresh foods on a small plate menu. I’m not sure the portion size of lunch and dinner, but their brunch menu was far from small. Feeling adventurous and craving this item after seeing it on the food network a month earlier, I went outside my comfort zone and ordered chicken and waffles.
at

OH MY GOD…want to talk about the most AMAZING THING EVER!!! I’ve heard all about the chicken and waffles hype for quite some time and never really got it. Chicken and syrup?? YUCK! But trust me, I get it now. Lincoln could not have made the meal any tastier.

The fried chicken was made to perfection…the outside was crispy and browned, with hardly any grease to it. The chicken breast fell off the bone effortlessly and the moistness of the meat was perfecto. The chicken sat on top of a bed of waffles that were fluffy on the inside, fresh and soft on the outside.

Now to the ‘weird’ part – eating my chicken with syrup. What I expected it to taste like, I’m really not sure, but the combination of the sweet syrup with the salty chicken is an amazing combo (like when you eat pretzels with your ice cream.)

I would describe the taste of the two together, but I honestly can’t. The only adjective that came directly to my mind while chewing it was “smooth.” The butter, chicken, syrup and waffles form into one, giving an even blended taste confusing the senses. Maybe it’s just me, but I hope you understand what I’m explaining when you try it.

I’m itching to get back to Lincoln again to try another one of their dishes (also to buy one of their t-shirts --
they are so cool!!) Everything was great – it was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend with some of my favorite people.








May Challenge – The Final Post (X, Y, Z)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Want to talk about cutting it close on getting all my letters in. Call it cheating, call it what have you, but I’m getting my May Challenge done IN May. So here I am, banging out a long and final post for the challenge. Hold tight, it’s been an exciting ride!

X is for Xray

In Canada with Caroline after breaking my arm
Call me lame by choosing xray, but give me a break – I’m not creative enough to pick another word or topic. When I think of xray I think of all the times I’ve broken fingers and wrists – most vividly the time I broke my arm up in Canada playing soccer, sat in an emergency room for nearly five hours in pain because the Canadian health system allows everyone to go for free and in the end getting a plaster cast because apparently they don't have fiberglass there. So as I sat there in agony, Mrs. Brown sat with me patiently as Canadians were waiting for splinters to be taken out of feet and blisters to be popped. COME ON MAN!!! Stupid Canada. I made do the rest of the trip, however being 12 years old and having to be bathed my your best friend's mom is a bit mortifying. Wanna see some cool xray photos? Here is 28 Awesome and Crazy X-Rays.



Y is for Youth

Just heard my boss today tell her 5-year-old son over the phone “Life is just a party for you it’s it?!”

Honestly as soon as I heard her say that I thought to myself, “you know what – life IS a party in your youth.”

My youth was great and I would go back in a heartbeat. As the summer heat has been pounding our skin over the last 4 days it brings me back to the memories of spending everyday of every summer at Memom and Poppop’s house in Worcester. Each morning myself, my sister, and my cousins (Jackie and Tyler) would pile into my mom’s Ford Explorer and off we would go for a week worth of running, swimming, playing, eating and more playing.

Missy and I with Nick and Jay Donis
Our days started off with Eggo waffles at our house where Tyler would eat nearly a box himself. We would then get to Memom’s around 8 a.m., just in time to watch 6ABC followed by morning talk show classics like Sally Jessy Raphael and the Ricki Lake Show.

By 10 a.m. we were ready to get our day going as the Piccirilli/Smith clan would meet up with the Barr/Donis clan for a day of festivities. The Donis’ are our cousins living two doors down from Memom and the Barrs were the Brady Bunch (3 girls and 3 boys) who lived directly next door. Our ages ranged dramatically between us all, but that didn’t matter…we all stood together.

We played in the woods, we played in the pool, we had our own town with a grocery store, gas station and business district. Being bored never came about and being too hot outside only brought the fun inside.

I have a few classic memories I will never forget from my youth.

1. Memom and Poppop’s above ground pool always had too much chlorine in it. To the point that if you opened your eyes under water, your retina would be fried.  We couldn’t splash and we couldn’t be too loud (WTF?! But that was their rules) but we still made the best of it. Now for the memories – one day while Missy, Jackie and I were in our pool, the Barrs were in their baller underground pool next to us. Jackie decided to be a smart guy and got out, standing on the deck. Shaking her tush and acting like a weirdo, Missy and I look up to see completely through Jackie’s swim suit ---the chlorine stripped its pink coloring to clear. SEE THROUGH – lady parts and all. Let’s just say the Barr boys got a really good show that day.

Poppop and I :)
2. Another story pool related is the time when all of us kids (12 in total) thought it would be a great idea to make a whirlpool in the Barr’s above ground pool. After we had that thing going and going SUPER fast, each kid swung around, grabbing the ladder to exit. One by one, Missy – Jackie- Kevin – Kathleen- etc., they all got out. Me being the littlest I was out last because I couldn’t hold on from the force. Finally I got out of the pool, took one step off the latter and right then –BOOM. The entire pool collapsed and was thrown like a rag doll. Galloons of water exploded out flooding the yards. Good thing I got out just in time.



Z  is for Zero

I’m going to be honest – I had zero expectations for my May A-Z Challenge other than to just finish it on time. But after reflecting on the last 30 days, I will have to say this Challenge has been a great success.

Over the last month, I have had the most hits EVER on my blog, with huge reactions from several of my posts and nearly all of my guest bloggers had record numbers on reads.

I would like to give a big thank you to all of the readers – seeing reactions, receiving comments and private messages on Facebook makes me feel as though my writing is still important and that people care. I know this blog is for ME but it is also for each and every one of you. To open your eyes to new experiences, to encourage you all to try new things and to view situations in other individuals eyes.

Secondly, thank you to all of my guest bloggers. There is no way I would have been able to do this without you all. I love each and every one of you and you’re always welcome to post in the future on Take Your Pic.

Until the next challenge!!!

Xox

GUEST BLOG POST: W is for Wife

Friday, May 31, 2013


My mother is fantastic. Since I was born my mom has been my backbone, my support system and my best friend. Through some of my toughest times in life she has always been the one to lean on, giving me advice and helping me when I’m in need (whether it was my fault or not.) To this day, I don’t think I can give enough thank yous, foot rubs, kisses or hugs for her to really realize how truly thankful I am for her and everything she has given me (her caring nature, her humor and most importantly adorable looks haha). I love you, Marmee, more than you know. Xox

I have been a wife for almost 34 years, a role I welcomed with open arms at the age of 20.  To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect or what was expected of me.  My role models went from one end of the spectrum to the other.  My mother was a housewife for over 40 years before going back to work; however, she went back to work when I was in elementary school so I only remember her as a working wife.  Her marriage was tumultuous.  She was a hot-tempered red head know-it-all and my father was a mean drunk.  This combination always made life “interesting”.  Then there was Carol Brady, a stay-at-home wife with 6 perfect kids and a live-in maid.  See what I mean?  Normal existed somewhere.

My parents at their Junior Prom at Methacton
I’m pretty sure at my wedding I promised to obey.  I never thought to look at the vows ahead of time and I never would have asked to change them if I had.  I, like my mom, am also a red-headed know-it-all (although the hair color does not come naturally, the temper does).  Me obey??? Not so much but you say what it expected of you at the time.  You hopefully marry the love of your life.  I moved in with my new husband and desperately wanted the Brady thing.  I’m still waiting.  I married a mechanic who wears work clothes and comes home filthy dirty.  No suits or briefcases at our house.  There has never been a cleaning lady and 95% of the time dinner is literally on me.  But that’s okay.

In the 60’s, a wife was responsible for the house, dinner, laundry and the kids. Most women then only worked out of necessity.   In the 80’s, some wives stayed at home and some worked, not out of necessity but because they wanted to.  I was always a wife who wanted to work.  I liked the satisfaction of doing a job well and being acknowledged for it.  I complain on a regular basis that I do everything (mostly because I do), but I wouldn’t go back and change anything.  As a teenager, I cooked dinner for my father and brother because my mom worked nights.  I also grocery shopped as soon as I was able to drive and was expected to help clean the house.  I was a little bit resentful of this, especially when I felt like a wife and my friends were going to the mall or a Friday night football game.  So I was happy to become a wife at a young age.  I’d rather be taking care of my own house.  I was probably at an advantage over most people due to my extensive training!

Here are a few valuable lessons I’ve learned as a wife:
1. Your husband can talk trash about his family all he wants.  You may agree and have actually been waiting for this opportunity to add a few flaws he’s inadvertently missed.  DON’T DO IT.  His family may have burned down an orphanage, but as soon as you say something, you are a bitch and your family is worse than his.  It’s best to just listen and then trash talk about them to your friends behind his back.  This saves a lot of grief and heartache.  Take note this also works in reverse.  He better not say anything about your family either.  You know what I mean?

2. Never assume your husband knows what you want.  I’m not talking birthday and anniversary gifts, I’m talking about taking out the trash or helping clean up after dinner.  You can’t be pissed off because he’s playing video games while you’re doing everything (see above).  You have to be specific with your requests.  While this often gets construed as nagging, you got to do what you got to do.  However, be prepared for the nagging thing to come up in a future marriage counseling session.

3. The tone you set at the beginning of your marriage often last for the next 34 long, long years.  If you expect him to share all the responsibilities, start that way from the beginning.  I have friends who make their husbands breakfast and lunch before they leave for work and they are happy to do it.  I also have friends whose husband will pack them lunch.  Our house is like Switzerland.  I don’t pack him lunch and he’s never packed mine.  There is no right or wrong here.


Circa 1982-83ish??
4. At some point in your marriage, you will have to Shout out the skid marks in his underwear.  It’s a fact of life.  This is another one of those things you may not want to point out to him until he’s in the right frame of mind.  At our house, this could be dinner table discussion but we are twisted in the head and proud of it.

5. Lastly, try to be kind.  A kind word or gesture goes a long way.  Fight fair and remember anything you say can and will be used against you in future years.  Your husband may forgot to take out the trash or what time it is when they having “one more drink” with friends and he’s already an hour late, but a nasty comment from you will be remembered for a lifetime.

GUEST BLOG POST: V is for Veganish

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Welcome Jennifer Lawson to Take Your Pic. Jen and I were coworkers at The Reporter together where she is still currently their education reporter. Cubical neighbors, Jen and I had a blast everyday - making jokes and laughing our faces off, while busting our butts to produce amazing content for our readers. Jen has been in the journalism business for many years (From Las Vergas, Atlantic City and now back in her hometown) and she does such an amazing job each and every day. Her talent is clearly visible and her drive to bring out the better in everyone is contagious. Miss you Jen, keep kicking butt over there and congrats on being a new homeowner!! 






Veganish.

If I had to put a label on my way of eating, it would be veganish.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years, and about a month ago I cut back my dairy consumption by about 80 percent.

The result is that I feel cleaner, lighter, less gunked up, healthier and more positive about the role I play in the world. I’ve also lost a few pounds, which is always nice, especially as summer approaches.
Here's my fruit for the week. 

You might be wondering why I’m not more absolute. Why didn’t I eliminate all dairy from my diet?

The reason is that I’m human. I’ve gone 100% vegan twice before, and the last time was a year ago when I decided to eat vegan for 30 days. I put so much pressure on myself and it really stressed me out. I was miserable. And, of course, when I caved, I felt like a failure.

About a month ago I decided to do it again, but this time, I didn’t want to have strict rules. I would not eat any dairy, but in situations where avoiding dairy would be difficult, I would eat it. I see it more as a decision-by-decision way of living rather than a sweeping choice to absolutely cut out all dairy.

My boyfriend and I go food shopping at Trader Joe’s every Sunday morning. He is vegetarian (or almost vegetarian, since he eats seafood) which is one of the reasons why I’m more relaxed about my diet. He helps me pick out vegan stuff and reads labels with me, but when he orders chickpea fries that come with aioli (a type of mayonnaise, containing egg) on them at our favorite bar, I’m going to have some. I think it’s important to be sensitive to those around you, and I don’t want to cause a commotion because a menu might not have many vegan options.But given the choice at the grocery store to buy real cheese or vegan cheese, I’ll buy the vegan cheese.

The main question people have when they find out about my veganish diet is, “What do you eat?” The answer is I eat whatever I want. I don’t want to eat meat, and I don’t want to eat dairy, so I don’t (or try not to).

This vegan, yogurt-like treat is so good.
During a typical work day, I’ll have an apple on my way to work. I’ll have 20 ounces of black coffee. I’ll have a snack pack of Trader Joe’s hummus and pita chips, a few oranges or bananas, soy yogurt and raw almonds.

Dinner could be marinated tofu with kale and butternut squash, or vegan pizza (I make it with pita bread, vegan cheese, grape tomatoes and basil), or a vegan burger made by Dr. Praeder or Morningstar Farms, or brown rice pasta with marinara sauce.

Sometimes we have salad with dinner, which could consist of arugula or baby spinach, tomatoes, carrots, beets and avocado with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

My biggest indulgence is hummus and pita chips. I have three containers of different types of hummus in my refrigerator right now. It’s delicious and addictive and it’s pretty healthy as far as snacks go.

Another common question is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Protein deficiency is not an issue in first world countries. Think about it. Protein is in much of what we eat. If a vegan eats a varied diet and consumes enough calories, he or she will get a sufficient amount of protein.

Most Americans get too much protein, which is more of a problem. Eating an excessive amount of animal protein has been linked to pancreatic, prostate and endometrial cancers, not to mention obesity and heart disease.

You might be wondering about cravings. Do vegans have cravings for pizza? Greek yogurt? Ice cream?

To be honest, I will always crave pizza. I might even give in and have a slice on occasion. But cravings aren’t the best indicator that your body is in need of something. People who are addicted to cigarettes crave cigarettes, and that doesn’t make smoking okay.

This pasta is made from ground brown rice instead of wheat.
Quinoa is also a healthy alternative to regular pasta products.
Also, since I’ve learned about the dairy industry and how it’s actually worse than the meat industry, it makes me not really want to be part of a creature’s suffering, so the desire evaporates and turns to disgust.

This leads me to another question that people ask, “Why are you a vegetarian/vegan?”

It started in 1993 or 1994 when I saw the movie “Alive” on TV. It was about a rugby or soccer team that got stranded in the mountains in the middle of winter after their plane crashed and they resorted to cannibalism.

I know this was just a movie, but the meat that the characters ate looked like steak, but it was human flesh. A light bulb clicked on: The meat we eat are actually carcasses, corpses, dead things. I wouldn’t eat a dead person, so why is it okay to eat a dead cow? Jeez, I wouldn’t even want to touch a dead body, but we happily put dead bodies in our mouths.

Over the course of the next three or four years, I eliminated all meat from my diet as I got more and more grossed out by each thing. Red meat was first, then pork, then poultry, then fish.

I adopted my first cat the same year that I went completely vegetarian and that added a more personal element to my decision. I see all animals as equal. I often wonder why we put animals into categories – dogs and cats are part of the family, but pigs and chickens and cows are food. Why?

Is it because pets are cute? Is it because they’re smarter? Pigs are thought to be among the most intelligent animals with the IQ of a two-year-old human child.

I would not eat my friends or family. I would not eat my cats or my dog. I would not eat a farm animal. Under our skin, it’s all steak. We all bleed red.

Peanut butter is another staple of my diet.
 For me, it’s an ethical consideration. I don’t want to support the suffering of animals. There’s no reason for it, when there are lots of other delicious things to eat.

This leads to another question people ask, “Does it bother you if I eat meat in front of you?”

The answer is of course not. Everyone has the freedom to make their own decisions, and diet is something that is highly personal. It makes my heart sink when I hear about vegetarians or vegans getting preachy, because it’s nobody’s business.

So, veganish. This isn’t a fad diet that’s unsustainable in the long term, and it’s not a 30-day challenge.

This is how I want to be, by making the best decisions that I can on a moment-to-moment basis.

When I eat crap, I feel and look like crap. I want to have the healthiest and happiest life possible, and being nice to myself and being mindful of what I eat is a good step toward achieving that.

We only get one body – might as well take good care of it.

May Challenge: U is for Unbearable

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This heat is unbearable. I am hot all day at work because for some reason the air isn't on full blast. I'm hot at home because this week we are of course getting central air put into our house (three days too late).

Im sweating at night because we have no AC and the fan isn't cutting it. The only time I remotely cool off is in the car with the AC. Sweat City -- I give up! :(

May Challenge: T is for Ten Tips to Start a Blog

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After a rager of a three day weekend with three parties, way too much alcohol and not enough sleep -- I took a look at my blogging calendar and realized, CRAP, I have 4 days to blog about 6 letters. I clearly should have thought ahead and had post ready and scheduled, but that would mean I'm ahead of the game and don't bust out a post in no time (my mom was always impressed with my procrastination and how I could pull a great paper outta my ass in no time. It's a god given gift.) So here I am. It may be a lot of posts in a few days, but I'm hoping to make them interesting.

So here I am with the letter T and I'd like to give 10 tips to those of you who MAY consider starting up a blog.

10 Tips to Start a Blog 


1. FIGURING OUT A TOPIC: This is without a doubt going to be the toughest task. It is important to think to yourself:

  • is the topic engaging?
  • will you be able to blog about this topic week-in and week-out?
  • in five years from now will this still be an interest of yours, or is it just a fad?
Take Your Pic is the first blog of mine where I have really gone somewhere with it and that is after having several other blogs: Pic's Pounding Pavement which followed my marathon journey, Pic's Top Picks which I started at The Reporter and really enjoyed writing, and Pic's Precious Pastries which lastest a measly three posts. [Mark my words though, one day I WILL own a bakery with my sister and that will be it's name] What I think makes this blog so great is that I let myself blog about everything and anything -- sports, movies, music, love, heartache, memories, you name it. It's not limiting me to one of my hobbies or interests which is what will kill you with a blog. You need to make it a topic that has flexibility -- write about fitness and health including food, workouts, tips, success and troubles or write about your family that is forever growing everyday. Sit on it, sleep on it and then go with your gut, that is what I did here. 

2.  CHOOSE A PLATFORM: There are plenty of sources to create a blog that give you step-by-step instructions to set up:
3. PERSONALIZE IT: Make your blog your own. Give it an awesome name and tag line --use free backgrounds, objects and tools to be added onto your blog in its sidebar and background. Use the freebees and jazz it up; get creative with your photos and use Picaso which allows you to create some fun effects. Don't know how to do something once you find what you like? No worries,  YouTube it -- I’m 99% positive it will be on there to assist you with easy instructions. God I love YouTube.

4. YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST/WILLING TO OPEN UP: If I learned one thing from this blog, it is to not hold back. Be you, share your stories, DON'T HOLD BACK! Think someone doesn't want to read your post or will be offended? Who cares, they can always hit that big X in the top right corner to stop reading. Share your thoughts because I'm sure someone else can relate.

5. ENGAGE WITH THOSE WHO COMMENT: Getting comments is the best!! (It doesn't happen for me often so I get super excited when I read them.) Be sure to write back to the readers which shows you appreciate them taking the time to read your post. It'll pay off in the end.

6. USE LABELS: On Blogger,  you can label your post with keywords that are included in the blog. (ie.: running, races, Philadelphia, divorce) Your labels will come up in SEO searches getting your blog out there when people search on engines like Google, Bing, Ask, etc. 

7. USE SOCIAL MEDIA: Be sure to share your posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Doesn't hurt to give yourself a little publicity on your posts when you're trying to get your name out there. #whateverittakesforhits #sorryimnotsorry

8. DON'T USE JUST WORDS: Use photos, video and music. It's great to engage all of the senses, plus sometimes words alone can't express your thoughts.

9. WRITE OUT IDEAS: Our lives are crazy and sometimes you forget what you were thinking about two minutes ago. I have a planner I carry with me everywhere and inside that planner I have printed out monthly calendars. When I'm brainstorming about blog ideas/something comes to my mind, I write them in the calendar, spacing out posts and when I would like to ideally write them. This is the best way to not forget about that awesome idea you know will be a hit.

10. HAVE FUN WITH IT. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many hits or not that many people reading your posts -- do this for you. All of us want to become Carrie Bradshaw, but the chance of it happening is slim to none. Be your own Carrie -- your friends will start believing it. 


GUEST BLOG POST: S is for Sewing

Friday, May 24, 2013


Meet the wonderful Lindsay (Hill) Smith! I met Lindsay in high school and since we have been in touch with each other via Facebook or taking our pups to the park together. Since day one, Lindsay has always been a creative individual – designing, sewing and drawing everything you can image. Lindsay was blessed to make her hobby into a career as she is now a shop owner in Skippack. Be sure to stop by Stitchwell Fabric next time you are in the Village – take a class or buy some supplies, you don’t want to miss out!

Sewing. You may have taken it in middle school, your mom or grand mom may be able to do it, and you might be wondering, why should I sew something when I can just buy it? It may seem like a stodgy old hobby, it may seem antiquated and out-dated, but I promise it isn’t. Sewing is back, and it is back in a big way. I think we are over the excitement and awe of mass-production and we are getting back to our roots of finding satisfaction in making something with our own hands. And I think we are realizing that our Grandma’s were super cool for making our mom’s clothes, and maybe feminism made sewing not as cool, but I really think it is making a come back. Girls, and some guys, are really seeing the value in hand-made, and they are doing it in a bigger, better, more modern way. Sewing, with all it’s forms, can be an instantly gratifying art form that is both beautiful and useful!

But who I am to say what sewing is and what sewing isn’t? All I can really tell you is what sewing is to me. My name is Lindsay Smith, I have been sewing for the better part of 15 years, and sewing has always been a fantastic creative expression for me. I have always been drawn to fabric. The beautiful colors, textures and the possibility of what could be made with it, there was just so much potential. I started with just a needle, thread, and some scrap fabric. Moved on to my Grand mom's ancient machine, teaching myself all the basics, inspired along the way by project runway and watching New York Fashion Week on E!. I would never consider myself an expert at sewing, just a lover of the the craft.

About a year ago, with love and support of my husband and family, I opened up my dream shop, a little fabric store in Skippack, PA. It is filled with all the fine fabrics I could ever dream of! The shop is meant to be a place of inspiration and busting at the seams (pun intended) with all the tools you would ever need to sew. We specialize in quality quilting fabric.

And you just heard the word ‘quilting’ and you are probably about to leave this great blog. Hang on just a minute, these aren’t your Grandma’s quilts. We specialize in Modern Quilting. Which embraces both modern fabrics and modern techniques to make amazing, contemporary quilts. And really, some of them are works of art. Modern quilting can be described as but is not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. There is also a movement called, “modern traditionalism” where quilters are taking traditional designs and making them their new with modern fabrics.

This movement is super fun-loving and not super serious. I mean, how serious can you be with a Ron Swanson Quilt? Love it. But all Rons aside, these quilters have an amazing sense of color and design knowledge. And the best part about these quilts, most of them at least, is that they are not fussy with exact measurements and perfect seams, they are one of a kind, works of art. I think that is what draws me to them the most, mine won’t ever look the same as yours, and that is not only ok, it’s the point!

Along with quilting, modern garment sewing has come a long way as well. While, it isn’t the affordable option anymore, sewing your own cloths can be incredibly gratifying and produce a better fit than store bought clothing. It does take a little wider range of skills, but there are plenty of patterns that are a great for a beginner. And the world of young, fresh pattern designers is constantly growing. Downloadable patterns are the newest addition to this craft and a great way to jump into the modern sewing pool!

I hope this has opened your eyes to a new sewing world. I would love to talk to you more about sewing or quilting come check out our store, maybe learn a new skill, and fall in love with sewing!

Lindsay Smith
Stitchwell Fabric
610.584.5632
lindsay@stitchwellfabric.com

GUEST BLOG POST - May Challenge: R is for Races

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We make friends throughout our entire life – some in grade school, others not until college, some even POST college, which is exactly where I met Jess. Jess and I met like any normal friends do – via social networking hahaha But no seriously, we met each other through Twitter; I was working at The Reporter and she works at Visit Bucks County. We interacted, coming up with story ideas and before we knew it, we planned a business breakfast meeting. (God, sounds like a date, weird…anyway..) After the meeting we were like holy crap, we’re the same age, we have lots in common, lets go for drinks!! And the rest is history :) We drink together and we run together – I am so thankful I met Jess. She is a bit of a blogging inspiration for me and she has launched www.jessicalawlor.com into a GREAT website. I am so proud of you and I hope I one day can get a following like you do. Cant wait until we run a race again together!!


May Challenge: R is for Races
Whether you’re a seasoned runner with plenty of race medals to prove it or a newbie just hitting the pavement for the first time, there are plenty of fun and challenging races in the Philadelphia region this summer for runners of all experience levels.


In the past two years, I went from a couch potato to a runner, completing nearly 25 races (12 in 2012!) since 2011. There’s nothing better than the sweet feeling of accomplishment after crossing the finish line whether you’ve just run 3 or 13 miles.


Ready to start racing? Here are some of my top race picks for both new and seasoned runners:


For the new runner:


Tex Mex Connection 5K (North Wales, June 26) Ole! Love margaritas as much as I do? When you complete the Tex Mex 5K in North Wales, enjoy a party under the stars, complete with food and drink from The Tex Mex Connection.


The Color Run (Philadelphia, July 15): While this race is unfortunately currently sold out (a few charity spots remain) there’s nothing more fun than watching a sea of runners decked out in all white at the starting line complete the race coated in colorful powder. This race is seriously lighthearted- many people choose to walk, skip or prance their way through the 3-mile course.


The Electric Run (Philadelphia, July 20) Described as a “dazzling night-time 5K run/walk” this race, coming to Philadelphia for the first time this summer, begins at 8:45 p.m. and encourages runners to get their glow on with neon attire and accessories.


For the seasoned runner:


June Fete 5K (Abington, June 2): Ready to tackle some serious rolling hills? This 5K, which benefits Abington Hospital, challenges runners with a tough, hilly course through beautiful Abington neighborhoods. The race kicks off at Penn State Abington, with plenty of parking for all racers.


ODDysey Half Marathon (Philadelphia, June 9): Bored by normal half marathons? The ODDysey throws runners a curveball with twists and turns along the 13.1 mile journey through Philadelphia. With optional challenges throughout the course, a costume contest and a Beer Garden (!) at the finish line, this race is pure fun from start to finish.


Back On My Feet Pajama Loop (Philadelphia, July 21): Roll out of bed and head to Philadelphia for this challenging 8.4 mile loop around the Schuylkill River running path. Pajamas are not only allowed; they are encouraged! Oh, and this race is part of the Stroehmann Back on My Feet 20in24 Challenge, which includes FIVE unique races in 24 hours.


What is your favorite race in the Philadelphia region? Share in the comments below!


Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. She blogs at JessicaLawlor.com about getting gutsy--forcing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to live a life that makes you truly happy. Subscribe to her FREE Get Gutsy newsletter for more ideas, tips and inspiration.

May Challenge: N, O & P - Nuts Online (Dating) Quest

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This post I am combining N, O and P -- while you think that may be cheating, this post without a doubt will make you laugh while reading it. While reading this, please just invision my facial expressions and tone in my voice....

Nuts Online (Dating) Quest
I will openly admit I tired the online dating scene. Stats say that 40 million people participate/try online dating and I figured why not mark myself as one of those stats. I tried online dating for a short period of time when I lived in Baltimore in 2010 (I went back to the Charm City when I took a coaching job at Loyola.)

So here I was -- back in one of my favorite cities with some of my favorite people. However I was missing one thing, a boyfriend. So I gained some courage and decided to join OkCupid -- mainly because I was being cheap and didn't want to pay for Match or eHarmony.

I sign up, make my profile, post pictures of myself I thought I looked cute in. Chatted with a few people and tried to set up a few dates. I went on a couple first dates that only lasted as ONE date(thanks for the dinner boys!) but there was one date in particular that made online dating quickly come to an end.

So like most online sites, I got a message from  a guy trying to make conversation. Like each person on dating websites, immediately after reading his message I checked his profile, examining for the basics -- do you drink, do you smoke, do you have kids, what do you do and an important note, how tall are you. You of course have so be somewhat physically attracted to the person to give them a shot -- this guy seemed normal, good looking, 5'10 height, great! Sure! So we scheduled sushi.

Tuesday night comes and he texts me that he is outside. I jump in his SUV and help him park by Matsuri, my favorite sushi place in Baltimore. We park and off we go to dinner. I get out on my side of the car and look over to his -- he jumps out and all of a sudden I can no longer see him. HOLY SHIT, where did he go?! 

His door closes -- still I see no head, and suddenly I see him appear from around the front hood of the car. Holy fu$#, this dude is PUSHING 5-feet tall...I am on a date with a midget!!!! (Please note - I have nothing against little people/individuals who are vertically challenge; I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea here. This just really caught me off guard.) 

His profile said he was 5'10" and here I am, standing in 4inch heels (making me about that height), and I am looking down on this guy as he shakes my hand. While looks should not matter and what matters is on the inside, I could not get over the shock. So we hurry inside to sushi and sitting down I felt much more comfortable looking eye to eye.

So he cracks some jokes about his height and honestly was VERY confident in himself with an issue I feel many people would be bothered by. He never mentioned his profile info and while I was tempted, I kept my mouth shut. After hearing him out I gave the dude props -- but little did I know this date was going from weird to straight creepy.

As we're making conversation we start talking about family ... what they do, who they are, etc. etc. Then comes the shocker. Literally 30 mins into the date he starts talking about how his mother would love me and we need to fix a time to meet. UMMMM hello bro, we JUST met. We then talk about family traditions and what we do -- I told him about how as a family we go and cut our Christmas tree down together every year. He goes "Oh my gosh, this year will be so fun, I can join you all up in Pennsylvania." WHAT THE F--- IS THIS SERIOUSLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?! He has to be joking.

In a little under two hours I had myself a stage 5 clinger.... we were already dating, meeting families, planning holidays and living happily ever after in his mind. If the height thing didn't already lose you with me buddy, it was this crazy talk you usually hear dudes saying about chicks. Dear sweet lord, CHECK PLEASE.

Check comes, thank the lord, I can walk home. But wait for it.
"Hey do you wanna go take a walk around the Harbor for a little bit?"
uhh no I need to get back to my house soon.
"Come on, just for a few minutes."

So our awkward walk around the Harbor happened with conversation about how his mother is going to love me and he cant wait to text her tonight after he leaves. Yada yada yada. FINALLY, I tell him I need to get home right now. I actually did have to get home because I was playing in an indoor soccer league that night. I tell him I need to get moving and get ready so I didn't miss the game.

"Oh you have a game where is it?"
It's by the airport, kinda out of the way.
"OMG, no way, I live right by there. Ill come watch"

Dear sweet Jesus, THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE. I tell him no, there is no need for that, thank you though.... yeah, the kid FOLLOWS me to my game. I get out of the car, he says "Told you i'd like to watch."

Sitting there the entire game he cheered like a school girl and I've never been so embarrassed in my life. This day could NOT come to an end any sooner.

The next day he texts me and I tell him I think it would be best to just be friends. About 30 seconds later I get a call from him -- he is crying.

Are you crying because of me?!
"No, not you -- I... I... I just have had a really bad day here at work and I need someone to talk to and..yeah...you seriously don't want to hang out again."




After that phone call I never had conversation with this guy again and I immediately deleted my online profile.


Although my online dating scene only lasted a few months, I count my lucky stars everyday now that Taylor has come into my life. Good luck to anyone on the online dating quest -- be careful and be safe. Dont find yourself a stage 5 clinger. 

GUEST BLOG POST: P is for Paleo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Everyone, meet Ashley. A wife, homeowner, dog owner and volunteer – Ashley always finds a way to keep active in her busy lifestyle. One of the biggest things I admire about Ashley is her dedication to everything she does. When Ashley says she’s going to do something, she keeps her word. Her will power and commitment  is something I wish I could one day possess, especially in regards to eating habits. Ash, you look amazing and all of your hard work is paying off. I’m so proud of you!  




What is Paleo? 
“Paleo” is short for Paleolithic, but the name is actually less important than the power of the overall approach. Whatever name you choose, the “Paleo” way of eating is simple: Mimic our ancestors, who suffered from fewer chronic diseases than modern populations. This doesn’t mean that you’ll recreate a caveman’s food landscape, of course. Our food supply and our environment are different from our ancestors, so we must adapt as new information comes to light.
The Simple Breakdown is :















Why Paleo?! 
To be honest, I was heading to Jamaica in March and wanted a quick & easy way to shed a couple pounds before the premature bikini season started. I reached out via Facebook to see if anyone knew anything about  ‘Paleo’ and if they could give me any tips. I got some great information from one of my old softball friends who had been living the‘Paleo’ lifestyle for quite some time. She gave me great websites/tips that I will share below (Thanks Laura!) . I presented this 30 day Paleo challenge to my hubs - the 100% Italian man that he is ,was clearly skeptical but he so nicely obliged!

The first week was pretty much torture.. it was my body’s way of detoxing. I had no idea that my body was so heavily dependent on sugars and processed foods. I missed Pizza.. and beer..but after the initial detox feelings wore off.. I felt absolutely amazing. My mind was clearer, I was sleeping better and I had more energy for workouts. The first week came to a close and I had lost 5 pounds… in ONE WEEK! Hell Yeah! In that week, my personal self-absorbed goals had been met but I figured ya know what I committed to a month I might as well see it through.

I would truly recommend this method for everyone – give yourself 30 days to follow the ‘Paleo’ life style and see how your body feels. It will truly shock how much of a transformation you can go through. Of course there were some ‘cheat’ meals, more like some ‘cheat alcohol’ for me, but I always stuck with the gluten free rule. I even tried gluten free pizza… don’t do it to yourself! After those 30 days were through, I had lost 10 pounds and my hubs lost almost 20! We decided that we were going to make ‘Paleo’ our lifestyle not just a fad diet. It is an easy lifestyle to follow; sure sometimes you can’t resist a soft pretzel or cheesesteak, but my body always reminds me after I eat something that isn’t ‘Paleo’ why I don’t on a regular basis anymore.

My biggest tip is: figure out what works best for you. If you can tolerate creamer in your coffee, lucky you, go for it! ‘Paleo’ is about finding your bodies balance and listening to how you feel after you eat something.  Below I have listed some of my favorite recipes, blogs and personal tips.

Breakfast  
I love baking in general and I love a good baked good for breakfast. Zach (my hubs) eats eggs with a side of breakfast meat every morning. I’d rather sleep then cook breakfast every morning so I usually grab a baked good for the road. Sometimes I will pair it with a couple slices of bacon – I mean bacon is considered Caveman Candy!
Banana Bread ( http://paleomg.com/banana-bread-3-ways/)
Bacon Sweet Potato Hash (http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com/2013/04/26/paleo-bacon-sweet-potato-hash-is-where-its-at/)
Banana Vanilla Bean Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote – These are incredible & taste just like ‘real’ pancakes (http://paleomg.com/banana-vanilla-bean-pancakes-with-mixed-berry-compote/)

Lunch
When Zach isn’t super hungry at dinner – we usually have leftovers which get us through lunch! We both also frequently eat salad, WOMP, I know how boring! BUT if you go crazy on veggie or protein toppings – they can be quite yummy. When you begin ‘Paleo’, I suggest you stick with olive oil & balsamic as your dressing… I won’t lie to you though I cheat with a creamy salad dressing sometimes!
Chicken Sausage
Burgers minus the bun can be easily heated up and quite satisfying for lunch – especially if you add some Caveman Candy (bacon).
Balsamic Pulled Pork * Sub Honey for Brown Sugar. This is great to make on a Sunday and have throughout the week. (http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2013/01/slow-cooker-balsamic-pork-tenderloin.html)

Dinner 
I have tried WAY too many ‘Paleo’ dinner recipes to post – but blogs & Pinterest are your friend! You can also look into making some of your favorite non- Paleo dishes into Paleo by making easy substitutions!
Blackberry Glazed Pork Chop ( PaleOMG Cookbook ) with Roasted Cauliflower
Asian Glazed Salmon (http://www.againstallgrain.com/2013/04/21/asian-glazed-salmon-with-roasted-broccolini-and-asparagus/)
Taco Tuesdays – Make your own seasoning – Get Creative! –Substitute the shells for lettuce wraps. Skip the sour cream and use guacamole!

Sweets & Treats 
Paleo Nut Butter Cups  (http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com/2013/04/08/i-cant-believe-its-nut-butter-part-i-attack-of-the-cups/ )
Paleo Cookie Dough Bars – These are beyond amazing!! Make a double batch and your own almond flour! (http://makingtheworldcuter.com/2012/10/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough/)
Hard Boiled Eggs are great on the go snacks!
I have made homemade trail mix by buying raw nuts (NO Peanuts) seasoning them with olive oil, rosemary, salt, then roasting them in the oven until they brown! Super Easy & Super Yum!
Veggies & Fruit are all fair game and really easy to have with you throughout the day in case you get hungry or have a craving.

Favorite Tips & Blogs
Olive Oil Myth - Olive oil isn't very heat stable (the fats break down very easily at low temperatures and can become rancid and cause inflammation in the body)...so I just use olive oil as a salad dressing. I never heat olive oil since it breaks down at such a low temperature. I use either coconut oil, butter, or bacon fat when I am cooking with heat.
Robb Wolf – He is the ‘Paleo God’ – Check out his book for everything you could ever need to know about Paleo. He has a great website as well (http://robbwolf.com/)
Practical Paleo – She has a great website/ recipes (www.balancedbites.com)
Every Day Paleo – Great recipes (www.everydaypaleo.com)
FAVORITE Blog – PaleOMG – She is absolutely hilarious.. she has a potty mouth and comes up with amazing recipes. I just downloaded her first book on my iPad. Everything has been beyond delicious from her! (www.paleomg.com)
You don’t have to be Paleo 100% of time every day of your life – you will go crazy – If you cut out the big things like sugar, gluten, legumes and grains, you will see and feel instant results!


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