Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Episode 411 – Tim Grahl – Publishing a Book

Fuel 53 + What I Ate In A Day

Hi, guys!

I’m SO PUMPED to see that so many of you are interested in the FREE Fall Macro Challenge. It seems like you guys are super interested in macros, so I’m glad I’m doing the challenge and hope you find it helpful. The deadline to sign up is Columbus Day (10/8), so make sure you’re on the list!

Yesterday morning started bright and early at 5:15 AM. Recently, I’ve been waking up with Mal to get a jumpstart on work and walk Murphy before he leaves for school. It’s one less thing for Mal to worry about in the morning, and it’s a nice part of my morning routine. That little pug face is always SO HAPPY for a walk followed by breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast… mine was a delicious overnights oats combo made with So Delicious blueberry dairy-free yogurt, oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened vanilla Ripple milk (found it at Target), and a big scoop of Teddie Peanut Butter to finish it off. Mmm! It was so tasty and so filling! And, of course, I enjoyed my usual iced coffee mixture (decaf hazelnut + pumpkin spice) with vanilla bean collagen and unsweetened vanilla Ripple milk in my favorite tumbler – perfection!

Quinn is home with me on Mondays (and Fridays), so we always make sure to plan some sort of adventures into our day. He’s not the type of kid who likes to just chill at home (either is his Mumma), so we make it a point to get out and about at some point in the day. A coupon arrived in the mail over the weekend for a bonus arcade card + $1 iced coffee at Starland, a local sportsplex, so Quinn and I knew exactly what we wanted to do on Monday! 🙂

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The workout at CrossFit was short and sweet – yet effective. Instead of doing barbell deadlifts, I did single-leg deadlifts with #35 dumbbells, which was quite the booty workout. I got 6 rounds + 8 reps.

After CrossFit, we headed right to the arcade! 🙂

Quinn cashed in his tickets for some “gem slime.” He was really excited about it!

I cashed in my coupon for a $1 decaf iced coffee at Fuel 53, which is right upstairs at Starland. I just discovered Fuel 53 recently, but it’s already become one of my go-to places for iced coffee. I mean, it’s amazing that they even serve DECAF iced coffee. It also seems like a great place to work – they have free wifi and lots of outlets, so it might just become one of the places I work when I’m looking for a change of scenery.

Back at home, it was just about time for lunch. I threw together a random fridge bowl with mixed greens, steamed carrots, Cowboy Caviar (from Trader Joe’s), and a piece of baked cod.

After lunch, I enjoyed a couple of 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls – recipe coming to CNC soon!

Then, it was nap time… or so I thought. Quinn just wasn’t tired and kept coming out of his bedroom. He actually suggested napping with Murphy in our bed, so I figured we might as well give it a try. It wasn’t likely the two of them would nap together, but, hey, you never know, right? Plus, our usual nap time routine was not working.

Quinn and Murphy giggled in bed for about 20 minutes – just long enough for me to shower and get dressed. After that, I decided to call it quits. Nap time was just not happening. Oh, well. Instead, Quinn got dressed up as Catboy, and we took Murphy for a walk! 🙂

Dinner was a semi-strange, but tasty combination: Garlic hummus + nutritional yeast mixed with butternut noodles.

I finished off the night with Harvest Blend Tea – one of my favorites EVER!

And a cider donut from Hornstra Farms. Delicious!

Question of the Day

When did your little one stop napping? 

We’re at the point where napping is totally a 50/50 chance, but I have a feeling it’s not going to happen much longer!

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Baby: 34-36 Weeks

34 weeks

In my mind the home stretch started at 30 weeks, but the REAL home stretch starts around 35/36 weeks when you enter into the “I can’t stay pregnant forever and I’m really uncomfortable” zone. Of course, the probability doesn’t really go up until the days around your due date, but it’s still exciting to think that meeting our baby is going to happen in the near future (knocking on wood, always.)

I am convinced he is going to come early for no reason other than I’ve been feeling so much more this time around. Many more Braxton Hicks, more twinges and pressure down there. Occasionally I will stand up or shift my weight in such a way that I feel like he’s going to fall out! Braxton Hicks have gotten more frequent and intense lately. I had one in the middle of the night that was so intense I couldn’t move! It wasn’t painful at all, but I just couldn’t really bend to get out of bed. It lasted a few minutes too. I generally get them whenever my uterus changes – getting up, sitting down, rolling over, waking up, going to the bathroom. This has to be a good sign my body is gearing up, right?

34.5 weeks

Sleeping is going as best as can be expected. Rolling over is hard, and if I don’t move slowly I risk cramping and/or my pelvis popping in this scary-sounding-but-not painful way. The snoogle pillow has literally saved my life. I don’t think I used it to its full potential last time! The jersey pillowcase I got for it was a total game changer (it’s just so soft). My glutes continue to throb in the mornings, but I tuck a lacrosse ball under there and lie on it for a few minutes and they seem to release a lot of the tension. Sometimes in the middle of the night, towards morning when I’m really starting to ache, I make a donut with the snoogle and lie ON it and the relief to my aching is INCREDIBLE. It’s hard for me to spend the whole night on my stomach donut, but when I do make the effort to do it, it’s heavenly. I can’t wait to sleep on my stomach again! I still laugh when I read my Mazen recaps because at 35 weeks last time sleep was the topic of the week too!

35 weeks

I’m trying to stay as active as possible this time around. I think last time I was just going to strength class and walking. That’s pretty much what I’m doing now with cycle classes thrown in, but I’m definitely pushing myself more in class than I did last time. I’m trying to maintain my strength, especially knowing I’m going to be taking some time off. Still doing some jumping, cardio interval moves, and using 15 pound weights (I remember I was down to 10s last time.) I seriously don’t know how anyone could run this pregnant, much less run a marathon!! But I know people do it!

I flip flop between feeling huge and immobile and feeling totally normal. It just depends on the day and the hour. His movements have gotten to be so big and dramatic in there, and I’m starting to really feel how big he is – and getting nervous about him coming out!! I am actually most comfortable standing up, and all the lounging positions are the hardest. I try to sit with my legs criss-cross on the couch, and lying down is just not very comfortable at all. So it’s hard to relax! But it’s also hard to stand all day, so there’s just no comfortable position at this point.

Crazy Braxton Hicks:

You know how you used to take off your pants when you were little? You’d push them down and then alternate stepping on each leg until they were inside out? This is the best way for me to take off pants these days because bending over and standing on one foot is just a wee bit too tricky.

One new symptom I have is swollen and sore fingers. I’m only wearing my engagement ring because my wedding ring was feeling kind of tight, and my finger joints feel stiff! I don’t really look swollen, but I think I must be.

Brother @ 35:

Mazen @ 35:

Speaking of Mazen, he’s in total teaching mode with his brother already. We read books to him together, and we show brother how to take a bath, or how to put on an outfit, etc. It’s actually been a great way to get Mazen to do things he’s not into. Example: “Mazen! Let’s show brother how you take your dinner dish to the sink!” It makes me so excited to see all the cute things they will do to interact when he’s here.

I said at dinner the other night “I think brother is going to have black curly hair like Thomas” and Mazen replied “No! He’s going to look just like ME!” We shall see, Mazen…!


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Clean Eating Wild Rice Vegetable Soup Recipe

This clean eating wild rice vegetable soup recipe is light yet hearty.

This delicious soup was a project I had for school. I’m taking culinary classes online and I had to develop a recipe using certain techniques and knife skills. It was certainly a challenge, but in the end, the soup was delicious. Well worth the effort! I’m still waiting to hear back on my grade, but I think I did pretty well!

Clean Eating Wild Rice Vegetable Soup Recipe

One of the main techniques I had to work on with this recipe was sweating the vegetables. Up until now, this has actually been a frustrating process for me. I couldn’t get the heat right or keep the vegetables from browning. But for some reason, I broke through that with this recipe and now I want to sweat all the vegetables, all the time.


Sweating is so wonderful for adding flavor where you don’t want to add a bunch of salt or fat to get a well flavored dish. It pulls the flavor out of the vegetables so that they are fully available for seasoning the broth. It also allows any broth you use to not be colored by caramelized or browned vegetables.


  1. Cut your vegetables down to a small dice. They need to be cut small for this to work well.
  2. Start with a cold pan and turn the heat to the lowest setting you have.
  3. Add only enough fat to gently coat the vegetables, not the pan. This should be a relatively small amount of oil.
  4. Keep the lid off so you can hear what’s happening in your pan. The sound is everything. It should be a very low, barely there, sizzle.
  5. Stir occasionally to be sure nothing is browning. You do not want these vegetables to brown at all. Wilt, yes. Brown, no.
  6. Take your time. Sweating can take 20-30 minutes, depending on how much food you have in the pan. Don’t rush this process.

While sweating vegetables might seem tedious, I assure you, with a little practice, it’s actually a very basic and simple procedure. Now that I have have the hang of it, I will be doing much more of it. I love how it pulls so much flavor from the veggies. Well worth the extra few minutes at the stove. Give it a try!



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Clean Eating Wild Rice Vegetable Soup Recipe

A deliciously light, yet hearty soup that pairs well with almost any main course.

  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 6 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup wild rice ((dry and rinsed))
  • 4 cups vegetable stock ((no sugar added))
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • fresh, chopped parsley (for garnish)
  • salt (as needed)
  1. In a large skillet, combine the carrots, celery, leeks and garlic with the oil. Stir to combine. Add a sprinkle of salt (just a small pinch between your fingers)

  2. Turn on the heat on low and let the vegetables slowly come to a very low sizzle. The perfect temperature for this is where you can just barely hear the sizzling. Cook like this, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. You are sweating the vegetables to bring out their flavor for the broth.

  3. When the time is up, your green vegetables should be wilted, but nothing should be browned.

  4. Transfer to a soup pot and add the broth and wild rice.

  5. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves.

  6. Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh parsley.

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

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