Praise the baby Jesus.

Thank the good Lord.

And all that.  I made it through another full week to MONDAY.

To be honest, these last 6 weeks have solidly kicked my ass.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, and for sure spiritually!  So to recap, I am in school full time (Macroeconomics, Business Communications, and Chemistry/Chemistry lab).  I work full time, teach 6-8 classes a week at Gold’s Gym and find time to kill it at Iron Tribe Fitness.  So.  There is a lot on my plate and I for sure have to practice to keep everything in perfect balance.  And it really is, as long as I stick to “the schedule” .  But the thing is.  I don’t like that.  I truly love being foot-loose and fancy free.  My old boss didn’t care if I took 2 hour lunches on Fridays, and I always appreciated that!  But now, I don’t get that luxury because Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have class on my lunch hour.  And Thursdays  I teach three fitness classes because that is what I want to do.

But readers, I really want you to know.  This is not a complaint.  I love my life.  I am doing EXACTLY what I want to do truly!  I want to be in school.  I want to teach fitness, and I want to have time to myself to workout on my own.  There are people who DON’T think I can do it all.  I have had a couple of people in the last week tell me that I am doing too much.  That I can’t possible be happy being this busy and something has to give.  And to those people, I say – Look.  I am doing what I want to. And when I am tired, I need you to say, you CAN do this instead of encouraging me to stop.  I feel that this year is going to be very rewarding because I AM putting in my time.  Being single allows me so much more to take advantage of without having to check in with anyone or schedule around two people.  Don’t get me wrong – I get lonely LOTS not having a partner in crime and most times at night for the 5 seconds before I fall asleep, but I have these really fabulous friends who share everything with me so those times of being lonely and left out are few and far between.

SO to update what has happened in the past month!

1) Sold my car (the excellent Volvo) and in the asking price, actually traded out for another car.  So.  I netted a few dollars, got out of a car payment AND got a cute car!  When I had originally tried to sell my car, I was sharing with someone that I wanted this EXACT transaction to happen.  Of course I was laughed at (its normal! People forget how determined I am) and it took about 6 months but I now own a Infiniti QX4 with 155,000 miles on it, one owner (who happened to be an attorney-father of someone I went to high school with). And – freed up some income.  Damn those car payments.  I am not sure that I will have one again!

2) I am moving (on Friday!).  Again.  Back to my side of town 😉  Its actually about 2 miles from where I own a house.  But I am not responsible for land-lording stuff/house ownership stuff which frees me up to maximize my time for other things.  Plus my new roomies are REALLY cute – my age, one has a fashion degree, the other a marketing degree (so our brains work!).  One does CrossFit and understands that side, the other is in Marketing so I feel connected that way!  Plus, I just had a great feeling about the two.  And I have a front porch!

3)  I have had three tests in three different classes.  It’s a good benchmark for me.  I am not sure I am going to get the 4.0 I was thinking of – instead my goal is becoming more about the actual degree and graduating.  Like just physically graduating.  This will for sure be a year of learning!

4) I am finding myself more beautiful.  I know that sounds SO conceited   I get it.  But I am actively trying to be more positive about myself.

5)  I have been eating Paleo for over a year now.  Best.  Change. Ever.  But I must tell you.  This is not a damn diet.  I’m not cutting calories, I am certainly NOT counting calories, I don’t write down what I eat and I don’t eat all day long.  I have a longer post coming up soon about this.  But I don’t think you can call something a “diet” if its just a way of eating.  I don’t eat dairy unless I am at a restaurant and feel like ordering it.  I don’t eat grains, legumes and stay far away from the sugar demon.  And it has taken a FULL YEAR but I don’t crave sugar like I used to.  For instance, yesterday I had a piece of cake – it was from Gia’s and had some buttercreme- caramel icing on it.  Small sliver, ate some of the cake and most of the icing and then that was enough.  I swear that my body is running so well right now that I can hear when it is full and has had enough SO clearly.


So.  that is it.  That is what is going ON right now!  tumblr_mia5rots4B1r8fmpxo1_500 2013-01-22 11.30.28 2013-02-09 21.00.45 2013-02-12 09.20.41 2013-02-13 21.32.10 2013-02-13 22.34.44 2013-02-15 22.18.12 2013-02-17 07.07.16 2013-02-17 08.04.06


food from the past

I kept meaning to blog about my eating last week, but I didn’t get a chance.  Once a quarter, Gold’s Gym and Les Mills has new quarterly “releases” which basically means to the lay person, I spend extra time in the gym and you as the member gets new music, moves, and maybe just MAYBE a few more aches and pains.  BUT knowing how mentally challenging it is for me once a quarter, I knew I needed to 110% make sure I had the best food possible to eat!  SO here is what I cooked up last week

Spinach, Sausage, Mushroom and Egg Casserole.  It’s basically Melissa’s Meat Muffin recipe but I tweak and tweak to the point of just whatever is in my frig this week 😉

8 Sweet Potatoes (cubes, tossed in coconut oil, cumin and salt/pepper)

Zuchini Pesto Noodles – Noodle recipe here, Pesto is (loosely) based on Juli’s recipe here.  I didn’t have Sun Dried tomatoes, and subbed in Spinach for Basil (because that is what I had and I was NOT going back out to the grocery).  Take my advice – make it how she says, because its freaking AWESOME.  About the noodles – after making sure that the moisture had been removed, I threw in a pan with about 1/4 of beef broth, and let them cook, like noodles.

Pork Shoulder – Used this recipe, cooked in my awesome Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven (in which I cook EVERYTHING).  I left out the brown sugar and subbed in apple cider vinegar (because, AHEM, it was what was in the cabinet).    The sugar does add a LITTLE bit of depth to the meat, but I think its just as delicious without!

But really, I just wanted you to know how I cook.  I search blogs all the time – its basically what makes up my Google Reader Feed.  They are not all “Paleo” some are grain-free, some are like full-on pasta, cupcakes and sugar.  But from other people’s inspiration I start to think of what I want.  I keep my kitchen pretty fresh in the sense I try to use ALL my ingredient in the frig up during the week.  Some times it works, some times I am a HUGE failure and waste money and food.  BUT I will tell you if you can open a can of tomatoes, you CAN cook.  This is not something hard.  Usually I cook Sunday afternoons, but last night I didn’t start until 5p, ran out to eat dinner with friends, and came back to pack up all my food.  And I try not to give up anything to cook – as in I went to church, hung out with my sister, took a nap, saw some friends at Avondale, and had dinner.  All on Sunday.  So it really can be done!  It’s more of a matter of priorities than how hard it is.

SO.  Tell me what you ate last week!

No this post is NOT about beans, although when I hear that phrase I AUTOMATICALLY sing, “Beans, Beans, the magical fruit…” but this isn’t about that type of good for the heart.  And to be honest, the nominal value of “good for the heart” is one of those lies that you hear and accept without research.  So when I am asked, why don’t I eat beans, I point them to Dallas and Melissa, who I am QUITE obsessed with.

BUT this is about my weekend, which was good for the heart.  SUCH a fun time, starting with friends at Do Di Yos and ending with Good People and a TOTALLY kickin’ concert.

May 14th, 2011 I was supposed to go to Atlanta for the Warrior Dash there.  Buuuuut instead I decided to cut my leg off.  Because, obviously, that would be a WAY better way to spend the weekend.  You know, under stronger pain medicine than morphine, used only for open heart patients, and my REALLY good attitude towards anyone who didn’t just outright say yes to me. So when I saw that it was travelling to Birmingham, I called and asked if I could use the ticket from LAST year.  And then.  I was registered for the Warrior Dash.

So “World’s Largest Running Series” with the Ultimate Obstacle Course.

PLEASE let me preface this with I had a BLAST! Before, After, in the middle…you name it and I was having a great time.  BUT I was disappointed in the “challenge” of it.  I guess I expected it to be hard things…instead of “Watch out for slippery slope” or “grab rope and climb to top”.  And to me, what was funny is if anyone had ever been backpacking, that is exactly what it was!  Hiking, moving, and getting to campsite that you had to pack in for three hours.  SO the “obstacle” portion of it wasn’t crazy hard by any means.  THE RUNNING though.  Man, the running.  I suck at running.  In fact, I feel like Andy from “Parks and Recs” like…ummm…all the time (Listen, I need you to watch this clip.  PLEASE.  It’s funny.  Please.  Look.  JUST DO IT.)

So I didn’t run.  Instead, I hung out with a new friend and we chatted the WHOLE TIME!  Somewhere around 20 minutes into the race it started to rain, and our nice 60 degree start turned into a completely FREEZING WET 55 degrees. And we could not get warm.  So we did the ONLY thing we knew how to and that was drink beer 😉  Oh, and layer EVERY BIT of clothing that we could find.  And huddle under tents and sit inappropriately close to people!  And dance 😉 Destiny’s husband kept cracking on us because we were one of the only ones dancing, but kids who have known me for 15+ years know that I will ALWAYS be the only one on the dance floor!  I mean, burns calories, whittles the waist down, and let’s be honest – who can stand still when the “Electric Slide” is playing.  NOT THIS CHICK!  and really, who wouldn’t want to dance in the mud.  How often can you say that is how you spent your Saturday!  It was very reminiscent of college days, without the insecurity.

A couple of things that this kick-started back up…

1) My love for the outdoors.  I am ABSOLUTELY a creature of habit.  So much so, for my flexible mentality, it is very nonsensical.  I forget that I like to play outside!  Especially coming from the mentality that, “oh crap – if I go biking by myself…what happens if I do something to my leg.”  Or hiking…or climbing….or whatever!  And without my sweet friends encouraging me to get outside again, I would never have gone!  I just NEEDED someone to want me to go with them and want to cheer me on.  And not let me sleep in.  And they did 😉

2) Loving getting up EARLY on Saturday.  I’ve been sleeping in until 9a most Saturdays here lately.  Which is like WOAH late.  But getting up at 5:30a, breakfast by 7a – I had a JAM-PACKED day!

3)  I will be OK walking and running longer distances.  The trails didn’t hurt one bit!  So I am hoping that I’ve found a new workout buddy that will want to hit the trails.  For like a mile.  Then we can hike 😉

4) New friends are the best.  And you find encouragement in the strangest places.  Did I walk a 5k in 59:01? Yes. Is that anything to even talk about.  Uhhh, NO.  Considering my peers are doing Half and Full Ironmans, running 100 miles in the woods, and swimming up a storm.  My outdoor fitness levels is gross.  But. FOR ME.  This was a crazy-good scary accomplishment.

Today as I showered, I STILL found mud in my toes.  Like YES I have showered – many times!  But that Alabama Red Clay just sticks to you sometimes.  As I hope does the bug of getting back outside.

Billy had a camera on the whole time.  I cannot WAIT to see the footage!

So COLD I thought we were dying.  And this was right after we got spray off!  And the fact that YES I still have lipstick on.  Whatever

The feet that NEVER got clean.

After rain shower number 1 BILLION.

Don’t think that needs much explaining…..

Josh with his chicken leg.  Yes….he can dance AND eat AND text!  NICE.  

So, half if not MORE of Birmingham was out there.  What did YOU think of the Warrior Dash?

{whole30} weekly eats 8/6 – 8/12

Man I am SO glad to be back in the habit of cooking!!!!  Recapping, well, ME – I spend about 3 hours in the kitchen on Sundays cooking up and meal planning for the week.  I cannot TELL YOU how therapeutic this for me and how much I love it!  Its just me, the oven and sometimes (like this week) the noise of the Olympics.

So this weekend, I made the following for my Food Cookup.

Breakfast:  Fritta with Peppers, Asparagus, Bacon (Nitrate-Free!) and Spinach.  REALLY tasty.  And super filling.


  1. First half of the week:  Beef Bourguignon over Smashed Cauliflower
  2. Second half of the week: Thai Green Curry over Curried F’rice 

Dinner: Eggs, Sweet Potatoes and usually some fruit.

Goal this week – LOAD UP on breakfast, have a smaller lunch, and dinner just to hold me over until breakfast.  For some reason, I NEVER get tired of eggs and sweet potatoes.  Not necessarily together, but just how DELICIOUS they are separate!

Scouring the web this week I have found sites that will let you into that dark recess that is my mind.  Scary, yo.

  1. I know I am KINDA obsessed with Melicious….because she tots Kick-A.  And I want a standing desk.  And she makes really awesome mayo.  AND she’s absolutely gorgeous!  So, bookmark her, won’t you?
  2. The NEW Batman Trailer.  I mean like OMG WOOT WOOT. 
  3. Pine-Sol (just really because I like it.  Not because I search it all the time.)
  4. Umm have you heard of this new diet?  It’s totally awesome.  And VERY FACTUAL.  Please check out the Practitioners portion.Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve) was a prominent advocate of breatharianism in the 1990s. She claimed “I can go for months and months without having anything at all other than a cup of tea. My body runs on a different kind of nourishment.” Interviewers found her house stocked with food.
  5. Ummmmmmmmm i know i know I KNOW.  Lululemon has SWIMSUITS.   Yet another reason to join Millionaire Matchmaker.
  6. This chick makes me laugh.  but MOSTLY because that DOG is killing me!  A Dog! With a Manuscript!  SHUTYOURFACESOFREAKINGCUTE.

Dull? nope, it’s what is going ON!

**This article is not for people like Cyn or Becca who just skim 😉  LOVE YALL.

I have always been a science/numbers/logical (don’t laugh!  do take that with a grain of salt) woman.    So after reading more in depth behind why Dallas and Melissa do what they do,  I am totally engrossed with moving towards cleaner eating.  ITS HARD!  PEOPLE ARE JUDGISH!  And they always feel like I am judging THEM, which if you understand 99% of people, they are mostly concerned with themselves (like I AM!) and it takes enough energy to figure out what I have to eat that day than what you do are eating for that day….

Dude.  Total side bar…Sorry.  Anywho….

So one of the reasons that I gave up grains is because I can TELL that I don’t work as well when I eat them.  I NEVER have been able to just eat 1 serving of bread, muffins, pancakes, pasta, etc you NAME it.  And it leads to wanting to eat more, then feeling guilty, then eating more because I feel guilty…and hi my name is Ruth and I am a food addict…

I just wanted to share a couple of really “science-y” articles which already helped back my “hypothesis” about how my body functions.

Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double Edged Sword” – excerpt from this paper on grains which I found particularly startling (Yes I KNOW Cyn, you are not going to read this….)

Generally, in most parts of the world, whenever cereal-based diets were first adopted as a staple food replacing the primarily animal-based diets of hunter-gatherers, there was:

  • a characteristic reduction in stature
  • an increase in infant mortality
  • a reduction in lifespan
  • an increased incidence of infectious diseases
  • an increase in iron deficiency anemia
  • an increased incidence of osteomalacia
  • porotic hyperostosis
  • other bone mineral disorders  
  • an increase in the number of dental caries and enamel defects .

In a review of 51 references examining human populations from around the earth and from diVering chronologies, as they made the transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers, Cohen  concluded that there was an overall decline in both the quality and quantity of life. There is now substantial empirical and clinical evidence to indicate that Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword many of these deleterious changes may be directly related to the predominantly cereal-based diet of these early farmers.

I love this graph from the CDC….

SO.  Back to me.  LOOK AT THAT LIST!  OF THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN STUDIED.  And yes guys I know there is research for EVERYTHING.  And I can’t speak to what you believe in….but DANG if even ONE of those things is true on the list…. that would be enough for me.  So I don’t really MISS grains.  I can look in the fridge and see where my sister has ordered pizza or egg rolls and not even blink!  Yes, it took a while, but it happened.

So I cleaned out my pantry last week, and wish I had seen THIS LIST of what to do with my old “stuff”  – and for a girl who loves a good pantry, this was HARD for me to do!


On a side note 🙂   I have been on an anti-soda kick lately…trust me, my coworkers LOVE me.  It stems from the fact that we have NO WATER at my new job.  Yep, you heard me.  The pipes are so nasty that the water comes out brown (and YES we live in the United States…), so instead of bringing water, people just get sodas out of the vending machine.  It’s really strange to me!  Anywho, when I was reading around to pull up information about cokes I found this little beaut below!

Clean Your Toilet

Toilet dirty? I’m sure yours is not, but mine sometimes is. Pour a can of coke in a toilet and let sit an hour. Use a brush to remove stains and flush. It will shine. We even tried this on a 30-40 year old toilet in a house we remodeled- it worked (and that toilet probably hadn’t been cleaned in 30-40 years). To me, that is enough reason to never ingest the stuff but if not, here are some other things you can use it for so you don’t drink it:

  • Removing gum from hair- soak hair in it for 10 minutes and gum comes right out
  • Unclog drains- just pour in the coke and wait (Did I mention you should not ingest this stuff!)
  • Remove that gunk from car batteries-pour on and it come right off
  • clean grout- soak a sponge in it and use to clean grout stains
  • remove grease stains on clothes-soak the stain in coke and wash well

Things not to use soda for: human consumption.


Sidenote:  Have an AWESOME weekend!  I am teaching RPM and Body Flow, hoping to hit up Oak Mountain or the JCC Trail to get out in the sunshine and then seeing my dear sweet friends this weekend!  OH and some Bikram, for SURE.


check check, 1-2-3

Easy as PIE right??  Making a life style change, I mean!  Trying to change my WHOLE outlook on how I view food.  What it does to my body.  How I work with one group of food versus the OTHER group of foods.

Just kidding.

NOT EASY.  I mean, like SO not easy.

So I turned 30 this past weekend (let’s give it UP for 30, yall!!!) I swear its going to be the best years of my LIFE.  I already like being 30, even though I still got carded at Publix and every single Mexican establishment I’ve ever been to.  Not so sure about bars any more since I’ve not stepped foot in one in YEARS.  Oh!  I didn’t get carded at Avondale Brewery this past weekend!  But that might have had to do with the fact I was wearing a tiara that said “Happy 30th” on it.  Nevermind….

Avondale Brewery

Side note before I get to the point.  ABC is flipping AWESOME.  Neat building, love what the Avondale Community is doing to drive traffic to that area, and just LOVE this side of town anyways.  I had a little bit of all the beers, but I happen to like the Saison, which is a Belgiun pale ale.  Mostly because it reminds me of summer.  Oh!  And I think that elephant is adorable.  Small fact I learned from my friend Danny this weekend – that is a Hops Flower underneath his foot (between the A and B).  I KNOW right??  You are learning SO much from my posting today.

SO back to the point.

Which was making a life change, by choice.  As we know (and NO need to revisit) there were several life changes that happened over the past year that I had NO control over, so I decided to be proactive and find out what this “Paleo” lifestyle is about.

In January, I did the 30 day challenge (WHICH, BTW took me almost 50 days.  Go figure.  And counting IS my forte!) and at the end of my time, just kinda STAYED “pure” in my eating because I was terrified in “going off program” (yes, that is a WW term).  But let’s be honest!  Eating 110% perfect EVERY SINGLE DAY is not realistic.  And it most certainly does not fit anyone’s lifestyle, unless you never leave your house again.  So I started adding some things back in….Cheese for example.  Then I made some Red Velvet and Brownie cupcakes for my birthday.  Then I went to (well….I’m not going to tell you ALL the places that I went! – BUT they were good!) SEVERAL places for my birthday, ending with Ollie Irene (GO if you haven’t tried it!!  GO THIS WEEKEND!) and waking up this morning feeling sluggish, bloated and yuck.

SO Notes about Ruth:

1) Cheese makes your GI go wacko.  I never understood when people said dairy didn’t agree with them.  But I think I was too far into my obsession to realize how my body reacted!  And since that was the first thing I added back in, it had a definite reaction on my body!

2) Beer (hops, grains, whatever!) makes me super hungsies.  Like, WOW. But Wine?  Not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be giving up beer.  Not after I have encouraged you to test out the local brewery!  But I won’t be indulging quite as deep as I have in the past.  NOT A BAD THING, folks!

3) VEGGIES AND FRUIT are important!  And with birthday celebrations, I have had less time to plan meals.  SO IMPORTANT, or I just don’t eat right.  It’s like brushing my teeth.  I HATE doing it.  But I can’t just skip it!

4) I sleep better, workout better, feel better, have a BETTER attitude, clearer skin, and pants that fit (what?) BETTER.  All from planning what I eat!  Making sure that have the tools at my fingertips to make me successful.  Plus I lost 12 lbs.  By eating more mayonnaise, nuts, avocados and coconut milk than I ever have in my life.

SO now that you know all of these things that don’t really mean MUCH to you, but they make my life better by knowing them – here is my plan!  Going to go another 30 days since the last 10 have been, well, less than steller.  BUT ONLY 30.  Because I’ve got to take baby steps in how to make this successful and managable for life.

From Dallas and Melissa’s page:

The Whole30 is not a diet, a short-term fix or a temporary solution. It’s also not the Whole365.

We want you to use the Whole30 as a learning tool to gain awarenessof how the foods you used to eat were actually affecting how you look, feel, live and perform.

And then we want you to carry that awareness forward, and use your experience to change the way you eat for the rest of your life.

We encourage you to make educated, deliberate decisions about when, how often and in what quantities you include less healthy foods in your diet. We’ve written a collection of articles about how to accomplish this in a way that is sane, sustainable and healthy.

And JUST TO BE CLEAR – I am just unplugging and plugging it back in.  I don’t think I reaped the WHOLE benefits of the Whole30.  And I KNOW this can be a way of life.  But like everything else in my life, it takes a few times to STICK.

WOOP WOOP.  Here’s to life changes!