Monday, July 30, 2012

For Fires, I'm Grateful that I'm Reminded to Be Grateful

When I was in corporate, I would day dream about working at home. So many wonderful things about being at home, staying on top of chores, having more time with my kids, and being available for emergencies.
I even day dreamed that I would get bored.

Actually working at home is anything but boring, and it certainly hasn't quite panned out to be the all caught up perfectly neat housewife vision I thought it would be. Especially when life throws a curve ball like it did today! 

I was working on my meal plans, when I became very restless. I asked my son to join me on an escapade out to the chickens, then a trip down the drive way to the mail box. It's a great way to get some sun and exercise. I know for me, taking breaks like this helps me to refocus back on work.

From the back yard, we headed up toward the front of the house, Dominik is always about 20 steps ahead of me, so I didn't think to much when I reached the garage and he wasn't there. When I came around the garage, I saw he made it down to the end of the driveway just at the road. He had turned and was headed back to me. And there was smoke. (In my mind's eye all I see is Dominik and smoke, but I know I was taking in so much more. )

I hollared down the drive for him to ride as fast as he could back to the house (RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!) at the same time he hit the garage, I ran inside to get the phone and was dialing 911 and back out front I went to keep an eye.

I asked Dominik to stay inside until I knew what was happening, then pulled him back out where in case the fire reached the house, he wasn't trapped. My mind thought of other things too, like pulling the car out of the garage in case we needed to drive to safety, and my sleeping cats. But I was afraid to not fight the fire, since it takes the nearest fire department almost 15 minutes to get anywhere out here.

At this point, a neighbor who had driven by shortly before returned with a shovel and was out shoveling dirt onto the fire. I got off the phone and joined him with my hose. (Yes, I have a hose that reaches the road, thank GOD)

Together, we coordinated to control the direction of the fire and the pace at which it headed toward my house, although there really wasn't anyway the two of us could have stopped it. It was burning at both ends, and my hose just couldn't reach far enough. I wasn't timing, but my friendly neighbor and I had created a nice  block in it before the firefighters and sheriff arrived.

My adrenaline has never pumped so hard, and I don't think I've ever moved my body that hard, that fast!

I'm not exactly sure how much is burned, the neighbors lost a lot of fence line, but everyone, and pets are safe, for that I'm so grateful.

When my husband came home (much earlier than planned since I was panicking when I called him), I cried. I wanted to cry much harder, but was grateful for him being home early.

In this moment, I am reminded that one of my lessons in this life has been to learn to find the gifts in tragedy and in challenges. This is one of those moments. I could have cursed the transformer, or been so angry that my son was bold enough to get so close, I could have spent the rest of my afternoon crying about how bad it was. But, right now, I'm in a total space of awe and gratitude.

You see, the only reason we even went around the front of the house was to check the mail. I don't always check the mail any more and if we hadn't been pulled to do so, things would have turned out much differently, for everyone.
I'm grateful for neighbors that I've never met, caring enough to take action.
I'm grateful for that hose that reaches pretty darn far that we got for so many trees, we never knew we'd fight a fire with it.
I'm grateful most of all that I was home. That my amazing career that I love so much lets me be here so I can live my life, but to also be present when I need to be.

Post Fire Fighters, Near the Road facing South

Post Fire Fighters, Near road facing North

The edge where we were working to keep the fire away

This picture is facing my house from the far end of the fire. 

A good view from our drive, it burned very, very quickly

And so, I am thankful. So, Incredibly Thankful!

Gratitude has changed a lot of things in my life. By shifting my perspective it has helped me not only to see things differently but to recognize the gifts I'm given daily, to see opportunities when they are presented, and to stay in a happier, more fulfilled state of mind.

How are you practicing gratitude in your life? Need a start? How about keeping a journal where you log three positive things that happened in your day and why they happened. After making note of such events, simply say, "Thank you".

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

Finally time for the Farmer's Market

In a nearby town, right along the highway, there has been a farmer's market every year for at least 13 years. It isn't a conglomeration of farms, rather only one. But they are nice people and have a huge variety to choose from.
This was my first exposure to a farmer's market about those 13 years ago.

On my way home yesterday, I was in the area and was pulled to stop in.

Since we have our own garden, we don't often stop at the farmer's markets anymore, but I was glad I did yesterday!

I bought for my home:

3 sweet potatoes
1 bunch small yellow onions
1 bulb garlic
4 ears of corn
4 empanadas (premade tarts)
6 peaches from Palisade, Co
3 lemons
1 lime
4 Patty Pan Squash

and I bought for my daughter:

1 lb green beans
1 eggplant
1 bulb garlic
1 bunch onions
2 tomatoes
(I think that's it, but there might have been a couple more items in hers)

and for my son:
3 honey sticks

For only $30.00!!! 

When I came home, I made the following one dish meal:

Squash and Orzo

1 cup Orzo
1 cup water
2 patty pan squash, sliced
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
3 Tbsp Italian Seasoning Blend that includes garlic, pepper and sea salt, basil, oregano
2 Tbsp organic low salt butter
Fresh Mozzarella Balls

Preheat oven to 375.
Layer in a glass baking dish: orzo, water, patty pan, zucchini, onion, seasonings. Top with foil.
Cook about 35 minutes.
Stir everything together, serve with Mozzarella.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

D-Day at Our House

Last Sunday was D-Day. Not for everyone, just four. Plus it was our first time. We didn't want to make the task over bearing or so long that we became vegetarians before the night was out. The Cornish Game Hens were about 2.5 to 3.0 lbs at this point and according to every source the optimal size to begin to take for meat.
ugh. REALLY?!

Even Jim wasn't sure he was prepared for this. It's hard to take little lives. We did it though. And here is our process.

The hardest part was to choose who would be the ones. Jim said four, while we're doing this, we'll try to take enough to last a bit. We got a huge pot for boiled water (180 degrees), a table with a chopping block to kill the chicken, a hanging beam to hang them to bleed out, then finally another table to remove the feathers and gut them. I've spared you the gross stuff for the most part - here is a photo after the heads have been removed but before feathers are removed. 

At this point, I've begun to question the rationale behind my quest. My son was crying and understandably upset, as were Jim and I. It is so much easier to just buy them at the store. This process will change our view of meat forever. 

This is me, taking the feathers off the bird. 
It's not entirely a bad process, it's just not easy. Raising them, you can see they are living, breathing, feeling beings. I believe the term is satient? Not fully sure, but it's hard to not feel for them. 

We kept the other birds completely in their coop so they were not exposed to the trauma of what was happening. But they know their companions are gone and are a bit nervous when I or Jim come out. 

To fully embrace this day, this moment, I froze two of the chickens and put two in the roaster. Quite honestly, it was a little hard to eat, BUT it was GREAT tasting chicken, extremely lean, tender, and juicy. 

Dressed and ready for the oven!

So, We did it. We raised our own meat. We even slaughtered our own meat and sat down together and enjoyed the meal. Jim and I have both decided we wouldn't mind waiting a few more weeks before taking the rest of the Cornish Game Hens though. I think the kids are on board for that too. 

It feels good to know the meat is healthy and strong for my son and for my husband and I and I can truly say I know where it comes from before it's on my plate. 

For that part, the health coach in me is deeply satisfied. The Mom in me is deeply satisfied. The animal lover is a little confused. 

In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

P.S. If you've enjoyed this article, you might enjoy my meal plans! Be sure you opt in for the One Month FREE Gluten and Dairy free meal plans at the top of my blog! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Delish Country Dish

We don't have bacon much, but whenever we do, I always reserve the grease for such dishes as this morning's. Sometimes olive oil just doesn't cut it. Today is one of those days.

Small zucchini, mine was from our garden, was medium sized and I used about 3 inches, cut these into 1/2" strips. If your zucchini is fresh or a small one like what you get at the store, no need to peel it.
3 small new potatoes, cut into strips
1 Tbsp bacon grease (You can use olive oil or coconut oil)
4 large leaves fresh basil, diced
2 small basil leaves for garnish.

Heat grease over medium heat in a large skillet. I don't like the way eggs have a tendency to stick so I always use a nonstick pan when I cook eggs.

Add strips of potatoes and zucchini and cook for about 5 - 8 minutes stirring frequently.

Reduce temperature. Add eggs, and stir.

Cook until eggs are completely done. 
Season with Garlic Pepper, I used a grinder seasoning blend to make this simple.

Garnish with fresh Basil, serve immediately. 

Serves 2. 

Oh, seriously this is pretty and yummy!

If you enjoy this recipe, you should try my meal planning! You can get a whole month FREE here!

I am delighted to share such fun and nutritious recipes! 
In vibrant health and happiness,
Tammi Hoerner, CHHC

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Only Thing Constant is Change

Yesterday evening we moved the pheasant to a larger "brooding house", which was our tool storage shed for the garden. Luckily, Jim recently cleaned it out so it wasn't too big of a project in preparation. 
I felt a little sad for the babies as they just were getting used to being in their new home and now we move them again. They seem to like their new arrangement, but had no idea what was ahead of them when we were gathering them for the move. This  morning, they are enjoying the extra space and a bit of fresh air from the vent placed way high in the ceiling, and I can't help but wonder if they knew what was coming if they wouldn't have been more eager to be handled in the move to the new space. 

It made me think about change in our own lives. 

Change is one of life's greatest challenges. We will plant our feet firmly in the ground, or even sometimes, just like these little pheasant did, run around aimlessly screaming as if doing so will prevent the change. But, the change is necessary and will happen anyway. 

Often when I'm working with clients, this topic surfaces. We all know change is imminent, many of us know and recognize that we've changed before and it's often for the better. Still, we do everything we can to stop it. Why?

I believe it is a simple fear of the unknown. We just don't know what's on the other side. It could be something amazing like that new opportunity, an up level in our living (like our pheasant received) or it could be another challenge. 

For me, because I've always had so much change in my life, I will create change in my own life if things sit too still. I often find that I might create challenges for myself this way, but more often than not, they are great challenges where I grow and learn and can create a better me for the world. 

For my clients, I am a facilitator of change, supporting them in moving through small changes, to make the transition easier and longer lasting. Doing so is an honor and a gift for me, because I know that it's an up level in living for them. It's allowing them to walk through the door to that new life, new body, new perspective that so many women are seeking.

Does fear hold you back from living your best life? 
In what spaces do you try to prevent change? 
How does doing so hold you back from your best self? 

I'd love to hear from you! 
In Vibrant Health and Happiness,
Tammi Hoerner

Want to change your diet? Stop in for my FREE one month of MEAL PLANS here: THE NOURISHED LIFE!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Most Saught After PBCC Cookie (gluten/dairy free)

Simply put, I was having a moment. I NEEDED something.
Alas, I have NO junk food in my pantry - this is by design, but always surprises me.
Every time, I do the same thing, search high and low, thinking I'll find something.
The reality is, that I wont. Then I get to sit and decide just how badly I want a sweet. If I want it bad enough to go through the hassle of baking it, then I have no choice but to upgrade my ingredients.

Tonight is just such an example.

Here's the result of my concoction:

1 Cup Earth Balance Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar (Raw Cane Sugar)
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Medium Organic Free Range Eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350F
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients with a large fork until well mixed.
Scoop out dough one tablespoon at a time onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely unless you want to eat them with a fork. (Yes, we did this!)

Fresh from the oven, these are a bit gooey, but oh, they are SO GOOD!

This made about 14 cookies

Were they good?
Well, my toughest client (my hubby) said, "NOW THAT'S A COOKIE!"
Like this recipe? 
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Birds of a Feather

This mornings visit with my chicks was fun and filled with a bit of surprise.

The chicks are learning to perch on the sides of the brooder. As I said before, we put window screens over the top of the brooders to prevent "flying the coop". When I went out with my coffee to sit by them and talk, I took the screens off. The immediately showed me their new trick. ( Since I'm using my Iphone to take photos, I don't have any but will soon, I hope)

The feathers are growing in nicely, and I'm making friends with them.
Hello Chicks!

Can you see the size difference?

They are growing and curious!

Pretty Feathers

My new found friend

She is really friendly. We aren't sure if these are the Cornish Game Hens or the Leghorns. Jim thinks these are the Cornish Game Hens, which means dinner. (ugh) But, for now, she's my little friend and she enjoys being held.

Check out those feathers!

The surprise? Well, it seems the pheasant are a week ahead of the chicks. I cleaned out the chick pen, fed and watered them. I stepped outside and came back in to a pheasant - about three inches in size, perched on the side of their brooder. Woah.
Wasn't expecting that!
So, they too now have screens on top of their brooder.

What fun this has been!

In vibrant health and happiness,


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Having One of Those Moments?

You bought a dress straight off the rack. It's adorable, but you aren't sure it'll fit. But if it does, you're gonna wear it tomorrow. 
Besides, it's on sale.
You looked at all the sizes and pulled out the L. Not your normal size. But the M just doesn't look like it's going to work. 

You get home and try your new dress on. It's tight. Not just tight, but seems to emphasize your Pear shape, your big thighs and the love handles that landed there sometime in the last week, cause you sure didn't see them before. 

Then it happens. The cloud of doubt and shame, the regret. The confidence that was there only thirty seconds ago flies out the window. You pull on a baggy pear of pants and loose fitting shirt and walk slowly to meet the rest of your family to go. 

There's a heavy feeling of defeat. You feel like you can't have fun. Like if you do, it will make you fat. 
What fun is eating out and celebrating when you are always restricting yourself? Why can everyone else have fun and you can't?

You ask yourself, "Why? Why do I keep doing things that I know are going to make me fat? Why do I keep sabotaging myself? Why is weight loss soooo hard for me?"  

Yep, I've been there! The truth is, weight loss is different for everyone. What works for your neighbor or Bestie, probably will not work for you. Why? Because, Beautiful, you are a unique and special individual. We all are
What makes it more challenging is that what we need changes. As your life changes, the foods that are right for your body change.
Think for a moment of all the different physical demands on your body, those that change through the years. 
Some women are very active, others are not. Some have a job that is at a desk all day, some stand on their feet all day. Some women are 20 and are awake 18 out of 24 hours every day, others are nursing mothers and are awake 20 out of 24 hours. Each woman's life demands something different. Each woman's body, is a little different. 

How will you know what will work for your body?

Instinctively, we all truly know what we need. Sometimes, we need to slow down to listen and this, my friend, takes practice.

There are so many ways to learn which lifestyle choices nurture and nourish your body. One of my favorite tools is to keep a journal. Not just a food journal and most certainly NOT counting calories or nutrients. Rather a "TUNE IN" Journal. Ask yourself the following questions;
  • What/when/ and in what circumstances did you eat?
  • How much water and other drinks are you consuming and when?
  • How did your food leave you feeling?
  • What happened in the day that felt stressful/good?
  • How was your sleep?
  • Did you leave time to play or meditate?
  • How do you end your day feeling? Satisfied or Craving?
  • Are you moving during the day? How much and what types of movement are you doing?
Sometimes, this practice of tuning inward and paying close attention is all we need to identify how we are doing the things we are doing that stand in our way of success. It's the simple awareness and plugging back into our selves.

Having the AWARENESS is the first step!

Even I get lost in the day to day demands and tasks, especially as I add new challenges like my little chickens. Having the right tools in place is what makes the difference between success and sabotage. 

I would LOVE to hear from YOU! 
Feel free to ask questions, leave comments, and connect for more information about how to take steps to lead a healthier life!
Don't miss my free month of Meal Plans by signing up for my Nourished Life newsletter! 

In vibrant health and happiness,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

They Want to Fly the Coop!

Already, the chicks are trying to fly. I'm surprised. Jim is surprised. They actually look at the top of the brooder box, aim, flap, and next thing you know, there they are! Sitting on the edge, looking at you.
You can tell we're new at this!
We decided to cover the brooders with window screens for now. It's working.

They are  beautiful and growing feathers. It's been since Saturday since we lost any, and I'm quite excited about that. I think it means we're learning and doing okay. The roosters are colorful and curious. The hens are quieter and friendly.

We have some white leghorns - they will be the egg layers, they are HUGE and already look like chickens. Some of them are actually bawking rather than peeping. Less than two weeks old.

Can you believe it? I thought my kids grew fast!

Happy July 4th!
In vibrant health,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Smokey Morning

One of the greatest things I've done for my health is turn off the news. 

A few years back, there were stories of Mothers killing their children. I'm not talking about birds, cats, or elephants. I'm talking about people. The violence was horrific and left me incredibly distraught.
I got stuck in the stories looking for answer to "WHY"? and "HOW COULD SHE DO THAT?"
It was tragic, but it was the idea of what went through a child's head as they were the victims. What does a child think when his or her Mommy is trying to kill him/her.
I would lose sleep, have nightmares, cry.

I spent a lot of time thinking about it, trying to understand, so that perhaps, I could save a child's life. The only way to intervene is to know what is happening. It is one of the reasons why I do what I do today. It sent me on a search of how to create space for Mothers to decompress. To refocus their efforts on taking care of themselves, nutritionally, emotionally so they can be better Mothers.

After awhile though, the news wears on you. I was tired of reading it. So, I turned it off. 

This morning, those few years later, I am grateful that I can make a difference in lives. Today, I think of how the news gets to me anyway - through word of mouth and pictures on facebook. But today, it's fires.

And this morning it's coming via the air. The smokey, warm morning air. I am miles and miles from the closest fire, but I wake up in the night smelling it. I pray for rain, and pray the people on the plains keep their wits about them so we don't have the same thing as those in the hills. It's always dry in the summer here.
The smoke in this East facing photo is apparent, it's 7:00 am and everything is smokey on the horizon.

I'm not even drawn to watch the news though, I cannot control the weather, I cannot change the turn out of events once they hit the news, I can only share the word of prevention, and help others to be aware.

I find like other news, this event is incredibly tragic. Community action is required. But immersing myself in it, watching it, focusing on it, doesn't change things.

I've decided by turning it off, I am more centered, balanced, better able to help others, because I am not as stressed, and I am being the best person I can be.

In Vibrant Health and Happiness

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cran-Apple Smoothie

*whew* this morning was hot! 

I have two weeks of meal plans to do before I can do much else, so, of course, I decided this morning to water trees. (Now that's avoiding my work) Then, I watered plants out back, took the dog for a walk, and worked with the chicks a bit.
Who, by the way are totally cute. So, I spent some time avoiding my work, playing with the chickens.
After I started feeling woozy, I decided my idea was going to back fire if I didn't haul myself inside, eat breakfast, drink some water, and get to work.
I was sure feeling the heat when I came in, drenched with sweat and a bit light headed. I knew I needed more than just a glass of water, but I was too hot to eat.
That's when I decided it would be a full on smoothie morning!

This tart smoothie is both thirst quenching and cooling!

Cran-Apple Smoothie
1 Green Apple, diced and cored
1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
½ cup frozen cranberries
1 cup coconut water
2 cups water
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve with a slice of GF multigrain toast and a boiled egg.
Serves 3 – 4

If you are opting to have smoothies at breakfast but feel hungry before lunch, try adding a boiled egg and whole grain gluten free toast. 

This amazing smoothie was just what I needed to cool and cure my thirst as well as feed my body plenty of nutrients to get started on my day...yes, ... meal planning. 

In vibrant health,