Musings from the Midwest

One of the unexpected benefits of choosing to drive cross-country rather than fly was being able to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of the world. I haven’t travelled much and feel as though I still experience life (in some ways) through the eyes of a child. Everything was brand new to me and being able to see just how vast this small part of the planet is gave me a lot to think about.

Sequoia Blog
Sequoia National Forest


It’s easy and natural for us to get caught up in our individual lives, problems, relationships, routines, school, work schedules, and so forth. Taking a step outside of the norm and opening our eyes to new experiences and opportunities takes courage! The last several years have seen a lot of change in my personal life, some of which I never thought I could or would get through. Now I find myself more prepared to take risks and do what I really want to do, not lead a life that allows others to follow their dreams while mine are forgotten and abandoned on the roadside.

Part of why I started this blog in the first place is because it’s something I’ve felt compelled to do for years but never thought I could do it or anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. Now, even if only a handful of people are reading this right now (and thank you for those of you who are!), it still gives me a sense of personal pride to be achieving a personal goal. Health, fitness, and self-discovery are all things I am passionate about and want to help others in achieving the joy and personal achievement that I’ve felt on my own journey!

So, thank you for reading and I hope that I’ve touched a part of even one person who can take these thoughts and turn them into action like I have!


On The Double Wednesday

  • 5 minute cardio warm-up
    • 1 pushup burpee
    • 2 thrusters
    • 3 reverse fly
    • 4 roll-up V-up
    • 5 leg kickback squats
  • 10 second plank
    • 2 pushup burpees
    • 4 thrusters
    • 6 reverse fly
    • 8 roll-up V-up
    • 10 leg kickback squats
  • 20 second plank
    • 4 pushup burpees
    • 8 thrusters
    • 12 reverse fly
    • 16 roll-up V-up
    • 20 leg kickback squats
  • 30 second plank

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

6/27 – Make Your Day

Greetings from the Midwest! I apologize for being MIA for the last week, but unfortunately, camping across the country doesn’t lend itself to much WiFi access. However, gaining a wider perspective of the beauty this gorgeous and expansive country has to offer is always worthy of giving up a few hours of technology to see!

But now we’ve reached our destination on the grand Mississippi River and I, for one, am ready to get back to the grind! (And maybe shave off a couple of those pounds gained from too many campfire s’mores…)

  • 6 burpees/pushup burpees
    • 20 lateral leg raise squats
    • 7 under the fence pushups
  • 6 oblique twist squats
    • 20 shifting planks
    • 7 Romanian deadlifts
  • 6 burpees/pushup burpees
    • 20 mountain climbers
    • 7 one-legged pushups (each side)
  • 6 oblique twist squats
    • 20 thrusters
    • 7 kayak twists
  • 6 burpees/pushup burpees
    • 20 tippy toe squats
    • 7 bench dips
  • 6 oblique twist squats
    • 20 sumo deadlift high pull
    • 7 leg kickbacks with opposite arm raise (each side)

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

And just for fun:

Paddleboarding on Flathead Lake in Montana!



Paddleboarding after I fell off my board trying to splash my sister with my paddle…

Paleo BBQ Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chickenBBQ Chicken
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs salt
  • Bottle of Paleo BBQ sauce or homemade Paleo BBQ sauce
  1. Add all ingredients (except chicken and barbeque sauce) to a pot and bring to a boil. (We’re using the same method that we did for the Paleo Chicken Salad. One of the most important things I learned in the culinary world is that you add flavor to your food during every step. Sure, we could use plain water, but what flavor does that add? Not much!)
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a heated pan, add oil (olive, coconut, or even bacon fat!) and sear chicken.
  3. Crockpot method: Place chicken into crockpot and add boiling poaching liquid. Add 1 1/2 cups of barbeque sauce into crockpot  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Oven method: Place chicken into large baking dish with high sides and add poaching liquid and 1 1/2 cups of barbeque sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 275 for 3-4 hours.
  5. Once finished, shred chicken and mix in another 1/2 – 1 cup of Paleo BBQ sauce. Serve hot, or let cool and make into a Paleo Barbeque Chicken salad!

(I have not yet attempted to make my own Paleo BBQ sauce, but I will make sure to post a good recipe when I find one that works!)

Friday Fun!

Who’s enjoying summer break so far? I know I am! This week has been filled to the max with pool time, a surprise trip to Six Flags, museum visits, and vacation preparations. But does that mean we all get a free pass to skip the gym? Heck no! If the summer sun doesn’t make you sweat, this sure will:

  • 5 burpees/pushup burpees
    • 20 leg kickback squats
    • 15 tippy toe squats (be careful not to strain your inner thighs too much with this exercise because I think I pulled my muscle today…)
    • 10 shifting planks
    • 5 one-legged pushups (each side)

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

Friday Challenge – Get yourself a healthy dose of Vitamin D by enjoying a playful outdoor activity! Or even just watching others play while you get some much needed relaxation is fine, too. Vitamin D is essential for the body to increase calcium absorption which helps create stronger bones and teeth and sunlight is the best (and most natural) way to get it. Be careful of peak sunburn hours and use sunscreen, especially on the face and hands. And if you think only kids need Vitamin D, it’s not so! Adults actually need more as they age to keep bones healthy and prevent bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis. So golf, hike, swim, or pull out that dusty ol’ Slip’N Slide and improve your health while having fun!

Paleo Kitchen Tips – Seasonings

Here’s a tip straight from the culinary industry that I touched on in my last cooking post:

SpicesWhen working with a seasonings and spices, always mix the seasonings together before adding them to raw meats. This way, you can get the ratios just right and not end up with a surprise when you’re ready to serve your dish that it doesn’t taste how you expected! And always add the salt and pepper to the spice mix as well so you can sample how the flavors will really come into play. Salt is the most important ingredient when cooking because it helps bring out the natural flavor of whatever food you’re preparing. Too little and you don’t get the full effect, too much and all you taste is salt (yeck!), but just the right amount and you will have created the perfect balance of flavor to tantalize your taste buds!

Movin’ It Monday

  • 21-15-9 reps of each exercise
    • oblique side bends (each side)
    • dumbbell lateral raises
    • back extensions
    • mountain climbers
    • under the fence pushups

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

There’s no rush, take the time you need to get through everything. Those under-the-fence pushups are killer, but they work a lot of muscle groups so don’t skip them!