Category Archives: PLANT-BASED


I am taking a brief interruption from your regularly scheduled Trailmomma posts to allow myself the opportunity to vent, complain or perhaps I am just seeking out some kind of personal connection to anyone who can relate to what we are going through right now in the Trailmomma household.

I know toddlers are picky. I know kids change their minds almost as much as women. I know that for most, dinner time can be a struggle when you have a 2 year old and a 5 year old sitting at the table. Still, my heart hangs a little lower these days and my mind is moving a mile a minute trying to find healthy meals and snacks that my two princesses will eat.


If history repeats itself or if healthy eating is hereditary then my girls won’t start eating healthy until they are in college. When I was their age, and well into my teenage years I was probably one of the pickiest kids on the planet. My foods could not touch. I did not like turkey at all and I think I consumed more microwave french fries than is humanly possible. Fruit? Never had it. We didn’t have apples in the house. We had Hostess. Vegetables? Canned corn. I drank soda like water (actually never even drank water unless you count Kool-Aid) and I lived across the street from two authentic Italian pizza places, a candy store and an ice cream shop.

The fact that I was never obese is purely due to the fact that my friends and I played outside from dawn until dusk as much as we possibly could. Something that the kids today do not do.

Still, when I reached college and the food choices were left up to me, I realized, after gaining the freshman 20, how certain foods made me feel. I had stopped eating meat in high school but the junk food was abundant in college. I finally understood how exercise (when not forced through a soccer/softball/basketball coach) was actually fun. I started running for my own enjoyment and I never stopped.

Now, with a passion for living a life consuming whole unprocessed plant-based foods, it makes me sad when I see the things my kids eat. This isn’t something entirely new, they’ve eaten poorly from the start mostly because as new parents, we were consumed with making sure our little ones had full bellies despite what we filled them with. I knew the processed foods the Peanut was eating were not good and yet, no matter what we offered, she refused. As an infant/toddler, she also never slept, ever and so we tried all we could to fill her belly at times hoping that would help her sleep. No dice.



Then Squeaker was born, and we raised her differently. I read (and shared with every expectant parent I knew) the book Baby Led Weaning and was inspired. We fed Squeaker whole foods. Nothing was jarred or puree ever. If she could pick it up, she could eat it and she did! She ate food that the Peanut never gave the time of day when she was Squeaker’s age. Vans and I were in heaven. Then, something changed. Before she turned two, Squeaker started refusing pretty much everything.


Now they probably eat all of five things. Total. The Peanut at least likes steamed broccoli and will consume a pile of it if we give it to her. She will eat carrots (raw) and steamed green beans and peas. However, she does not consume fruit. Not anything nor anything fruit related. No applesauce, no bananas, no berries and no apples. Forget melons or those little citrus cuties. It is maddening. She likes sweet things (namely chocolate) but she won’t touch fruit nor will she consume any smoothies either. Getting her to eat anything new is a struggle. I am pleased she will eat brown rice I am not thrilled that she won’t eat anything else. I can’t even feed her traditional kid favorites! She won’t eat pizza, peanut-butter and jelly or even spaghetti!

Squeaker is worse. She won’t consume any vegetables OR fruit. No smoothies. She won’t eat noodles. She will eat refried black beans and brown rice and grilled cheese like it is going out of style. Lara bars are a favorite snack but unfortunately so is gold fish or Cheeze-its. It is maddening to me.

My only hope is that Squeaker will evolve like the Peanut and start eating more of a variety of veggies but the Peanut has always eaten broccoli.


So here I sit, wracking my brain trying to come up with different snack ideas and meals for them. I am trying to go the healthier route but it is basically a waste of money according to Vans. My philosophy is: if you don’t try you’ll never know if they like it. Unfortunately, the Peanut doesn’t try anything new at school and just tosses her lunch most times if I sneak in “new” healthier foods.

With the start of the new year, I am drawing an invisible line in the sand. I want to be done with the days where I made three separate meals (one for the Peanut, one for Squeaker and one for Vans and myself). My time is limited already, adding personal chef to the mix is just insane.

So tonight I made Mama Pea’s Pizza Casserole. This is one dish that I can often get them to eat with a little cajoling. Squeaker will eat it only if she is 1) really hungry and 2) it is fresh (not reheated). The Peanut often resists for a while but will consume a small bowl.

Tomorrow I have another Mama Pea dish ready to throw into crock pot called Spicy African Peanut Stew. Tomorrow will be a struggle. Tomorrow there will be a fight but I am ready. People always tell me that “if kids are hungry, they will eat” and ya know what? That is a load of B.S! Those people have not met my kids who will not eat for a week if they put their minds to it.

I admire Ange over at Hol-Fit .  She has provided me with countless tips and tricks to get my girls to eat healthier foods or make wiser choices. I like her approach to food as it relates to her two girls, in that she likes to ask them how certain foods make them feel. Does that piece of junk food make their tummy hurt? She makes them piece together the connection. I do that to a degree, but sadly most of the food they eat cause tummy distress and frankly, my kids could really care less about that stuff.

But I would be lying to say that reading, seeing photos of friends or other people’s kids consuming super healthy foods makes me feel like a failure. I make healthy choices for myself, why can’t I do that for my kids? Actually, I do, but I can’t force it down their throats.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

So while this post has no real purpose other than to broadcast my recent frustrations, I hope that I am not alone. Although, part of me hopes that I am, because I would like to think all kids are eating healthy but I know the reality of that is slim. The Hostess, Kellogg and General Mills companies are not giant money makers because people are shunning their food for broccoli. Monsanto isn’t the largest (most corrupt) company because people refuse their products.

I’ll keep trying to teach my girls the importance of wise choices when it comes to food as this is one battle I won’t give up. I am ready for the long haul. One stalk of broccoli at a time.



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The Parent Teacher Association or as it is more commonly known, the PTA is a formal organization composed of parents, teachers and staff and is  intended to facilitate parental participation in the school. With the Peanut now in kindergarten, Vans and I are experiencing public school and this organization for the first time.  Actually there is even a NATIONAL PTA  and their mission as quoted on their website is “The overall purpose of PTA is to make every child potential a reality  by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all  children.” Sounds pretty awesome right? I mean, what can be better than “engaging and empowering families” and being an “advocate for all children.” Impressive no?

Well hold onto your girl scout cookies when you hear the story I am about to tell you about my recent run-in with our local PTA. It had me fuming enough to write this post and I hope it inspires you to investigate your own PTA organizations.

The background: Peanut attends public school but this particular public school resides in a very affluent area in Northern California. Mind you, not ALL of the families that attend this school are well-off but I would venture to guess, that the majority of them are living comfortably. Now there is nothing wrong with that. I have no problems with it. Vans and I work very hard and some might say we are pretty well off as well and I wouldn’t disagree but we also are in the minority when it compares against other families in our daughter’s school. What does this mean? Why does income even matter in this story? Sadly, money is a driving force for a lot of people. To many, if it doesn’t make money than it isn’t worth the time or in this case, our children’s health. Stay with me here, it gets better.

So this school hosted a Harvest Festival. The Peanut was super excited to attend as her class was to perform a song on stage for the parents. So on a beautiful Saturday morning the entire Trailmomma family loaded into the car and attended the Harvest Festival. While walking around I noticed a few little boys (probably 7 or 8 years old) walking around with half empty two liter bottles of soda. I sort of thought that odd and I secretly was hoping that they were just carrying the soda some where and not actually consuming it.

It was then that I noticed one of the game booths. It was “ring toss” where you toss a little ring onto what appeared to be a bunch of soda bottles. No big deal right? Well if the kids connected they received a two liter bottle of soda…AS A PRIZE!! So yes, those little boys had been consuming what appeared to be a lot of soda directly from the bottle. I looked around and there were lots of kids (and parents) carrying soda bottles! I was saddened by this and it prompted me to write a letter to the president of the PTA (since this Harvest Festival was organized by the PTA). I was pretty polite in my letter. Here, see for yourself:

Hi there, thank you for the Harvest Festival. My daughter is in  kindergarten and this was our first ever Harvest Festival. She had a  great time so thank you.

There is one thing I’d like to bring  up however that concerned me involving the “ring toss” game. While the  game and the idea is fine, I have to really disagree with the use of  soda. Before I even saw the game itself, I saw 7, 8 and 9 year olds each  walking around with a half empty two liter bottle of soda. At first I  thought they were carrying them to the concession stands or food  area but then I realized that was their “prize” in the ring toss.  Really?

I won’t go into the unhealthy aspects of soda or what it does to a child’s tooth enamel as I am sure you must be aware. Please  reconsider this game next year. It is sending a terrible message to our  children or at the very least do not let the soda be awarded as a prize  although I caution against even supporting the soda industry by  purchasing two liter bottles to begin with.

I know, “to each  their own” and I didn’t let my child participate in that specific game  as she found plenty of others to play but if we can help our children  avoid the amount of sugar contained in soda, we’d all be better off.
Thank you again for your time and for all that you did. I will continue to  support the PTA and perhaps next year will participate in the Harvest  Festival planning.

Sincerely, Trailmomma

Be honest, is there anything truly insulting or mean about that letter? Okay so maybe the “Really?” was a little unnecessary but I wanted to make a point. A few days had gone by and finally I received a response from the president of the PTA. Her email alone has started an avalanche within my head of emotions and anger that I literally had to stop and count to ten after I read her letter. Here is what she wrote:

Greetings Trailmomma,

Thank you for your message and for providing feedback.  Truthfully, the health risks of soda is not debatable, I’m a pharmacist and my  husband is a physician.  But I’d like to provide some background information, and then I have a request.
The soda ring toss game brought in slightly over $1,500 in net revenue at the 2013 Harvest Festival. There was no cost to run the game because the soda was 100% donated by parents and grocery stores (about  70%, 30% respectively). The PTA will use the $1,500 in revenue to pay for an electronic reading program (“RazKids”)  that your Kindergarten student will use in Kindergarten and 1st Grade.
Therefore, eliminating the game is not an option. The benefits  clearly outweigh the risks.  But replacing the game with an equally  high-earning game could be considered.  Which is where my request comes  in. Please consider championing a replacement game.  This could be accomplished by researching PTA/PTO  blogs/articles/websites and consulting outside friends/family to  investigate what school carnival games are wildly popular for similar  demographics and age.  The PTA would consider your proposal for a  replacement game, and if approved, would be run head-to-head against the soda ring  toss at the next Harvest.  This could solve the issue without  sacrificing needed funds.
Best Regards PTA President

So I plan on responding to her email (again) and to explain my point (again). My intention is to respond with respect and maturity however, I am not entirely sure how much I’ll be able to muster without really bringing to light all the things WRONG with her response. Which leads me to this blog post. Here, I am allowed to write what I want. Here, I am allowed to write the truth.

Dear PTA President:

First and foremost the disclosure of you and your husband’s professions make your email one hundred times more sad although not entirely surprising. I have no doubts that you are smart educated people but both of your professions have no background in nutrition. Both of your professions are geared towards prescribing pills, basically band-aids to mask many problems that can be purely avoided or healed by a better intake of nutrition and the basic understanding of how what you consume nutritionally will determine your medical course in life.

With that aside, it seems that you place the health of your children and the health of all children at the school at about $1500. Is that about right? You said “the benefits out weigh the risks” in your letter. So $1500 is better than a child who will develop diabetes? Or perhaps a child with ADHD? $1500 is way more important than childhood obesity which is running rampant in our nation. $1500 is more important than an elementary school student having massive tooth decay and a mouth full of cavities? $1500 is clearly more important than a child who develops cardiovascular disease from consuming soda filled with caffeine and sugar. You would rather sacrifice the health of our children for money?

You said your husband was a physician right? So he must have read the study published in The Journal of Pediatrics that found children who consume large amounts of soda per day experience more aggression, withdrawal and attention problems. It sounds however that you are willing to sacrifice those issues for $1500.

In your email you say that you want me to “champion” a replacement game that is as “equally high earning” and then later state that my game would go head to head with “ring toss” at the next Harvest. Clever Mrs. President. That means next year you’ll have the opportunity to bring in even more money.  Perhaps a tactic to not only get the PTA some cash but also make you feel less guilty for handing out poison to our kids? Something tells me that “ring toss” would not be resigned from the list of games even if another game “out-did” it.

I can accept your challenge to find a new game however I just simply want to know, why do the 2 liter bottles have to be filled with soda!? Why can’t they be 2 liter bottles filled with water? Why can’t we call upon our families to RECYCLE (another noble thought) any 2 liter plastic bottle they come across and fill them with WATER!? Imagine that? Same effect without the carcinogenic poison being introduced to our children.

Clearly money is at the heart of the matter here. Not the health and well-being of our kids. If that is the case, I will scour the streets and parks to recycle as many bottles and cans as I need to raise $1500 so that at the next Harvest Festival, the children (and parents) at this school won’t have to pay money to consume carbonated crap as a prize.

Sincerely, Trailmomma

Whew, that felt good. Tell, me do you really want to see these two beautiful faces (or your own kids) consuming soda? I don’t.

harvest festival


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Being that I am a vegan (or plant-based), I often get asked the question “Where do you get your protein?” Since I am going on 20 years of eating a plant-based diet, I don’t really get asked that question as often as I once used to. I guess when people realize that I have not eaten meat in 20 years and I am still standing, running and raising two kids that apparently I am doing something right. Vans celebrated his one year of being vegetarian this past September and he is continuing on this journey, with no pressure from me. We have been married 9 years and have known each other for 13 and I never once asked him or forced him to become a vegetarian. I never refused meat in our home. Granted I never cooked it much but he knew how long I had been a vegetarian and he rarely trusted my meat cooking skills (I don’t blame him).

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What I find funny though is that the minute Vans stopped eating meat people jumped on his case about his protein intake! He didn’t declare across the world that he no longer wanted to eat animals, but just went along his way and in certain social situations just tried to get around the meat being served. This experiment really opened his eyes to how meat laden a lot of his work situations are and how little they catered to those who did not eat meat.

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I don’t want to go into a whole post about veganism and where can one get their protein. All you have to do is google and you’ll find tons of blog posts, articles and websites devoted to the topic. However, I do want to highlight the key people who I respect and who validate a plant-based diet over one that contains meat. What is that saying? “Knowledge is the best defense?” Well I am here to point you in the direction if you want to know more about a plant-based diet and how it can benefit your life.











A lot of people know about Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn who wrote the book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” and he convincingly argues that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects. That is pretty profound stuff. You can read more about Dr. Esselstyn here I know it hits a cord for me coming from a family history that is high in heart disease.

 Dr. Joel Fuhrman  is another favorite of mine to reference. He’s a board certified family physician and the author of the book Eat to Live. If you have the time, I highly recommend reading his book. Not only is it informative, it will open your eyes to the benefits of eating a plant-based diet over a meat laden one. Dr. Fuhrman dives into detail with such examples like eating 100 calories worth of broccoli will provide you with 11.1 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of fat, 0 cholesterol, 2.2 grams of iron and 10.8 grams of fiber.  When you compare that with 100 grams of beef the comparison is shocking for most. 100 calories of beef will give you  8.0 grams of protein, 7.4 grams of fat, 24.1 grams of cholesterol, 0.9 grams of iron and 0 grams of fiber! Read his book, it may surprise you. The chart below focuses on a sirloin steak vs a cut of beef most commonly consumed by Americans.

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His book may also scare you a little because he dives into a plant-based diet with both feet asking that you consume a pound of greens a day. While that would be truly beneficial to your body, it might also hurt your wallet a little bit.

Another person of influence is Dr. Garth Davis. I first heard Dr. Davis on Rich Roll’s podcast and later I moved to his Facebook page. As a doctor he is the first to tell you that his nutrition course was all but one hour in medical school. Doctors are taught to heal, fix and provide medication that heals and/or fixes ailments. They are not taught the age-old quote by Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That quote is by the same person that the Hippocratic Oath is thought to have stemmed from and is taught to young medical students sweating their way through medical school. Why would nutrition not be included? If you could heal yourself without the benefit of medication wouldn’t you do it? Or is America only after the quick fix?

Dr. Davis is actually a weight loss surgeon. He performs those surgeries where they section off the stomach or what have you to allow highly obese people to lose weight as a lifesaving technique. On Rich Roll’s podcast, Dr. Davis has said that never once were any of his patients vegetarians prior to surgery. He himself was not a vegetarian until a few years ago when he found himself over weight, with high blood pressure and cholesterol. He was quickly resembling one of his patients. Now, a man whose JOB is to perform surgery to allow people to lose weight is coaching his patients to live off a plant-based diet! He makes money off of expensive, invasive surgeries and yet is choosing to help his patients by promoting more vegetables and fruit. Think about that.

So the health benefits aside, what about the pure nature of our digestive system? If science based fact is not your cup of tea, how about mother nature? The human body is not and was not designed to digest and process meat. One of the best explanations I have ever read was from Kimberly Snyder’s book “The Beauty Detox Solution.” In her book she compares humans to the animal we most resemble, primates (monkeys, chimps and gorillas). In fact, 99.4% of our DNA sequence is shared with that of chimpanzees. She compares humans/chimpanzees to tigers a carnivorous animal.

If you notice humans (and chimpanzees) have flat teeth and no claws. Flat teeth like our strong molars are perfect for grinding down plants and vegetables while our canines can be used to open nuts. Tigers have claws that they use to rip into the flesh of their prey and they have large pointy shaped teeth (including their back molars) in which they use to tear apart the flesh of their prey.

She moves further into the discussion by comparing our digestive tracts. The human liver has a very low tolerance for uric acid, a by-product of digesting animal protein. A tiger’s liver however contains uricase which is an enzyme to  used to break down uric acid. Furthermore, a tiger’s intestines is very very short compared to that of a human’s super long intestines. Our intestines are so long so that it takes longer for food to digest and for us to absorb the nutrients and minerals whereas a tiger’s short intestine is short so that the meat they consume is quickly processed and digested which explains why they have to eat so often. When humans consume meat, the meat is not quickly processed through our intestines and ultimately sits there rotting while our body is working over time to produce enough acid to break down the meat and move it out of our system. Just picture that the next time you are presented with meat and see how appetizing it is for you when you think about it rotting inside you over the next few days.

I truly could go on and on here. A few other people of insight are, Julieanna Hever over on the site The Plant Based Dietitian. She also has a Facebook page and she posts some of the best photos online. Rich Roll is an endurance athlete/vegan who has an amazing podcast. I will admit, I was not a fan of his when he first started. His voice alone was very monotone but he eventually grew on me and I cannot deny the amount of information I have gathered from his guests. He also wrote the book Finding Ultra where he talks about how he changed his life around (in his 40s) via a plant-based diet. I also have numerous books by Brendan Brazier another outstanding athlete.

I also just purchased the book No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier which has not arrived yet. When it does, I plan to do a full review.  Please don’t think that being vegan means that you have to also be an athlete. By all means, no. Plant based at any stage in your life is better than nothing at all.

If you are looking for more resources that are not in the form of a book, please watch (on Netflix or Amazon or online) Forks Over Knives, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead , Vegucated and Hungry For Change. Those are my top movies right there if you are looking for more information, motivation or if you are just curious. Worst case scenario, you’ve only wasted 90 minutes of your time one evening and you can go back to eating the way you always do. Best case scenario? Better health. It is as simple as that.

Now I get asked all the time if my girls are also vegan or vegetarian. The answer is they are not. I never lie to them when they ask me questions about food but I don’t want to force the matter on them. It is their choice. I grew up never really liking the taste of most meat but I was “forced” to eat it while under my parent’s roof. When I left for college (and shortly before that by means of hiding it when I could) I stopped eating meat entirely. I may have had a few moments here and there where I found myself eating it but I truly never enjoyed the taste or texture. Flash forward many years later, my mom died of a heart attack (and had severe issues of high blood pressure before that) and my father also, although much later in life, had a heart attack (which he thankfully survived) but who ironically now, is very curious about plant-based diets and even limits a lot of his meat in take. I believe he sticks to chicken only which I would love to argue with him about but instead, I am happy he’s baby-stepping his way to a more green diet.

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Poppy & Gramie

I always feel that if you force something on someone, they will do the opposite. My five and two-year old are prime examples of that which is why I want the decision to be theirs. When they are ready, or if they are ready, they can choose to not eat meat but at least now I am educated enough to help them navigate a way to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. That is what I lacked when I was in my early days as a vegan. I was one of those “unhealthy” vegans eating fake meat and processed foods. I try to set the example for my girls by eating healthy food in their presence. As a parent, I think that is the best you can do. Sure my kids eat junky processed sugar laden foods but I warn them about how they will feel eating certain foods but ultimately give them the choice (within reason of course).

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I have now armed you with a few resources. If you are suffering from aches and pains, are overweight, tired, not sleeping well, sleeping too much or just plain not feeling your regular self or the way you used to feel when you were years younger, don’t blame old age and don’t blame solely your lack of exercise. Look at your diet. What are you eating? How much are you eating or better yet, what are you NOT eating (leafy greens, veggies, fruit etc.). Take a minute and think about what you had for breakfast today, for lunch? What can you do to improve your dinner? Don’t jump 100% into a plant-based diet. Start with small changes like Meatless Mondays or perhaps have one meal a day that is not meat based and is solely created from plants.

Your body, heart and mind will thank you. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you want more information or even recipes.



*Disclaimer: Please do not interpret this as medical advice. The information and ideas presented on this site are for information resources only. Please consult a physician before making any health care decisions.











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Back in August a person who I admire, respect and look to for a lot of nutritional guidance asked me a question. We had exchanged some emails back and forth and in her last email to me she asked me point blank, “What Lights Me Up? How can I serve people best?” I don’t think I ever fully responded to her email but the question has been festering in my head for months. For a while, it was ALL that I thought about. At times just thinking about the question truly depressed me. I will be honest, some nights I even cried. Why? Because I didn’t have an answer. I know what I “like” and I know what I “think” my dream job in life would be but honestly, I could not, on one hand, count anything, ANYTHING that I was truly good at or excelled at or that people reached out to ME to handle. Sad right? I think so being that I am almost 37 years old.
I even went to work and wrote the question down: “What Lights Me Up?” and “How can I serve people best?” The things I listed are the things that I am interested in learning more about or perhaps enrolling in but is it a career? Would it be enough to support my family and would it truly make me any happier? Am I alone? Am I the only person who has no unusual talents or skills? If you opened up the dictionary and turned to the definition of “plain Jane” you’d find my photo. I am sure of it.
Even my vocational background is disjointed and confusing. I went to college for television production and immediately out of college I got a job working for a public television station as a production assistant. I worked my way up the chain topping out at Producer (kinda sorta) Reporter. I loved it. I loved my job, I loved the people I worked with, I loved being creative and creating visual stories for people to view from the comforts of their own home. As it frequently happens, my program/station lost some funding and I was let go. I was young  and in my twenties. I guess  the powers that be assumed I’d bounce back but the television industry is very competitive, temperamental and difficult to sustain. I had also met Vans and did not really see myself leaving the state to compete in another market. Instead, I went back to school to earn my paralegal certification. Why? I don’t know. I honestly do not know and while I don’t regret the decision (entirely) I often wonder if I had pursued a different road, where would I be today?
At that time, I was running. Actually I had just started training for my first half-marathon. I knew that I loved running and I had always been an active athletic person. I was a vegan at the time (still am) and I also discovered that I had Celiac Disease. These three things are probably the first three characteristics people think of most when they think about me. “Oh there’s Trailmomma, she loves to run and she’s a health nut. Did you know she’s a gluten free vegan!” I’d say those are my “labels” if you had to label me and I am okay with that. I love being vegan and I love reading about nutrition and living a plant based diet. I love learning about gluten free options and the strides the industry is making in Celiac research but the biggest thing having Celiac Disease has done for me is that it has opened my eyes to the damage that processed wheat can do to your body. I digress and I am sorry but as you can see the topics of fitness and nutrition really speak to me. So of course I often wonder if I had not gone to paralegal school and instead had pursued my personal training certification and some sort of degree in nutrition, where would I be today? Would I be happier?
Poor Vans. The topic comes up often. For over a year now I have been bugging him and pestering him that I would love to take the TRX Certification Course in San Francisco and also earn a Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from Cornell University but Vans is the voice of reason and he asks me, “I support you 100% in whatever you want to do but what would you DO with it?” He is right to ask me this. These courses are not cheap and let’s be honest, I have a full time job with two kids who are doing gymnastics, swimming and all the things a new kindergartener (and little sister) does when she is five. Life right now it not leaving much room for extracurricular activities.
Yet not a day goes by that I do not think about the question that Ange asked me. I don’t want anyone to think that I hate my full time job either. I work for a very good company and it has been a long ugly road of law firm to law firm to get here. My current employer is good, the people I work with are nice and even the company’s purpose is to help people. Of course it has its politics like any other large corporation but so far, it isn’t anything that would make me go running for the hills. I also did not intend to write this fishing for comments hoping for a pity party or an ego booster. I wrote it for the simple fact that I am not doing what I love. I am not doing something that lights me up every day. Is that even possible? Or is that only something for people who have great luck in life? I am sure someone could argue that if you wanted something bad enough, you’d work hard for it and make it happen no matter what. That may be true but does that someone have two kids that go to daycare and who will someday (I hope) go to college? Get married? Let’s face it, the economy is not great and I have been on the side of being unemployed. Like most parents do, we sacrifice our happiness for our children. Of course I don’t want my girls to see me miserable or pursuing a life that just doesn’t make me smile or laugh but I also want to be able to provide for them. It is such hard and difficult road.
I often think of my mom. She died when I had just turned 16 years old. In the time I knew her, I didn’t know her to have a “career.” Yes she had jobs. She worked. Both of my parents worked yet there were periods when my mom didn’t. We were not well off but we always had food on the table and I had toys and I was able to play all the sports I wanted. However, my mother never seemed happy with her jobs UNTIL she started working in our neighbor’s dried flower shop. It may be a small thing to some people but it was a huge deal to her. She was crafty and very good with her hands. She created the most beautiful dried flower arrangements and they sold! People loved her work. Sadly, my mom passed away when she 47 and she had not been working at the dried flower shop for very long. That haunts me. I loved my mom very much and she was a great mother but I don’t want to be 47 years old and finally find the job I should have been doing all along. Who knows how much time is left? Who knows if tomorrow will come? The one thing I took away from her death was that you should live life like there is no tomorrow. Speak your mind when you can and make the most of what you have because it may not (or they may not) be there tomorrow.
Now don’t get me wrong, my kids and my family are what truly light me up. Nothing makes me prouder than my girls and watching them grow before my eyes.

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When I talk about my family I know that I am glowing because my love for them shines right through. The Peanut learned how to ride a bike recently. I have never been more proud of her and of Vans for having taught her. She was beside herself that she even yelled “I am doing it!” while riding.

I just don’t know what road to take I guess professionally. I love that I have a “career” and that my girls see me working for such a huge corporation yet what they don’t hear is me talking about how much I love work when I am at home because the reality of it is, I don’t. It pays our bills, lets us live a comfortable life
and allows me to provide for my kids.

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Clearly there are no words of motivation or inspiration in this rather long and honest post. If you are still with me reading, thank you.
Obviously I don’t have any answers right now. There are small doors opening for me including a small gig at a soon to be local running store. I am passionate about running and getting people to run so maybe something will unfold for me yet. Or maybe this will just be another notch in my part-time job repertoire (that is a whole other post right there).
But what about you? Are you happy doing what you are doing in life? What lights YOU up? What are YOU good at and how can you help people? I can’t thank Ange enough for presenting me with this question and now I present it to you.


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Over the last few weeks, Vans and I have been watching quite a few documentaries that have been on our “list” for a long time. Ever since I made him watch Vegucated and Forks over Knives last year, he’s been pretty open to watching whatever I ask him to watch with me. As a result of watching Forks Over Knives, he became a vegetarian and has remained so for a year. So over the course of the month we have watched two documentaries. First we watched, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead .

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead follows Joe Cross, a very sick, a very unhealthy over weight Australian who has decided that he wants to be off his medication (steroids and blood pressure pills), he desires a balanced lifestyle and wants to educate America in the process. He travels 3,000 miles in the course of 60 days and survives solely on juicing fruits and veggies.

The movie itself is done well but what really grabs you, is when Joe befriends this down on his luck, near dead trucker named Phil. I almost wanted to cry in places as it was just touching how Phil, this very large man, reached out and asked for Joe’s help. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

After Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Vans and I watched Tapped. I’ll admit, Vans was not super excited to watch this one since it was about “water” but I think he was a little surprised at what was in the film. I think most of society knows that the bottled waters Dasani (Coke’s brand) and Aquafina (Pepsi’s brand) are plastic bottles filled with tap water. Yes, tap water. You’ve just paid close to $2 for something you could have got for free from your kitchen sink. What the film also relays, is that Nestle brand is going into various parts of our country (like a small town in Maine) and taking from their water supply to bottle and then resell Nestle brand water! This is just insanity to me! When North Carolina and Georgia were in the midst of their drought period a few years back, both Pepsi and Coca-Cola refused to stop their water bottling process in those areas!

Add to this, the amount of toxic plastic being made to contain this “bottled” water. Insane! If you watch the documentary, you will see they picked seven name brand waters off the shelf and had scientists check the content. You’ll be quite surprised to see what they find.

The main message that I got from this movie, is that municipal water is tested numerous times a DAY because it is highly regulated. Bottle water is NOT regulated, by anyone. They don’t have to turn in reports to the FDA. So, what are you going to trust, a source that is tested numerous times a day or something that is never tested and you have no idea what you are getting?

I love documentaries like this. What also shocked me is they did a study on those large jugs that people fill up at places like Whole Foods and then bring home and attach their water cooler. Here are these people thinking they are saving the environment by not buying bottled water when those large plastic bottles contain more damaging toxic materials than the single serve plastic bottles.

Now I am not going to jump on a juicing band wagon although I do drink green smoothies most days of the week and I can definitely feel the difference when I don’t. Sure, I would love to have my own juicer. My mother-in-law let me borrow hers for a month and I did love it but it was a little on the old side and a real pain to clean. I will be honest, I am a full-time working mom with two kids, I don’t have time to scrub 100 pieces to a juicer. I want one but I need to do my research. MommyD over at Be:Well:Run has the Herom Juicer which is definitely one I’d like to own myself. However, I need to find some extra cash and some extra space to have it. Once the girls are done with their “kids plates and cups” that drawer will be empty and just asking for more gadgets.

I know this is not my normal post for a blog. This weekend has had me thinking a lot about life, work and health. I am about to have surgery later this week and I am sure that will give me even more time to think when I can’t run or exercise for a minimum of two weeks. My goal is to work on my core (one can never work on that too much) as well as revive my meal prep rituals for the weekends and meal planning in general. Healthy people heal faster.

I know a lot of my family members read my blog. Actually, I think MOST of my family members make up my whole readership. I love my family and I want my family around for a long time. The key is nutrition. Hippocrates did say “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Those are some pretty strong words.

Let’s all try to consume more vegetables this week. They don’t have to be for dinner alone. Find a way. Your body will thank you.

And just so I don’t lose all my readers with this soap box movie review post, I will let you know that this past weekend was our annual camping trip in Tahoe. You can read about our previous camping trips here, here and here and get an idea of what is to come.

I’ll be back later this week with a glimpse and about a million photos of our Labor Day Weekend Camping trip. Have a great week! ~Trailmomma



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