Open for Business

It’s been a while since I said Hi.  I’m sure you all understand.  Work, home, commitments all conspire against us to do all the other things in life we do when we aren’t paying bills and keeping our families fed.  It’s been a good time though because it’s given me the chance to look back and look forward and understand some things that I didn’t before.  Things I may have sensed but not really had the time to contemplate or appreciate.  It’s funny how things are revealed to us.  Sometimes we sit in a quiet room for days trying to fathom some mystery of the universe and the answer comes to us in the midst of the busiest day we can imagine.

It just goes to show that one of the greatest skills in life we should try to cultivate is simply being open to what life presents us.  You never know when that still, small voice is going to whisper the answer or a truth in your ear.  We can prepare ourselves as much as we can through prayer, meditation, and introspection but the word will come when it comes; not before and not after.  We simply need the patience, perseverance, and preparedness to wait for it to happen.

Take a moment before you start the day and stop.  Ask yourself, “Am I open to the possibilities the universe has to offer me today?”  If you are, you will be surprised what is out there, waiting to enlighten your day.

The Real Food Mama Recipe of the Week – Breakfast Hamburgers

I don’t know about your house, but when I’m really stuck for a supper idea my go-to meal is breakfast for supper.  I always have bacon and eggs and there isn’t a person in the house that doesn’t enjoy it.  It’s the perfect selection when I’m completely devoid of ideas.

Enter this week’s recipe from The Real Food Mama.  These Breakfast Hamburgers take all of the goodness and fun of breakfast for supper and combines it in a way that would be appropriate for any meal!  And this will be a special treat for Paleo and Primal folks who are trying to avoid white bread and gluten because it’s bunless.  Doesn’t it just look too yummy!?  And the best part is that prep is relatively simple and the results delicious!

I hope you enjoy this recipe suggestion. After you’ve read through the details on The Real Food Mama, check out Joanne’s Breakfast, Main Dish, Sides & Salads, and Dessert sections. You can also find Joanne on Facebook here.

Happy Eating!

New Paths

These last three weeks have been crazy personified.  The last month before a deadline is always that way.  Things to do that can no longer be delayed drag at your attention to the point that you no longer want to look at a computer after the end of your day.  Yet, in the midst of all of this, I learned an important lesson I can apply to my journey.

If you’re like me, you can find yourself heavily investing in something you believe is the right thing / the right way / what you think you should be doing to get to the outcome you think you want to achieve.  We not only fool ourselves that the path is correct but the end goal is as well.  It can be easy to believe that something will be your salvation and then work so intently towards it that you block out the real path and the real goal.

I learned all of this when I had to focus my time and attention on something I thought was the complete antithesis of what I wanted to achieve.  Being forced / forcing myself to be away from it for a while made me come to realize that not only was my approach wrong, so was my goal.  And as a bonus, I ended up making another discovery that pointed me down the road I now believe I should go.  Not bad for three weeks of flat out deadline work.

What am I trying to say?  I guess it’s this.  We need to be constantly open to the universe around us and what it has to offer.  It is our Human nature to get so fixated on something that we lose a whole world going on around us.  Be open to new paths and experiences even if they seem to run against the grain of what you want to do.

You might be surprised by the outcome.

The Real Food Mama Recipe of the Week – Hobo Burger Packets

Ugh.

This has been one of those weeks.

The ones where all you seem to do is sleep, eat, work, and try to tend to your children as best as you’re able.  It’s good to have a go-to meal to pull out of your back pocket when those weeks come around.  Something that’s easy, nutritious, and able to keep even the picky eaters satisfied.  It was to my surprise and pleasure that I found this week’s Real Food Mama Recipe of the Week.

These Hobo Burger Packets are easy to prep, easy to cook, and are perfect now that grilling season is upon us.  All the good stuff of a traditional hamburger combined with sweet potato, onion, and lots of flavour!  And no bun!  I can’t wait to make this for my family on the barbecue.  You should go over to The Real Food Mama now and check it out for yourself!

I hope you enjoy this recipe suggestion. After you’ve read through the details on The Real Food Mama, check out Joanne’s BreakfastMain DishSides & Salads, and Dessert sections.  You can also find Joanne on Facebook here.

Happy Eating!

The Real Food Mama Recipe of the Week – No Buns Philly Cheese Steaks

Last week we introduced a new feature here on The Paleo Campfire called The Real Food Mama Recipe of the Week.  Every week we’ll feature a new recipe from Joanne at The Real Food Mama.  If you already know Joanne’s site, you already know what a wonderful resource for Paleo and Primal living it is.  If this is your first encounter, you’re in for a weekly treat.

This week our Real Food Mama recipe is No Buns Philly Cheese Steaks.  My pre-Paleo life was often dominated by many different variations of sandwiches and the Philly Cheese Steak was certainly very close to the top.  Joanne’s version keeps all the steaky goodness and eliminates all the gluteny, white bread badness.  How could you go wrong?  And it’s a slow cooker recipe!  The slow cooker is my secret weapon!  I’m definitely looking forward to making this part of my supper time repertoire!

I hope you enjoy this recipe suggestion. After you’ve read through the details on The Real Food Mama, check out Joanne’s BreakfastMain DishSides & Salads, and Dessert sections.  You can also find Joanne on Facebook here.

Happy Eating!

Contemplating Change

I’ve discovered over the last couple of days that no matter how hard you try, change will never feel right until it’s over.  Perhaps it’s just our nature.  Perhaps it’s an evolutionary holdover from the days when leaving the tribe and striking out into the night was a good way to get eaten by a sabertooth tiger.  Any way you slice it, change is scary and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Any change that you try to make in your life is going to scare the royal bejeezus out of you.  I sat here this week contemplating some changes in my life that reminded me of the time when I first started thinking about my weight and health.  I may have actually started doing something about it a year and a half ago but I’ve probably been concerned about it for 10 years.  I was 240 and a half-a-pack-a-day smoker at the height of my unwellness.  I knew it wasn’t sustainable and I knew I was probably digging my own grave but you know what?  It took me another 10 years to actually do something about it because actually doing something is a helluva lot more disconcerting than living in the nice little rut you’ve dug for yourself.  Some people have to hit an all time low, and then go lower, before they start to change things in their life.  I just decided to start taking ownership for my actions.  The change, in the end, didn’t ultimately come from a health decision but one of responsibility.  I’m 36 damnit, time to be a grown up.

And may be that’s what you need to hear this morning.  That change you’re contemplating in your life isn’t really about losing 20 pounds, or walking more, or getting a new job because the one you have now sucks dirt.  It’s about you, and you alone, taking responsibility for yourself.  So many of us are happy to live in a rut that society is happy to provide that we miss that one important element; personal responsibility.  When we look at the person we admire for their charisma, or success, or cut abs; it isn’t any of those things we’re really respecting.  It’s their ability to focus on a change and take responsibility for themselves in making it happen.  They know that no one is going to do it for them, they need to do it for themselves despite what any one else might think or do or say.  That one element has become such a rare thing in our society that it is celebrated and venerated.

Think about that for a minute.

Personal responsibility is the exception, not the rule.

How the hell did that happen?

So if you’re contemplating change this morning, there is only one simple rule.  Yes, you need to plan.  Yes, you may even need to research.  Yes, you may even need to discuss it with someone.  Once you’ve done all those things though, you just need to DO IT.  No amount of research will prepare you for every eventuality, no amount of planning ever usually survives first contact with reality.  Some amount of thinking it through should be performed but then you need to execute.

Otherwise, you’ll end up like me 10 years ago.  Fat, out of breath, personally disgusted with yourself, and completely unwilling to take responsibility for your own actions.  And yes today I still have a piece of chocolate fudge cake or some french fries with a meal some times.  Totally non-Paleo.  The difference now is that I take responsibility, say yes I am eating this right now, and move on afterwards.  It’s not a habit, it’s an indulgence.  And indulgences are okay as long as they don’t happen every day.

So go.

Make your plan if you must.

Ask your buddies at the pub their opinion if that works for you.

Then do it.

You can only contemplate change for so long before it actually needs to happen.

(Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

A Paleo Mind

I’ve tried a couple of times already to write about something that’s been on my mind.  The idea of having a new information lifestyle to suit my new dietary lifestyle has intrigued me in the last while.  I have implemented some things in my life that have dramatically changed the way I interact with the constant background noise we live with every day.

FrustratedIt all started when I read Tim FerrissFour Hour Work Week.  One of the core principles in the book is eliminating the unnecessary from your life and one of the things he views as unnecessary is much of the information we take in on a daily basis.  If the information is not directly actionable or does not have a direct effect on your life, he argues, what is the good of it?  When you sit back and think about it, the idea is both simple yet revolutionary.  We constantly expose ourselves to a ever increasing deluge of information in the name of being well informed citizens but in the end there is really nothing directly actionable for our lives in the 24/7 news cycle of CNN or ESPN.  Sure, okay, watch the morning headlines or catch a 20 minute run on SportsCenter but then move on with your day.  Do you really think things are going to change that much in an hour that you constantly need to check the headlines?

It has become increasingly clear to me that much of the media we consume in a day is like the sugary, trans-fat laden, pre-packaged snacks we have sworn to leave behind.  Instead of doing damage to our body though, it is doing damage to our mind; weighing us down with the unnecessary disguised as the direly important, the optional disguised as the necessary.  I used to check the news constantly in abject fear that I might miss something.  How completely irrational is that?  You know what though, I bet you feel the same way.  And if it isn’t about the news it’s about the market, or your favorite sports team, or about Android, or Apple, or whether the new iPad 3 is called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD.  It can drive you crazy.

What I would propose then is a radical concept.  Approach your media consumption with the same principles, practices, and determination you have applied to adopting a Paleo life.  I believe there is an undeniable link between our physical and mental well being. Having a well body leads to having a well mind and having a well mind leads to having a well body. True, full wellness springs from the combination of the two.  Identify what is truly necessary in your life and eliminate what isn’t.  Does your life really require that you consult with CNN on an hourly basis?  Does AppleInsider really hold the keys to your happiness?  Does that article, one in a million, that breaks down the differences between Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread really have to distract you from the work at hand?

You see, I have come to believe in two very certain things in my life during the last year of my Paleo journey:

  1. Multitasking is a fools errand.  You do one thing to completion (or as completed as it can be at the time) and then move on to another.  Trying to do several things at once will just slowly drive you crazy.
  2. The majority of the information we have come to believe, or are lead to believe, is necessary in are lives is more directed at selling us something than informing us.  That something might be a product but it could be any number of other things that you probably don’t need, want, or can afford at the time.

If you’re willing to agree with these two statements, it’s time to change.  Turn off the TV, close those permanently open browser tabs, don’t watch that keynote address that’s actually just a 45 minute commercial.  Go do something productive, go do something for yourself, go play with your kids.  We often complain about not having any time any more in our modern society but it’s often because we fill it up and take it away from ourselves.  I think if we were more willing to approach how we fill our minds the way we approach filling our bodies, a lot of that time would magically reappear.

So take the time today to really assess how you use your mind and how you fill it up.  A healthy mind contributes to a healthy body.  Perhaps it’s time for us to invent a Paleo diet for our mind to go with the Paleo diet for our body.

A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.
– John Locke

(Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)