Hi, friends! Well, let me start this one off by saying that I’m very hopeful that my friends and family in Florida have better-than-expected weather conditions this weekend with the pending hurricane. Hurricanes are no joke …
In fact, I lived through a pretty scary one at my parent’s house in Southwest Florida in Port Charlotte in 2004. I was home for the summer from college (University of Florida — Go Gators), and Hurricane Charley made a significant turn before deciding to come onshore right where we lived, when we weren’t really ready for it. During the worst of the storm, I actually hid in my Mom’s closet with my parents and our family dog, listening to the loudest and scariest wind noises ever above our heads — not having ANY idea what was really going on outside our walls. I thought we were going to lose our roof and be exposed to the elements, although we only lost pieces of it. Our pool-cage blew away, our neighbor’s roof tiles broke through our windows in our living room making the worst crackling sounds, and it was major destruction all over the place. We were without power for a couple of weeks and really had no ability to communicate with the outside world. The National Guard came in to our neighborhood to try to stop looters and criminals and manage the streets, which had to be operated with no stoplights. Basically a nightmare.
The timing of the storm (August 13) was such that I had actually already planned to head back to school in Gainesville for the fall semester, so a couple of days later, I left my parents to live in that mess, and I sought electricity and comfort in my apartment about three hours away. But it was awful. Our neighborhood was never the same, and my parents have actually moved from that original house where my brother and I grew up since that time. Although, I will say that some of the areas that had the worst devastation near us in Punta Gorda have been rebuilt better than ever.
I guess this is a seriously somber way to start a “Friday Favorites” post, but it’s worth noting that natural disasters happen, (much like the one that took place in Texas last week too), and they aren’t pretty. It behooves you to prepare as much as you can, even if the storm misses you and you are left with extra bottled water and batteries. And if you choose to leave the area, you are not a paranoid chicken, you are smart. Better safe than sorry is always the case.
I’m thinking about the Southeast right now (from the safety and comfort of the Bay Area, thank goodness with this big ol’ baby bump), and I will be anxiously watching the weather and staying in touch with my parents to know what is going on (they are staying put, but have properly prepared with storm shutters, etc.). So what do you say we move on and lighten it up around here? Switching gears to the faves …
My favorite weekend breakfast and a GIVEAWAY for Foodstirs Pancakes
We’re due for a little giveaway on the blog, so here it is. One lucky person will get two boxes of Organic Sunday Stacks Pancake Mix from Foodstirs. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post! Thanks to the Foodstirs folks for sending me complimentary samples and offering the giveaway.
In the past, I’ve always made my standard simple five-minute protein pancakes from a few ingredients I had laying around, but lately, I’ve been making pancakes from a box, and not just any box. My latest favorite kind is from Foodstirs, and the mix is organic, and there are no artificial flavors or preservatives either — high-quality stuff. Foodstirs is based in Los Angeles, and they have a variety of products and can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts and The Fresh Market, to name a few, as well as online.
To make the pancakes, you add an egg, butter (I used coconut oil), milk (I used coconut milk) and yogurt (I used plain Greek), and that’s it. It’s super easy and quick, and the pancakes come out nice and fluffy. In fact, I really like the addition of the yogurt, because I think it makes the pancakes all that much more moist. I’ve topped them with honey, maple syrup and even almond butter, depending on my mood. And yes, I like them a little burnt …
Because pancakes always make the morning better, I thought one of you lovely people would want to try a couple of boxes of this mix. So leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win. This giveaway will close on Tuesday of next week, and the winner needs to live in the U.S.. Good luck!
My favorite new addition to the home: A plant
You know how I’ve been talking about getting houseplants? Well, we finally got a plant! We’re starting with just one, and I’m crossing my fingers that I can keep it alive. Dave and I got this baby on Sunday from our local Ace Hardware (as detailed in my weekend recap), and it wasn’t cheap. While this guy was labeled a rubber plant, it doesn’t really match the appearance of other rubber plants online, so it’s a bit of an unknown variety right now. Is anyone out there an expert and able to identify what we’ve got? It said it lives best indoors with indirect light, so at least we have that knowledge.
Nonetheless, I LOVE the way it looks in our little living room, and I love to know that it’s helping to purify our air. I’m now in the market for a couple of smaller plants for our bedroom too, to aid in creating a great sleep environment, of course. In case you were wondering, Rudy was terrified of the plant at first, but has moved on to ignoring its existence, so we’re all good. Where are all my plant lovers at?
My favorite podcast: Mindbodygreen
Being that I’m such a fan of the Mindbodygreen website (and had my piece about my book published on the site over the summer, YAY!!), you’d think I would have listened to the Mindbodygreen podcast already. But I hadn’t downloaded an episode until this week. Then, this week, I listened to multiple.
The host of the podcast is the CEO and creator of Mindbodygreen, Jason Wachob, and while I wouldn’t say that he has an appealing “radio voice” at all, he does a good job at trying to keep the podcast interviews conversational, rather than formal. The best one I listened to this week was with Sarah Robb O’Hagan, the current CEO of FlyWheel (you can read my class review on FlyWheel and FlyBarre, by the way). She used to be the CEO of Equinox when I worked there as a trainer, and she came to the grand opening of the Marina club in San Francisco, and I got to meet her. She’s a fierce lady, for sure, and that comes across in her interviews and when you see her in person. Nonetheless, there’s a great line-up of interesting health and wellness experts on the MBG podcast episodes right now, and I look forward to listening to more.
My favorite links of the week
Here are a few good things from around the Web …
- FITNESS: I posted this workout video in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group earlier this week after trying it, because it’s a great burn in a very short amount of time. The workout is only four minutes and requires no equipment at all, so you can do it anywhere. I challenge you to get up and do it right now!
- FOOD: People ask me all the time what they should be snacking on, and the answer is that it depends on what you like and what your dietary preferences are. I tend to like nuts, yogurts and healthier bars. I got to add my favorite current snack to this list of the top 30 healthy snack ideas on Spark People along with a few other fitness and health experts, so check it out.
- FERTILITY: I try not to harp on hormones and fertility in every blog post, because I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing about it. But if I had only known sooner what a mess you could get into if you didn’t pay attention to those things, well, I could have avoided a lot of heartache. Check this one out about why you should question your use of birth control pills. And while you’re at it, check out my book for more on this too!
In case you missed the latest around here …
- Labor Day weekend and my weekly workout recap from 33 weeks pregnant
- My take on what the first half of the third trimester of pregnancy feels like (weeks 27 through 33)
- How to motivate others to work out
- How to create a better sleep environment
Let’s talk Instagram: I try not to spend too much time on there, but have been posting a little bit more lately and showing more than just my food. Are you following me on Instagram? I would LOVE it if you do! And could you comment on one of my latest pictures to say hello, so I can see what you are up to as well?
That’s it for now. Think some good thoughts for Florida, friends! Have a nice weekend, and I’ll see you around here soon! I’ll leave you with a picture of Rudy from a walk earlier this week, in which I looked down and saw that my shoes matched the flowers. Love that …Check out these latest faves, including a healthy breakfast giveaway and more on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s your favorite weekend breakfast?
Do you use Instagram? What’s your favorite thing to see on Instagram?
Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
(GIVEAWAY REMINDER: I’ll choose one winner from the comments below, who will get two boxes of Foodstirs Organic Pancake Mix, so make sure you say hello, and don’t worry, your email will not be made public.)