Weekend at Boerne

We were in Boerne, (bern-ee) TX recently for a bike ride. It’s a quaint town near San Antonio. It’s been 10 years since I visited and the town continues to grow. Main street is thriving with quirky and fine shops. I’d like to return so we can explore more of it!

xoxo Sarah

Main Street
Collectibles on Main Street
Our friend worked for Texaco and noticed. he could buy a gas pump
1854 Post Office is now a home and garden store
Once a bank building, now a fine department store. Unfortunately, many shops had closed for the day.
From my bike ride, I was between Comfort and Welfare as the sign says

One Week in the Grand Canyon

Here’s the thing. I didn’t really want to spend a week rafting/camping in the Grand Canyon but my husband really wanted to go. We had visited the North Rim before but I was curious to get deep inside the canyon. I’m not a good camper but I’m from Texas and we’re not known for pleasant summer nights. When friends invited us on a private trip, I said ‘yeah, okay’ and signed up!

The group had booked with Western River who started their trips in 1961 with a uniquely designed boat made of hot dog looking tubes in the front. They picked us up in Las Vegas at 4:45 am to travel to the Boulder City airport so we could catch our flight to Marble Canyon. Once we arrived, our guides met us. Joe, Shad, Justin and Jack were all wonderful guides, cooks, rescuers, medics and companions.

There was a lengthy safety talk the first day at launch. This is an expedition, not a resort. There was an opportunity to opt out if you weren’t willing to be uncomfortable. Medical help is 3-4 hours away. They asked us to stay flexible because you never know what will happen. You need to be able to get on and off the boat without assistance and hike over boulders, on ledges and through streams. I would say it’s not for people who are uncomfortable with 1) sand, 2)not taking a shower for a week, and 3)peeing in the river

The water was down a bit from normal at 8000 cfs. The rapids were still fun and exciting. We had quite a few 8, 9 and 10 class rapids and even one 11. We learned the rapids are rated by danger and technical skill required to navigate. On the fourth day, we had 30 challenging rapids to navigate. We had several 180 turns in the rapids which were (mostly) planned. We had a few passengers spin around but no one fell into the rapids. Camps each afternoon were determined by what’s available and how far we needed to go each day.

The views were amazing. The canyon changed as we rafted along. I loved seeing the 600 foot red wall canyons the first time. I marveled that 6 million go to the Grand Canyon each year, but only 20,000+ see what we saw. We saw lots of Desert Bighorn sheep, mule deer, lizards and one hummingbird that perched on our heads and hands looking for something sweet.

All in all, it was an epic expedition with lots of fond memories and a few bruises. I’m glad I said yes!

xoxo Sarah

You Know What You Want

“They aren’t working very hard.”
Did I hear my trainer right? He’s new to the gym and I was curious about his coaching style.

“I have to motivate them to work hard”.
Have you asked them about their goals?
“Well, I know what they need.”
His style was to push to make them work hard.
He wanted to see results from his clients.
Do you know what results they want?
He thought he did.
He seemed to be making assumptions about his clients. This is classic working up the Ladder of Inference.

I observe some data, then I select data, I add my meanings based on culture/experience, I make assumptions based on those meanings, then I draw conclusions. Last I adopt beliefs and take actions based on those beliefs. That’s the Ladder of Inference.

We often think our beliefs are true, it’s obvious and it’s based on real data. When your friend doesn’t call you back and you think it’s because she’s mad at you. Later, you found out she was dealing with a family crisis.

One way to avoid jumping up the Ladder quickly is share your thinking, test your beliefs with others, and talk about the data. Yes, just talk about what you’re seeing and experiencing!

We ended up having a conversation about things that could be going on and what to talk about with his clients.

I help women entrepreneurs launch their business with ease. I ask my clients what they want to get out of it. It’s important that it’s about you, not me.

Have a fabulous day!


Spring Update

Oh my! I’ve been away for a while. I started pounding the keys in January working on a new project. We had the artic blast in February which knocked out power and water for many in my area. Then my father passed away once we had (somewhat) recovered from the storm. While it’s difficult to say goodbye, I know that he’s at peace now. After some time, I turned back to my purpose.

Voila! The new project is my new website to help entrepreneurial women identify their gifts and help them launch their business with ease. I plan to use my coaching skills and will offer MBTI and EQ-i assessments. Things are already starting off with a bang!

I started this blog to explore a number of things going on in my life. The death of my mother. Nutritional issues. Fitness fun. Travel. I will continue to explore those topics but will shift to helping people with my skills.

After three decades of work experience, I have decided to approach this in the way we’re working now. Virtually where the internet connects us all together.

Try out the personality quiz on my home page to find out your Unique Gift! Let me know what you think.

xoxo Sarah

Fatburn Part 2

Since diets are a hot topic this time of year, here’s a follow-up since I posted “What I Have Learned about Covid and Fatburning”. I have continued to lose weight. Yes, even during the holidays! I’m continuing to remove vegetable oils from my diet, fasting between meals so that I can burn fat and keeping net carbs to about 50 grams per day.

I’ve been listening to interviews with Dr Cate and reading some of her articles. Here are some new things I’ve picked up.

If you want to see if you’re a Fatburner, you can take your fasting Triglyceride number and divide it by HDL. 1.1 is a good number. Mine was 1.3 from last year’s lab results which tells me that I’m a fatburner. But I knew that I was addicted to carbs and had hypoglycemia symptoms. 2 or 3 indicates higher risk of a cardiovascular incident such as heart attack or stroke. This number is also used to see if you have metabolic disease.

Metabolic disease is also linked to poorer outcomes with COVID, I have read a study that only 12% of US population is in good metabolic health.

Another thing that Dr Cate said in a podcast is that carbohydrates over time overwhelm your hormone system, like cortisol, thyroid, etc. If you’re eating a lot of carbs, your body gets addicted to the sugar. You need the hormones to burn fat which produces ketones. This makes sense to me since it gets harder as you get older to maintain a healthy weight. A high carbohydrate diet for a woman is 100 grams per day and a man is 150 grams. I knew that I was at 100 grams per day before reading her book.

Dr Cate also thinks fasting blood sugar in the 90s is too high. She thinks it should be between 65-85. I’ll be curious to see if mine drops this year.

Dr Cate doesn’t think gluten is inflammatory unless you have celiac disease. She said the research doesn’t show causation, only a correlation. She also thinks dairy has gotten a bad rap. I went gluten (and dairy free) a few years ago, but found myself substituting foods with gluten for other foods that are high carb. Once, I started monitoring my carbs and reducing them. I started to feel better and my digestive issues are now almost non-existent.

This low carb approach has the ability to get you off of the diet merry go round and guide you for a a lifetime.

In her book Deep Nutrition, she says there are four Food Pillars of the healthiest diets:

  • Fresh food–such as salads
  • Fermented and Sprouted Food–kimchi, pickles, yogurt (foods with probiotics)
  • Meat on the bone
  • Organ meats

These are the four pillars because they provide essential micronutrients and a variety of nutrients. This is part of an ancestral health movement which focuses on consuming foods that were around 100 or 150 years ago. Here’s more about the four pillars.

Dr Cate said the greatest predictor of quality of life is the health of your connective tissue which makes up your joints and arteries. That’s why these protein sources and collagen are so important.

She also recommended the app, Chronometer to track micronutrients. I’ve downloaded it and found it has great features in the free version. In the paid version, it suggests foods to fill in your micronutrients. Even though I’m taking a great multivitamin from Ashley Hurst RD, I was curious about how I’m doing with getting enough micronutrients from my food. There’s a keto setting in the app that I have been using that calculates your carbs, protein and fat. I’ve only had it for a few days, but I’m learning a great deal. One thing I need to continue to do is have a variety of foods in my diet. I think this app will help with that!

Blessings for the New Year!

xoxo Sarah

Photo by Mantra Media on Unsplash

Dear 2020

You are like Lucy who yanked the football out of the way right before Charlie Brown kicked it.  Fortunately, I got up, dusted myself off and tried again.

I’ve learned some things this year and I’m grateful for the lessons.

First, I love being in quarantine with my husband.  We’ve developed new routines and have had some fun.

I learned a new skill, jumping rope.  I never thought I would be into jumping rope and posting videos of myself online for thousands to view. Yikes!

I started this blog after encouragement from a friend. Then, I took a writing class which gave me some wonderful new insights into my writing. There’s more to learn and practice in this arena.

We made a couple getaways this year which soothed the soul.  It felt a little illicit, but our driving trip to Colorado sustained me for several months.

I learned that I treasure my friends and it was a delight to keep in touch with them over these months.  I hope we continue this post quarantine.

I have met new friends through these experiences and have learned from all of you.  I have enjoyed reading all of your blogs and peek inside your experiences. I appreciate all the love and support you have given.

Here’s to new adventures (and some flexibility) in 2021!

xoxo Sarah

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

25 Questions

I saw this on Samantha Wharton’s blog, https://artofbeingfabulous.com/ and she saw it on Sheree’s View From The Back. This was fun, so I decided to join! This 25 Question Tag was created by Creabealounge.

What are you wearing? Jeans and a long sleeve tee

How tall are you? 5’4

What’s your favourite TV show? The Voice

Who are your favourite singers? I like Dua Lipa’s voice. U2 is my favorite band.

Your favourite song? Mysterious Ways by U2

Someone you miss? My Mom

Zodiac sign? Scorpio

What’s your favourite fictional character? I’m reading my 4th Cormoran Strike book (Lethal White by Robert Gailbraith /JK Rowling) so there must be something about this character.

Your favourite actors? Meryl Streep

Favourite colour? Pink

Where do you go when you’re sad? For a walk

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 30 minutes. If I need to wash my hair, it’s 60 minutes.

The reason you started a blog? I wanted to process the transition I’m going through and what I’m learning.

Fears? That we won’t be able to do the fun things we’ve planned

Last thing that made you cry? Steve Hartman’s story about Santas learning Zoom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EflaQJUWN1o&list=PLwBoQZPcMB014nWrqnixzaLycBTASyrf6

Last (comic) book you read? I can’t remember!

What’s your favourite season? Fall

What’s your favourite Christmas song? Angels We Have Heard on High

What’s your favourite food? Tex Mex

Place you want to visit? Normandy/Brittany (our cancelled trip awaits!)

Last place you were? Austin, TX

What instruments do you play? I’ve played flute/oboe. I don’t know that I still can!

Last sport-related activity you did? Jump rope

Last song you sang? Higher Love by Steve Winwood

Ashburn Chicken

We have had a few friends over from time to time during the pandemic. This really lifts my spirits to be with people again!

A friend gave us this recipe and I just love it! The aroma of the garlic, oregano, and fruit is divine. You can make it ahead and cook it the next day. I wanted to share it with you in case you’re looking for a new recipe.

Ashburn Chicken

8 chicken breasts (or 12-14 chicken tenders)

5-6 cloves of garlic

2 TB dried oregano

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dried prunes

1/4 cup green olives

1/4 cup capers

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white wine

Combine first 9 ingredients (through bay leaves) in a shallow dish covered or gallon ziplock bag. Chill overnight.

Arrange chicken in a 9×13 baking dish with marinade. Sprinkle brown sugar and pour wine over top.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes for boneless chicken.

Transfer to platter. Garnish with parsley if desired.



Four Things to Know about Collagen

What is Collagen? 

It’s a protein that provides structure to your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.  It has a functional and cosmetic role.  Normal aging produces a loss of collagen and leads to aesthetic skin concerns such as lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and uneven texture.

When is the Right Time to Stimulate Collagen production?

Dermatologist Dr. Vivian Bucay says everyone in their 20s and older should start using some type of treatment that speeds cell renewal.  By the time you are in your 50s, you have half as much collagen and hyaluronic acid as someone in their 20s.  Collagen is like a mattress covering, holding everything together. 

What You Eat makes a Difference

A healthy diet is integral to natural collagen product.  Eat protein rich foods from plant and animal sources for the amino acids.  Zinc, Vitamin C and Copper are part of the collagen production process and you can get those from fruits and vegetables.  You’ll find zinc in dairy, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains.  Vitamin C is in broccoli, cauliflower, green and red peppers, potatoes and squash. Copper is in dark chocolate, leafy greens, mushrooms, nuts and seeds.

What You Don’t Do makes a Difference

Smoking and avoiding UV rays are high on the list.  Also eating foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

If you’re interested in skincare products, R+F’s Redefine Regimen has retinoid science to address the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  Redefine Intensive Renewing Serum has Retinal MD technology which is a more potent than vitamin A but gentle enough to use daily.  The AMP MD System has the serum with a roller.  The roller tricks the fibroblasts in your cells into thinking it needs to make more collagen.  R+F is coming out with a new and improved Redefine regimen on November 1. I have been able to try it and it’s wonderful! Have a wonderful day!