You know those commercials on TV where a celebrity sings happy birthday and says something like, "Here's to less cancer, and more birthdays."...they make me cry every time they come on. Thanks, American Cancer Society.
I turned 29 on July 8th, and I can honestly say that every birthday I have had since my Thyca diagnosis is more special than the last. I absolutely LOVE birthdays now. It's not about the presents--although the new Cuisinart 9-cup food processor, mandolin slicer, stovetop-to-oven cooking vessel, and silicone grippy mitts and pads (so I don't lose a hand moving said vessel) are all fantastic! What I love most is being able to spend time with my friends and family, and somehow trying to express to them how important they have been over the past year. Without the support system I have, I would not make it. End of story. I love you all more than you can possibly imagine.
This birthday was special for a number of reasons. First, I tried to take some time for myself by having a mini-vacation at my parents' house. I was off of work for almost an entire week and it was nice to shut my brain off for a few days :) Second, my birthday happens to coincide with Summerfest this year, and I just happen to love music. More importantly, my favorite band, The Gufs, played on my birthday! It was a fantastic show, and I got to share it with my sister and cousin. Third, I got to relax and eat tons of primal food, most of which was cooked by my wonderful Mother (who is also going primal after seeing the success I am having). In between concerts, I spent a ton of time in the pool or relaxing around the house. I also had an absolutely brilliant afternoon at a fabulous bridal shower/picnic at a small park that overlooks a stream and rolling hills. Did I mention it was catered by the Underground Food Collective? Fantastic. Add to that meeting fun new friends, and it was a perfect day. I even got in my "Lift Heavy Things" (see number 3 in the link) workout by hauling a ridiculously heavy picnic table across the park with 3 other amazing women :)
I somehow managed to find a balance between doing the things I wanted to do and regaining the energy/spoons that I need during this week off. I feel more grounded than I have in a long time. I really enjoyed my time outside, whether it was in the pool (suits optional! this is primal living after all...), at the park, or on the Summerfest grounds overlooking Lake Michigan. There is something I find very peaceful about adding other primal aspects of life to my daily routine. I've been so terrified of my allergies and asthma my whole life, that I kind of forgot to enjoy nature. That needs to stop. I'll be visiting that park again soon. And probably many others. Madison is a gorgeous city, and I need to see more of it! Who wants to come with me? :)
Here are a few more killer recipes I've tried recently:
Lemon Basil Squash and Kale Ribbons with Chicken from Eat the Cookie!
I want to eat this recipe all day every day. The sauce is to die for. I didn't think steaming the ribbons in cream added anything. Also the chicken was a little salty using the amount of salt in the recipe. I might cut back in the future.
Rutabaga "Faux-Tato" Salad from Stuff I Make My Husband
Really great potato salad substitute. I actually like it better than potato salad. I'm not a huge fan of dill, though, so I left that out.
Gyros from Stuff I Make My Husband
These are delicious. We ate ours with cucumber yogurt sauce in romaine lettuce leaves. Yum!
Pork Chops with Grilled Beets and Apples in a Balsamic Reduction from PaleOMG
The marinated grilled beets were really outstanding (I used golden beets). Everything tasted great together--no side dishes needed.
Maple Bacon Ice Cream from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations
The title says it all. Just make it. :)
Peppermint Patties from Elana's Pantry
These have always been one of my favorite treats. I'm so excited to have found a recipe that makes them primal :) In moderation, of course. Read the comments after the recipe for helpful tips on how to make these properly!
I just have to say that I love eating this way. All of the recipes are so good! The combinations are endless, and I'm so happy that there are so many wonderful bloggers out there who are making such fantastic food. Hopefully I will have some recipes of my own to contribute in the near future!
Until next time,
Check Your Neck!