Looking back at Day 8 – Read The Labels

2 years ago today I had just returned from a Barn Hunt extravaganza trip up to Reno, NV with my oldest boy Nicklas who got himself his Senior 🥳🌟😃 AND Crazy 8’s Bronze titles. Wow! What a incredible ride!

I had just started my 87 Day Adventure and everything was uncharted territory. So of course a road trip far from home, with a cooler of healthier food and a hotel stay in an unfamiliar city was in order. Lol.

This is what food on Day 3 looks like when it’s late at night, you’re starving, you need energy to keep driving and even if you wanted to stop and eat at a restaurant there was nowhere to go.

A salad taste sensation. 🙂

The transition had begun!

The biggest challenge, right out of the starting gate, was Sugar. Surprised that I didn’t say Meat?

Meat was obvious and easy to not select it to eat. I mean, it was easy to avoid in that its kind of hard to eat a cheeseburger and not know you’re eating meat. Haha. This was before I knew of the crazy, way too real, Beyond Burger.

The other item I was eliminating was white/wheat processed flours. Bread is bread, pastries and pizza look like what they are too so I could ‘see’ to not choose items made out of flour.

Sugar, on the other hand, is sneaky. It’s added to EVERYTHING! A jar, box, can, package, bag, processed foods, salad dressing, sauces, broths… you get the idea. To be clear, I mean the added kind of sugar, not the naturally occurring, delicious and important fuel for you body type of sugar found in oranges, honey or grapes. Avoiding this kind of sugar and ALL it’s numerous forms was giving me some trouble.

I was in no way ready to stop eating out or make every single meal / ingredient from scratch.

What’d I do?

I started reading labels and let me tell you was it ever like going on a treasure hunt. When I found gold, a store bought item without added sugar, it was real cause for celebration!

Here’s a peak into a time when I found gold, shortly after returning from Barn Hunting in Reno. 😃

“Day 8 update:

Wiped out today recovering from my road trip but I’m super happy to have completed my first travel of my 87 day eating adventure. 👍🏼😃

I scored two finds today I’m excited about! Whole Foods’s no sugar added Sriracha Sauce (for tomorrow’s zucchini recipe) and Costco’s no sugar added marinara sauce, which tastes great by the way. 😉 I had it for dinner with edamame noodles, which aren’t my favorite but….they’ll do.

It’s a great thing when all the ingredients on the label are recognizable, pronounceable and actual whole foods and spices!!”

•Ok, side note…I’ll never eat edamame noodles again! They are way beyond ‘not my favorite’ and I actually eventually ended up disposing of the rest of that massive box of them I’d gotten from Costco. Which was something else I learned on this journey – there’s only so much food you can eat in a day, so make it count.

When’s the last time you read the label on a jar of marinara sauce? Or any label for that matter.

I challenge you to start reading labels! Make a choice for your health and buy the jar of spaghetti sauce that has only 6 ingredients in it, all pronounceable whole foods and tomatoes need to be right there at the top.

Tomatoes do have naturally occurring sugar, so you can ignore the chart showing the list of %’s by nutrient. Look further down at the actual list of ingredients – (the most important section on the entire label!) anything listed there is considered “added sugar” and is what you want to avoid.

Sprouts Market does also have an organic jar of marinara sauce that fits this criteria, mixed in among the 30 or so varieties 😲 they also have with sugar. Yup, I stood there one day and read them all. Ugh! On the bright side, I only had to do it once.

Not sure about Trader Joe’s. 🤔 If you find one, take a picture and post it in a comment!

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Airplane Eating

Air travel puts a damper on my healthy eating plan. I always bring snack items – raw nuts, dried fruits, my water bottle and plenty of Youth Factor packets but once on board a plane and being upgraded to business class the “rules” go out the window and I make lousy choices. And boy do I ever pay for it. There is something put on airplane food, even the healthier no meat, no dairy dishes. Salads for that matter are suspect too!

I swear the food is fake. Even drinking lots of water, I get almost immediate headaches and can even end up rather sick with a full blown detox before I get off the plane. It’s crazy and I’m completely done with it!

I love the great tips MyDomaine shares in her blog about food prep for traveling. I think the key for me is to bring super tasty items like she does, that will travel well and still tempt your taste buds more than the junk food available on the plane. Check out MyDomaine’s blog here:

Saying Arrivederci

Rome Italy Looking out the Window Black and White Tiffany Almazan

A fantastic, out of this world adventure is coming to a close and as we hang out of the kitchen window (our favorite place in the apartment)….

looking over our corner of the neighborhood in Rome I think….

~These are the windows that were all open on Saturday night letting us listen and watch the party.

~These are the trash cans that get emptied at midnight.

~These are the steps we watched the same girl sit on late every night. And the corner the nuns came around to enter the door those steps lead up to.

~These are the balconies we never saw anyone out on. What a shame.

~This is the spot where the group of guys hanging out last night left their trash that was magically gone in the morning. Nice work, pigeon! ??

~These are the cars that park wherever they want and don’t get towed.

~These are the scooters that are everywhere and have the easiest time of parking. We would count how many have alarm systems. ?

~This is the statue that was on our landing, the only one in the building.

~This is the elevator that only fit 2 people with bags or 4 skinny people shoulder to shoulder.

~This is the apparently unused park that we never did figure out what or who it was for.

Can anyone translate the sign?

~This is the street we stayed on. Love the neighborhood!

We don’t say “good-bye” as we’ll definitely be back to see you again soon, Italy ??!


If you want the hookup on where we stayed, drop me a note and I ‘may’ just share it with you. ??? We were in the heart of Ancient Rome, close to the subway, bus stops, grocery stores, restaurants, the delicious Raw chocolate shop and yet away from the main drags and mass of tourists. Absolutely perfect.

Only other place in Rome we’d consider staying is in the Jewish Ghetto. Stay tuned for a post on our visit to that neighborhood of Rome.

2018’s Positive Words

A few weeks back I asked for friends to share one positive word about me that I could carry into 2018 and to make it FUN the word was to start with the first letter of their name.

Boy was I ever blown away by the responses! I have such a beautiful list of words! As the New Year dawned today I was inspired to go back to that Facebook post and compile the list here to keep it fresh in mind as I move forward in life and focus on achieving my goals this year.

Living (Intentionally)
Loving Life

Could I have compiled a word list on my own to bring joy and positivity into my life? Absolutely! And I am writing several Affirmations directly relating to my goals that I’ll be saying out loud to myself along with visualizing the FEELING on a daily basis. However….this list feels different…special. This is definitely going in my Tool-belt for days I need a reminder.

Do you have such a list for yourself? If not, I highly suggest reaching out and ASKING people. It’s a wonderful feeling and I am so grateful and blessed ? for the kindness and generosity of this deceptively simple gesture. ? Tag me in your ‘ask’ and I’d be ever so happy to share a positive word about you!

If you feel any words are missing from this list, please comment below! I’d love to add more! ??

PS: Can you guess the amazing word my husband shared?

Mushroom Walnut Loaf Supreme

Dinner with my honey was an unexpected tastebud explosion with this new recipe. I couldn’t stop eating and I couldn’t eat fast enough. O M G !

Super savory, nutty, with a hint of baby bellas (but without the slimy/smooth texture I hate), the generous amount of seasonings I used was a highlight and created an overall tastebud delight. Good thing I took the photo prior to the first bite, as after that there was no putting the fork down. LOL










  • 3 cups Baby Bella Mushrooms – rough chopped
  • 2 cups Walnuts
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp Fresh Rosemary (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Blend in food processor until desired degree of smoothness is reached. Serve and ENJOY! ?


I served with a simple greens salad of arugula and lettuce greens from the garden, sesame seeds, asparagus, carrots and celery drizzled with 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon and some olive oil. Kerwin added Balsamic Vinegar to his but I was good to go with a few grinds of black pepper.

I think of additional ways to use this loaf and can’t wait to try them! ….

Adding Red Pepper Flakes, rolling it into small marble size balls and dehydrating it to make “sausage” for a pizza.

Adding diced onions, shaping into patties and dehydrating to have “burgers”.

Spreading onto flax crackers and topping with a slice of tomato and some arugula microgreens. Yum!

I’m sooooo excited for this recipe! I hope you love it too! Please share how you enjoy it and the creative ways you use this loaf!!

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T is for Texas

2,668 miles over 7 days with 2 dogs and a rented mini van. Memories were created and moments of life, laughter and love experienced.

The trip began without a thought or a plan months earlier as Nicklas & Ian simply continued their run in Barn Hunting.  I was blown away when Nicklas sailed thru getting his Senior title and became the 1st Gordon Setter to achieve the title. (link to video post) That made him eligible for the Barn Hunt Nationals – holy cow! Thus the whisper of a dream for Nicklas to be the 1st Gordon at the Nationals was born. Nicklas has taught me the power of living in the moment, tomorrow and next year are not guaranteed so these 2017 Nationals were an opportunity for him not to be missed. Ian reaching his Open title and killing it in Crazy 8’s was able to come as the 2nd Gordon ever, when they opened up the title qualifications for competing in the Nationals. How cool!


T ravel – aaahhh, one of my favorite things to do. it’s okay to travel alone, if you wait for someone to go with you how many moments will you miss?

T ime – slowing down to enjoy the peace and beauty of a sunrise. walking the dogs and listening to the silence. hours spent without a phone or watch grooming my dogs while 3 neighbor kids, ages 3 to 6, helped.

T ransportation – minivan will be my next dog mobile! Super fun for travel, easy to pull over and nap along the way, dogs are close by and happy, and it handles pretty zippy compared to my own truck. Fast speeds on i40 make for a smooth ride. Fast speed limits throughout Texas make getting around fun – 60mph down a dark 2 lane “Farm to Market” country road. seriously, why do we need street lights?? headlights and high-beams are perfect and save so much energy.

T houghts – country life….wow. no noise pollution, friendly neighbors, dogs that are the epitome of “chill”. Grateful for my body being fit enough to jog down the dead end tree lined road (picture), no ear buds, no music, just the sound of my running sneakers hitting the black top and a panting dog – Priceless. Moments are precious, cherish them. Would be difficult to eat out Raw in North Texas – might just need to be the one to open the first Raw restaurant. 🙂

T empted – to move to Texas! to eat BBQ meat.

T ourist – explore. listen to your heart. so what if it’s silly, standing there taking pictures of burros as traffic goes by, the dad, mom and baby I was blessed to pet was worth it. what is the rush? stop and smell the roses, take pictures.

T hankful – $$ that allowed me to go. a husband who supported my dream, held down the fort and took care of Elly & Larkin. personal freedom. no day job. freedoms I have in this country. the amazing Country Cottage Getaway that was my home away from home for 4 wonderful days. happy dogs. buying a new Flexi. healthy to hold up on the 2 day cross country road trip. new experiences. beauty around me in this gorgeous country. safe travels with a durable vehicle.

T is for Texas and an unforgettable Trip!!

Enjoy these moments….

Freedom to Spend My 4th of July Getting Ink-Stained Fingers

I exercised my Freedom and Independence this 4th of July by getting ink stained fingers.

I chose to take a day off of everything else to hole up in the library with my yellow beat up folder filled with scraps of notes and half written attempts and even a few dog eaten pages (I can actually in all honesty say “my dog ate my homework!”) of my Vision Day.

Who knows how much time I spent as I refused to look at the clock, time didn’t matter as I was going to get this done! At some much later point after getting started I had 3 dogs laying on my papers, spilling my coffee, wiping slobber on my jeans– aka asking for attention. lol. But the FREEDOM I have to choose my life and how I spend my day….wow, I am so grateful!

10 1/2 hand-printed pages later (does anyone write in cursive anymore?), with plenty of notes added in the margins and a thorough double check, I called it good.

I FINALLY have my Vision Day written out! CELEBRATION! Joy, Satisfaction and Relief all flowed thru me.

Why am I so excited?

Well, you see a Vision Day is a specific day in YOUR future (some say 3-5 years) where you write out IN THE PRESENT TENSE what your life looks and feels like by journaling the day from rising to retiring. A day in your life when your dreams and goals of today have been realized. Getting it on paper and out of your head, is a KEY element in realizing your desires.

To not have a finished copy for so long has not. been. fun. And my life is all about keeping it real and having FUN!

I already know Who I am and How I’m going to get there, the final piece that got much-needed clarity is Where I’m going. How I ever thought I could get all the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, colors (yes, that’s a different descriptive than sight) and taste, not to mention my BIG ideas down on one page I’ll never know.

Oh my gosh! I have an amazing life!

Yup, that was my first thought. lol. Second thought was – NOW I know exactly where I’m going and I CAN DO THIS! If I can imagine it, dream it, wish it, desire it then by the Laws of the Universe I can absolutely achieve it.

My inspiration to finally complete my Vision Day came from listening to the book (I LOVE Audible!) Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power by Bob Doyle (Stay tuned for the book review) on the 4 hr drive each way to and from So Cal for a dog show the other weekend, just me and my boy Ian. Fun times! I knew a new month was coming up and I was ready to do something different, to make a change. Talk about perfect timing and next step in my journey.

I decided that I would let go of the belief that it needed to be a one page statement that could fit into my day planner. Yes, I know I’m supposed to see it and read it every day and I will, it’ll just take a few page turns. 🙂 I’m sure typing it up will consolidate the # of pages. By page 9 I was definitely starting to print bigger and sloppier. 🙂

Me? Meditate?!

Absolutely! Now that I have a clear vision to meditate ON it is the next logical step. I am excited to begin, which is also a shift in a long-held belief.

I credit EHT with the FOCUS to get me thru this project along with a little grit, determination and sheer stubbornness. Oh! And of course what made it all work, that magical ingredient, the spice of life – IMAGINATION. The ability to dream. That I credit to leaving the Corporate World, Nerium finding me courtesy of my husband, going on this fantastic journey of personal development and living life of Joy and Happiness!

If YOU haven’t written your Vision Day yet I challenge you to stop waiting and get ‘er done!