kicking it into gear!

It was supposed to be a rainy day today.  Woke up, sun is out!  IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY.  We have the doors open, listening to John Cougar Mellencamp, rolling around on the floor, playing with baby toys and taking in some fresh spring air!  What relaxing things do you like to do with your kids and/ or family as the outside temperature starts to warm up?

Last night we made a last minute executive decision to go to our local fave mexican joint – we are valued customers at this point thanks to their booths and loud music to drain out any potential meltdowns at the dinner table.  After some delicious fajitas I decided to workout.  I wasn’t sure if my stomach was going to make it through; I surprised myself.  I was happy I got in a night sweat before heading to bed.  My husband kindly gave our son a bath and I did a combination workout.  Below are four videos, you can do them in any combination – each workout is approximately 30 minutes.  I did #2 and #4 last night.  Switch em up and you won’t get bored.  There are so many different movements the routines go by so fast you will have no idea you’ve already blown through one of the workouts by the time it’s done!

However, I do not take her post workout two scoops of protein powder in water recommendation.  I am not a fan of protein powders, they are loaded with crap!  If you want to make a shake (using egg whites ONLY powder) make sure it’s a meal replacement or a low-cal snack, you can quickly gain weight by having a protein packed drink after your workouts.  Here is a healthy green shake you could enjoy before or after a workout – I enjoyed this for lunch the other day, scrumptious!

These recipes make two 16 ounce servings – I cut them in half.

KEY LIME (page 157)

2 frozen bananas

1 cup coconut ice

3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tsp fresh lime zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed powder

1/4 tsp camu powder

1/4 tsp spirulina powder

1 tbsp lucuma powder

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

blend together in the nutribullet

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ROSEMARY ORANGE (page 99)

1/4 cup dried white mulberries

1/4 cup raw cashews

3 cups baby spinach

2 tbsp mashed avocado

1 tsp orange zest

1.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary

1.5 cups orange juice

2 cups ice

blend together in the nutribullet

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As you will notice the minimal amount of avocado makes a smoothie smooth, thick and creamy.  It was shocking to see how just a tablespoon or two can take away the icey texture of a smoothie.

 

*recipes adopted from: Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris (I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!)

or you can try my ultimate favorite green juice from her book so far…

another green juice recipe (from her cookbook).

NOM NOM NOMaste y’all! Happy Friday!

Sugar Rush

I wanted to start off with introducing the cookbooks I am currently using:

Paleo Cookies  By: John Chatham

Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  By: Elana Amsterdam

I will rotate these books once I’ve completed all recipes!! 2015/03/img_7199.jpg Breakfast details: the standard eggs and thick-cut bacon, a side of sautéed roasted red peppers (from Costco, I will post the image in the bottles section) and onion, a bulletproof coffee using 1tbsp coconut oil and a green shake!!!! Smoothie recipe below…

Cucumber-Mint (2-16oz servings):

3 cups cucumber

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cups spinach

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4-1/2 cup coconut water

1 cup ice

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener

Add to Nutribullet large container and blend until smooth, add coconut water until thick & creamy consistency is achieved.

Recipe modified and adapted from Superfood Smoothies  By: Julie Morris

2015/03/img_7100.jpg 2015/03/img_7104.jpg 2015/03/img_7102.jpg 2015/03/img_7106.jpg 2015/03/img_7099.jpg 2015/03/img_7109.jpg 2015/03/img_7105.jpg These wonderful chocolate donuts are from Elana’s Pantry, she has some wonderful paleo recipes in her book! I highly recommend making these delicious treats, I did make a substitution: instead of cocoa powder I used carob powder. And, I still found the wonderful rich chocolate flavor in these donuts. Gotta run to the gym before picking up the little one. I will have some more treats for you tomorrow!!

NOMaste.

sistah sistah

Almond milk or as some like to say “mylk” has a sibling…

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Soak the cashews overnight (8-12 hours) or until swollen.  IMG_6140

Remove the water and add 5 cups of water – like the almond milk, I did this in two batches (half the almonds and 2.5 cups of water blended in the Nutribullet at a time and then mixed together through the cheese cloth to strain.

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Before straining, add one date (pit removed) and cinnamon to your container. IMG_6142

Once fully strained – pour through funnel into your jar and label as desired (see above picture).  You will also be left with some cashew “cheese” this can be used as a spread or eaten plain – great flavor and texture, just like a ricotta.

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Cashew milk can be paired very nicely with a dessert or enjoyed by itself.  As my husband says about them:  they are light and refreshing!  And, I couldn’t agree more – it’s like a liquid smoothie.  You could even enjoy a cup with one of these…

PUMPKIN PIE ENERGY BITE:

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1 cup dates

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp golden flax meal

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp maca powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

dash of cloves

splash of vanilla extract

*blend all ingredients together in food processor and roll into bite size balls.

If you eat a few too many, you could always run the stairs!!

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I made it 60 minutes…working my way back to my fit level – slowly.

A post workout snack or a breakfast delight:

IMG_6150 (prosciutto-egg roll-up) NOM NOM NOMaste

FINALLY!!!!

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ALMOND MILK:  check out the “shakes” tab above to reference the home-made process at any time.

For this drink I blended 1 cup of almonds (which were soaked in water for 8 hours prior) with 5 cups of water in a nutribullet (given the volume restrictions with the Nutribullet containers I did the process in two rounds and mixed both batches together during the next phase).  After blending both ingredients I applied a cheesecloth over a bowl that would hold the large amount of liquid – I began straining the mixture through the cloth.  Once the almond milk began to hit the cheesecloth I picked it up by the edges and wrapped it tightly around the almond meal.  I began squeezing the excess milk out of the cloth (as pictured above) and once completely rung-out I was left with a batch of almond meal.  I stored this byproduct in the Nutribullet container in the refrigerator for future use in other recipes.  I added one date (pit removed and fruit sliced) and a splash of vanilla extract.  Then, I poured the almond milk through a funnel into an air tight glass container (this bottle is from IKEA – another fab find!).

Another recipe I worked on today was some peppermint bark – this was always a favorite treat of mine during the holiday season.

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My apologizes for the poor slicing skills.  I found it very difficult to cut this bark into pieces, my husband assisted, but literally the chocolate was rock solid.  We used many different knives & kitchen tools, but this is what we were left with.  My husband had a great idea – let the chocolate sit out for a little bit to soften before slicing it into portions.  To make this treat I melted 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in the microwave – I would remove the bowl every 15 seconds and stir the chips for a total of approximately 2 minutes.  I then lined the bottom of a small Ziploc container with parchment paper, and poured the chocolate into the bottom of the container.  I placed this into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to solidify.  While this was setting I prepared the next layer.  I combined approximately 1/3 cup coconut butter (melted in microwave at 15 second increments for no more than 1.5-2 minutes), 1/2 tbsp honey (if that, this makes the mixture “doughy like” and easy to mold), 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract (or more to taste to your liking) and a dash of vanilla extract.  Once the proceeding ingredients are mixed I added two drops of food coloring – to keep paleo you could add a few drops of beet juice (I didn’t have any beets on hand today).  I gently kneaded the mixture to give the white “dough” more of a a peppermint appearance – don’t completely mix the food coloring or else you will end up with pink bark!!!  After this step, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator, once it is solid, and even out the peppermint layer on top of the chocolate layer.  Place the entire bark in the refrigerator until both layers are solid, remove and chop into pieces to serve to guests… that’s if you don’t eat it all before it makes it to their mouth.

Finally, the last thing I have to offer for my baking skills this evening are Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana’s Pantry.  These muffins are heavenly – they are moist, mooshy inside, firm outside and taste like a piece of pie.  They are satisfying enough as a dessert or an afternoon snack.

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***Don’t forget to exercise to keep sane during the cold months!!***

…and as always:      peace. love. paleo.

drop it like it’s hot.

Wake up, get your groove on, and GO!

GOOD MORNING NYC.

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Not sure how I acquired such a nice foam this morning with the Nutribullet whipped coconut oil coffee, but it was divine!

GOOD AFTERNOON fellow foodies.

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Keeping it paleo at Shake Shack with a lettuce wrapped double stack burger with bacon obvs!!

GOOD EVENING to the city that never sleeps.

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Followed by a Korean BBQ dinner at Shilla’s.  I ordered the Bi Bim Bap – as divine as I remember it being last winter when I first enjoyed this dish.  It is essentially a mixture of vegetables with ground beef and a fried egg with rice on the side.  I do have to admit I ate some of these grains, after I regretted it and should’ve kept it paleo without consuming the rice.

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Hope everyone is having a wonderful monday after a beautiful weekend like I had!

NOMaste.

revealing the Instagram #mysteryfood

It’s before noon, I can still say:  GOOD MORNING READERS!

Here is some winter, I mean fall, uplifting photos to get your through the cold, actually warm, days here in the Mid-Atlantic!

IMG_0357 PUERTO RICO (circa 2012 finale) IMG_0359

Don’t get me wrong I do love winter scenery, cold breezes while bundled up in a Canada Goose, fire place warmth and lounging on the couch covered in blankets beside your loved ones.  However, I also enjoy the escape to a warmer climate; this getaway really helps anyone’s mental state during the shorter colder drearier days.  The walks on the beach and rich healthy looking scenery helps put my mind at ease.  I find true stillness and ultimate relaxation throughout my body while walking on the beach and listening to the ocean waves crash onto the white sand shoreline.  One year I believe I managed to pack in a marathon distance walk on the beach all in a days work!  Last year I didn’t take a trip to soak up the sun (or sit by my light box) probably since I was in diapers, and I SURVIVED!!  I am looking forward to a view of paradise this year.  Our baby already hates the cold weather; I think I’ve already conditioned him to being a summer lover too!

Let me change subjects here… FOOD!

The first thing I will cover is the mystery food that was featured on Instagram.  This was a remake of an appetizer from Patowmack Farm, which would have been discovered in an earlier post – Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast.  Basically we ripped the meatier sides off the main steam of Tuscan Kale and placed the pieces in the dehydrator until completely crispy.  After removing them from this device we sprinkled on Nutritional Yeast, which actually is not as hard, as we thought, to find.  The taste is interesting, but a great rich flavor – if my husband will eat this then it isn’t too earthy and actually has a taste other than dirt.  A recommendation:  since the kale is very crunchy, when you bite into a bigger piece the yeast flies in the air and makes a mess.  We quickly learned that making smaller bite size pieces rather than longer strips is actually easier to eat.

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You could also use the nutritional yeast sprinkled on a kale salad and dressed with olive oil.

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Following this kale treat, you could indulge in another kale app – might as well bulk up on your nutrients today!

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This is a carrot paper wrapped skinny veggie roll for all you vegetarians and vegans out there!  We sliced avocado and cucumber, ripped of the sides of Tuscan Kale into long strips and sprinkled on a Garden Mix of Sprouts.  The carrot paper was bought at Wegman’s in a pack looking like this:

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I do have to be honest though – there is some soy protein isolate in the ingredients.  Now that we have experimented with this product and would use it again I will look for a paleo friendly version!

Following these random appetizers we enjoyed a roasted chicken from Wegman’s (please excuse the one legged chicken pictured below, someone got into it before we sat down for dinner) and a Creamy Paleo Bacon Pumpkin Soup from Fed & Fit.

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We were not sure if the recipe called for bacon fat.  We added some of the remaining lard to the soup just because we are obsessed with bacon, like the rest of mainstream Americans.

And to polish off a good meal you must indulge in dessert, no matter how full you are – am I right?!

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I, yet again, doubled the recipe.  I tend to do this so the treat will last for the whole week since it is hard to make a new batch every few days.  The pictured dessert is Living Healthy with Chocolate’s Raw, No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie.  I enjoyed the mixture of cookie and brownie flavors, however, I find myself eating the brownie first and then gobbling the cookie dough section.  I am not one to mix all my foods, I like to savor each flavor.  Both, cookie and brownie, are pretty much spot on with regard to resembling the taste of conventional Toll House Break n’ Bake products without the unhealthy aspects.  This is a great item to make as it will keep in your refrigerator for quite some time without going sour – that’s if you can keep them around long enough to enjoy at a later point in time!

Before eating all this food you might want to engage in a workout because you will be couch bound after this feast!

I just found out that Safari does not support my videos all the time – if you see a blank black screen that reads blocked plug-in, try opening my webpage in another browser, such as, Google Chrome.

Sweat, Eat, Be Merry.  NOMaste.

you can drink your wine and eat it too!

Another batch of burgundy red wine flank steak was made and I was in heaven eating every bite of this meal.  Please refer back to my first post for the initial recipe: wine infused steak… my husband added coconut sugar to this batch and wow the flavor is so much richer!  We also made other steaks, which weren’t finished for dinner the night before – I used some pieces in this salad:

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photographed: coconut water (home-made, check out the “hydration” tab above to see which brand I mix into water); bulletproof coffee remix (i use Nespresso vanilla pods with 1 tbsp of coconut oil mixed in a Nutribullet); green juice (apple + spinach juice made in the Juiceman appliance); beet & steak chopped salad (seasoned with herbs de provence, avocado oil & balsamic vinegar) and Terra sweet potato chips (MY NEW OBSESSION!!!).

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The next morning I got to enjoy this green juice again with breakfast made by my wonderful husband…

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Now it is time to burn off these calories!!!

I did part 1 & 2 only yesterday – I am working my way up to a 60 min video, currently just feeling satisfied with 40 minutes (a jump from 20 minutes).  And today I engaged in this activity:

Fab workouts!!!

Hope everyone is staying warm and having a pleasant friday night!

NOMaste y’all!!

went all out today…

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Some days there just isn’t time for breakfast or lunch, it was a brunch kind of a day.  With the 30 minutes I had to quickly scramble around and try to accomplish as much as possible before the little one woke up, I chose to eat.  I had eggs that should have probably been cooked a little longer, a tad bit too “wet.”  I thought to myself, if we eat eggs with a runny yoke I should be safe from the salmonella demon.  I gobbled them up with my avocado slices, side of bacon (nitrate free of course) and left over sweet potato slices my husband had made for dinner last night.  This was completely satisfying of all the essential fatty acids.  My snack to hold me over until dinner was this amazing bar (you have to splurge on the prepackaged items, it’s all about convenience some days):

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Another addition to our pantry this week was home-made cashew butter.  I enjoy making my own nut butters with the Nutribullet.  We purchased the cashews in the large container from Costco last week and could probably make 3-4 jars of this butter.  These nut butters have gotten extremely pricey, some selling for over $10-15.  There is no way I could rationalize paying that kind of money for a jar of cashew butter when I could make more than one jar for that price.  The container from Costco is roughly $15 and you could make 3-4 batches from it, depending on how many cashews you eat before breaking out the Nutribullet.     🙂

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Waiting for the little man to wake up before we embark on an afternoon walk, so I will leave you with:

peace. love. paleo.

PUMP IT UP!

A pet peeve of mine is when bloggers post about the previous day, but now I get it – sometimes there just is not time!  Yesterday I ran, my pace was a crush to my ego, but I chalked it up to being proud that I actually continuously ran up and down hills towing a baby & a stroller for an hour.  Here we go:  progress, not perfection.  There will be a day when I am back in fighting shape, until then I have to be patient with myself.  I have a bunch of songs that I’ll share with you that really let my mind wander and uplift my soul as I exercise.  These songs are currently the ones that give me that extra pump to push my out of shape self.

*Taylor Swift: Shake It Off

*Sheppard: Geronimo

*Alesso: Heroes (we could be)

*Avicii: The Days

*Nico & Vinz: Am I Wrong

*Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne : Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

*CHVRCHES: The Mother We Share

*The Script: Superheroes

*CHRCHES: Tether

*One Direction: Steal My Girl

*Calvin Harris, John Newman: Blame

*Echosmith: Cool Kids

*MKTO: American Dream

The baby was a bit fussy yesterday, trying to eat was a bit challenging – I will share with you some easy meals that moms can easily prepare.

Breakfast: 

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Featured is: Bacon – made on the stove top, however, you could make it in the microwave.  Poached eggs were made using this handy gadget shown below.  This device is placed in the microwave for a minute and voila your eggs are poached – well kind of, but you know what moms that are just trying to get a bite to eat can’t be too picky on how perfect their poached eggs are!  Mixed greens with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar – get some acid in your belly to really fire you up for the day.  Big ole glass of water to help hydrate, along with a cup of apple & celery juice – made the day before for easy access.

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Lunch:

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I asked my husband to grab me these the other day on his Costco run after work.  I used to eat these all the time when I lived in the dorms at Georgetown University.  Take one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and place it on top of a mixed greens salad with cucumber, tomatoes and avocado, toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  At this point you can tell that I probably have heartburn between two doses of vinegar and a crying baby — don’t worry I took my calcium supplement today AKA TUMS.

Dinner:

I was lucky enough to have my husband home for this meal – I have been wanting to try this recipe since I saw it on the Food Network one lazy afternoon.  Another recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell {Crispy Herb Crusted Halibut with Curly Celery and Haricots Verts}.  Some modifications were made to the recipe, instead of using halibut (my husband searched high and low for this fish and couldn’t find a piece anywhere!) we used mahi-mahi.  This type of fish paired very nicely as it is very mild, no fishy taste and is a fluffy light white fish when cooked.  Instead of using green beans, formally known as haricots verts, we made parsnip fries.  I have recently have had a hard time eating green beans due to their texture, it’s like chalk on a board when I bite into them.  The first picture, below, is the preparation of the egg rinse and potato flake & herb dip – we decided to coat the entire fish, not just one side as the recipe calls for.  This preparation gave the fish more flavor.  Additionally, this photo has the curled celery; I honestly was doubtful that this would actually work, but as you can see it does!!! I sliced the celery the night before with a Mandolin slicer and the next morning I added ice cubes, water and the juice of half a lemon to the plastic container.  By the time we were ready to prepare dinner the celery was perfectly curly.  The final two photos are the end products of our meal.  I left the table feeling satisfied and refreshed; nothing too heavy about this meal, despite frying the parsnip slices in avocado oil instead of baking them in the oven.

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Now go cook, listen to music & run as you think about:

peace. love. paleo.

what chu know about SQUASH?!

Just a few bites of this Vitamin A rich food provides a plethora of health benefits, including:  prevention of cancer, cataracts, gall stones, and hypertension.  Sounds like reason enough to keep munching on these bright bites.  I have a reason for being MIA so soon, I have been on a squash binge.  Let me share with you my newest dishes.

#1: Butternut Squash (breakfast following the roasted butternut squash side-dish from dinner on the prior post)

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simple egg recipe:  heat a non-stick pan on HIGH for a few minutes, add olive oil or avocado oil in a pan, season with salt & pepper, pour in beaten eggs and quickly begin folding eggs with spatula as they will cook extremely fast at this temperature, keep them slightly wet, they have more texture and flavor – don’t cook them well done as they’ll be extremely dry.

#2: Spaghetti Squash

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This is a magnificent dish – it is modified from Anne Burrell’s recipe {Braised Short Ribs}.  We bought the boneless short ribs (instead of bone-in, which the recipe calls for) at Costco and placed them in my husband’s new Le Creuset Dutch Oven which we picked up at the Williams Sonoma Outlet the night before.  We enjoyed this cut very much as it was less work to cut the meat away from the bone, it cuts the cost and tastes exactly the same!  Another modification we made was placing the dish over spaghetti squash instead of over mashed potatoes (as Anne Burrell pairs with this meat) or polenta (a variation my mom is fond of).  To cook the spaghetti squash, my husband cut the veggie in half length wise (I’m scared of cutting any large object).  The messy inside was scrapped out, we left the skin side facing upward on the cooking sheet, placed the tray in the oven and baked the squash for 40-45 min at 400 degrees.  This meal takes a while to prepare as the meat is braised (4 hours give or take), however, it is totally worth the wait!!!

#3: Acorn Squash

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I’m sure some of you are wondering what the heck the contraption in the image on the left side of your computer screen is.  Let me introduce you to a new gadget in our kitchen – a dehydrator, yup probably one of the best items purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond.  We attempted to dehydrate acorn squash, however, we were unsuccessful – we are working on the best timing.  We cut the squash in half, scrapped out the seeds, placed guts side down on a cooking sheet, and baked it for approximately 30 min at 350 degrees (we also washed the seeds, placed them on the cooking sheet, as well, salted and cooked them).  Once removed from the oven we sliced the halves in half again and sliced the quarters into “chip” size pieces.  Each piece was placed on a tray and they sat in the dehydrator for approximately 8 hours – our mistake… too long!! The fibers in them were dried too much it was impossible to chew the “chip,” they ended up in the trash; a very sad moment for all.

As the weekend comes to an end, meditate on:

peace. love. paleo.