On Easter Weekend + Epiphanies

You’d be pleased to know that Operation: Have A Relaxing Weekend went off without a hitch!

Friday night we enjoyed a rainbow colored dinner and a bottle of wine while playing our New Favorite Game, like dorks. Since we both had Saturday morning off (which doesn’t always happen) we stayed up late. Ok, and maybe we opened a second bottle of wine.

Is that a heart in your wine glass or are you just happy to see me?

Saturday morning we slept in a bit and then headed over to open gym at American River CrossFit to do a workout that had looked particularly heinous this week. Our gym has an A and B track of workouts. Since we are currently doing the A workouts, and since we like torture, we decided to do this workout that had been programmed for the B track:

8 Rounds For Time (YIKES!)
10 Burpees
15 Jumping Lunges
20 Double Unders
25 yards of Shuttle Sprints

About 30 minutes later the aftermath looked was a sweat angel of fairly epic proportions:

Is it just me or does the outline of my body remind you of the old 80s kid’s game Cootie?

It was a GREAT workout, albeit a sweaty one. Afterward we headed over to Old Navy because I got a hot tip on some adorable workout tank tops that were on sale for $14. I’m going to workout in them this week and if they are as awesome as they are cute, I’ll let you know!

When I walked in to Old Navy, sitting right in the front of the store was the dress that I had been eyeing and tweeting about all week. In the size I wanted! (Or at least the size I thought I wanted, you never can tell with Old Navy!)

Luckily it fit, so obviously I had to buy it. Adults need Easter Dresses too, right? (And Easter shoes!)


Saturday night was another night in and I toyed with a new recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip cookies as a treat. OHEEEEEMGEEEE you guys, they were super delicious!

Last night's dessert: Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies + Coconut Almond Milk. DELICIOUS!

Especially with a little shot of Coconut Almond Milk on the side — the treat of all treats! I’ll post the recipe later this afternoon because it was totally worth sharing!

Sunday morning we headed out to my mom’s for Easter Brunch, which is a family tradition no matter where you are or who you are with. Every year on Easter we eat eggs benedict, period. No questions asked. The end. You drink some Bloody Marys, you discuss how damn good the Hollandaise is at home vs. in restaurants, you cook together and most importantly you enjoy the day!

And this year was no different! And it was because everything went just according to tradition, that I had a major epiphany that I thought I’d share.

You see, 2 years ago we were celebrating Easter this exact same way up at my aunt’s house. Like I said, it’s TRADITION! We were making Eggs Benny, laughing in the kitchen and hanging out all together. It was April 2010 and it was right around that time that I had first heard of this crazy way of eating called Paleo. I was reading a lot of Bodies in Motivation (right before I started writing over there) and a number of people had hopped on this bandwagon of Ancestral Eating (Paleo/Primal/Whatever) and I thought to myself “THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS.” I distinctly remember eating eggs benedict and thinking why would I ever even consider giving up bread? Or these traditions? Or these awesome moments with my family to “eat like a caveman?” It all just sounded so stupid and I had a smug little laugh to myself.

Here is a picture of Garrett and I from that day:

Here mom, a non off center self portrait.

Here is a picture of us from yesterday:

Sadly, we are still sort of awkwardly un-photogenic. 🙂

But along with that, we are 140 lbs lighter between the two of us, we are almost 2 years entrenched into a fitness routine that we enjoy together 3-5 days a week, and we are the healthiest we’ve been, um…well, EVER. Do you know what we also did right after this picture? We ate eggs benedict, we enjoyed some bread, and we participated in family traditions that we have been participating in together for the last 7 years of our relationship. Easter still looks exactly the same, even though we’re Paleo.

There are many moments in life that still look EXACTLY the same, despite the fact that our diet only includes lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. When you say that out loud to people (or when you read about it on the internet like I did years ago) it sounds pretty extreme. But in practice, it’s actually only an accumulation of small tweaks here and there and that we stick to 80-90% of the time. I thought to myself yesterday: I am so glad we stopped letting the “fear of missing out on food related events” be the excuse we used that kept us from trying something new.

The point here is not that you MUST try Paleo (ok, well maybe I want you to try it a little bit…haha!) But more importantly, what I do want to encourage is that if you are putting off making a change in your health because of Fear of Missing Out — take the plunge and try something different if your health is an area of life that you think needs a little work! It can be so hard to make a change, and sometimes it seems like we are hard wired to hold on to an excuse like that as a crutch — and why sabotage yourself like that?

For me the best change I ever made was going Paleo. But for a long time I let my fear of being a person on a “Special Diet” keep me from giving it a try. But I’m not a person with a “Special Diet.” And you won’t be either. I’m just a person who eats what I want, when I want, but I have chosen the Paleo Framework to be my compass. Two years ago I didn’t even have a compass, but there was no doubt in my mind that I was lost. This Easter, I was consciously deviating from my normal course. I enjoyed bread (gasp!) and muffins from a box (shocker!) and drank stiff drinks with abandon. The difference was I knew exactly where I stood…and more importantly, I knew exactly how to get back on course.

And I wanted to share that for those of you who consider making a change. It can be scary to chart a new course or deviate from the route that your friends are going down. But if you are letting the fear of change, the fear that things would be too extreme, or the fear that you would miss out too much hold you back — I just wanted to let you know that the view over here is just as awesome so GO FOR IT ALREADY!

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19 Responses to On Easter Weekend + Epiphanies

  1. Amy says:

    You are so inspiring! I love this post!

  2. AndreAnna says:

    Yes! This!

    This is particularly why I hate the labels of Primal or Paleo so much. 1) They immediately make people think of giant kettlebell-weilding douchebags and 2) it makes it seem like a DIET or something, whereas it’s just —- wait for it —- EATING REAL GODDAMNED FOOD.

    It’s not rocket science.

    You don’t have to eat dirt and worms and never have your mom’s homemade pie again, for the love, people.

    Life can still be good without a Twinkie showing up on your MRI. I promise.

    • Holly says:

      Wait…I’m not supposed to eat twinkies? But I thought twinkies were Paleo????? 😉 hehe

  3. Great post, love hearing about your viewed on health & fitness. We’re at differents ends of the spectrum on both, but you always have such great perspectives to share! 🙂

    • Holly says:

      Thanks Miss Caity — speaking of opposite ends of the spectrum, you must dish how Sean’s vegetarian experiment is going! You two are pretty darn cute!

  4. San says:

    That dress is amazing on you (I could never pull of that color!)

    Also, I was kinda intrigued to look into this whole paleo thing, but I really don’t know if I can give up bread (is that true that you don’t eat bread when you go Paleo or did it just sound like it?)

    Lovely weekend all around 🙂

    • Holly says:

      Thanks San!

      The deal with Paleo is that you *do* give up gluten as part of the framework, so that means most traditional flours are out (hence: bread.) But honestly, there are lots of work arounds for break-like things, and as someone who used to identify as total Bread Addict (ie I used to say life would not be living without bread) I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. And I do still eat it on special occasions and what not. I’m just not eating toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and bread with dinner anymore.

      If you do decide to explore, let me know — I’ll point you in the direction of some fun recipes.

      • San says:

        Thanks for the info. I am not really worried about sandwich-type breads (toast, buns, etc.) which I hardly ever eat anyway, but I pretty much LIVE off whole grain breads (you know, the German kind, which I can get at a European bakery) and I would have a really hard time giving that up…
        what is it about the gluten that is “bad”?
        I’d still be very interested in some fun recipes, because I am always willing to try new things 🙂

  5. Hi, I need those shoes! Where can I obtain a pair? 😉

    Your dress is super cute, too!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks, Kristin!

      Well, the shoes unfortunately were one of my scores during the Missoni for Target madness. I’m guessing that means they only live on eBay now, but I’m sure someone is selling them for a price (EEK!) Who knows, maybe no one cares about Missoni for Target anymore and they will be cheap. They are super comfy too!

  6. JulieVK says:

    What a great way of putting it! Actually knowing what’s good for you and what’s not, even if you don’t always do it 100%, is the whole point.

  7. Mary Hone says:

    Love the post. I started eating Paleo last July. Not because I needed to lose a bunch of weight,just a little, but every time I eat carbs I get bloated and feel sluggish. I didn’t think I could ever give up my beloved home made whole grain bread, or a bowl of cereal. But I did. And I feel great. And yes when we are at a family get together I will eat stuff that I don’t normally. But the next day I’m back to my normal eating routine and life goes on. The rule of adherence 80-90% of the time is a good one. And you look awesome BTW.

  8. sizzle says:

    Such a great and true point!

  9. bethanyrx says:

    1. You look ADORBS in that dress.

    2. We do eggs benedict too + bloody marys too! Although this year we had them a week early for Eric’s birthday brunch…

    3. I LOVED Cootie! Also, Don’t Break the Ice.

  10. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Holly. Very well said and definitely re-inspiring. My job is so stressful that it seems like any adjustments just add to the stress, but this reframes my perspective. You rock, as usual!

    • Holly says:

      Aw, thanks Michelle! You know, take baby steps. Don’t do a huge overall at once. Even with Paleo I eased into it and I’ve been refining and refining over time. I don’t *feel* like I eat that differently than I did two years ago, but had I made the changes overnight it would feel drastic.

      Sometimes even just thinking about it and changing your perspective is a baby step — so give yourself credit! Whatever changes you want to make — You can do it, lady! Let me know if I can help you out in any way.