Recharging My Batteries

My trip to the Ancestral Health Symposium was just as inspiring, exhilarating, playful, and food-filled as I hoped it would be. And now while my head is exploding with ideas, my body is begging for some downtime. I’ll fill you in on lots of details later – including take-aways from my favorite presentations and photos from two outdoor adventures. (Hint: The Hollywood sign was involved.)

In the interests of full disclosure, I think it’s important to share when my life feels more like a muddle than a marvel, and right now, I’m in a muddle. In no particular order, these are things that make me realize I need to regroup:

My suitcase is half unpacked and spilling its guts on the floor which desperately needs to be vacuumed and threatens to coat all my black clothing in Smudge‘s hair.

The refrigerator is empty except for eggs, two broccoli crowns, some turkey bacon, and a cucumber – and we’ve somehow run out of homemade mayo (RED ALERT!) so I couldn’t even save the day with the nutritional band-aid of tuna salad for lunch.

I desperately need a CrossFit workout with my 6:30 a.m. peeps and tomorrow, instead of lifting heavy thing, I’ll be visiting the endocrinologist for my 3-month checkup. Fingers crossed, friends. If it goes well, I don’t have to go back for six months!

Apparently, my regular-as-clockwork female hormones also took a vacation this week, and my cycle is all screwed up, so I’m lethargic and dropsy and if I’m honest, maybe a little cranky.

On the upside, I spent time with wonderful people at the AHS, was delighted by magic, wore a fancy dress, rode a bike along the beach, stayed up late, drank sparkling wine, got sweaty hiking, laughed out loud a lot, met Dave’s amazing cousin, drove fast, drove traffic-is-torture slow, got a weird sunburn, learned a bunch of stuff, and got goosebumps from the ocean breeze. I’ll share photos and stories as soon as I’ve recharged.


What have you been up to? Tell us about your workout! Eaten anything good lately?


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  • Janet NZ says:

    I’ve seen lots of photos with you in them. It looks like you had a great time. I can’t wait to hear what you thought of it all.
    ps – I’m not sure if I’ve commented before, but I’ve been lurking for a while.
    pps – I thought I was the only one who got the dropsies pre-menstrualy! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Yay! I love when you fabulous people un-lurk.

      The PMS dropsies are so annoying — and I don’t know how it’s possible, but I’m still always surprised by it. I have bruises on both shins right now from bashing into stuff, and I can’t tell you how many times I dropped my hairbrush in LA. Silly.

  • Victoria says:

    I was wondering if you saw the dooce post about her paleo lifestyle . . . I was thinking you should send her a copy of your new cookbook when it is ready – with hopes that when she falls in love with it, she will make mention of it on her website.

    I made a batch of your south indian curry (with extra tomatoes and carrots) and ate it all week with sauteed cabbage and chicken. The sauce is awesome. You are a kitchen paleo wizard.

    • Mel says:

      I’m super excited that dooce is on the paleo team, and I’m definitely sending her a copy of my cookbook.

      So glad you like that south Indian curry. I’m making it soon for the cookbook photo shoot — I really like it with cabbage, too. YUM!

  • Ehsa says:

    Yay … You’re back! Take all the time you need to get straightened out. You know we’re all excited to hear about your adventures! And I bet Smudge really missed you!

  • Brittany says:

    Hey, Mel –

    Glad to hear you’re back and resting up – I’ve been living vicariously through your tweets and posts from Nom Nom Paleo, Fitbomb, Melissa and Dallas, on and on…

    Our workouts at CrossFit Portland have been suspiciously skills-based lately…I think Scott has something up his sleeve. We’re doing the Killer Kage WOD from the Games on Saturday. I’m half-amped, half-dreading it.

    Food-wise, I’ve been enjoying your Mediterranean Tuna Salad for lunch this week. I’m also polishing off barbecue leftovers – chicken and ribs. Tomorrow, I’m making Joe’s Special to round out the week’s breakfasts and lunches:

    • Mel says:

      I always get suspicious when I see an underlying pattern in Wes’s workouts at CFA, too. Good luck on Saturday! That sounds very frexciting!

      I made mayo when I got home from work last night, grilled some chicken sausage, and boiled a dozen eggs so we have food again. YAY! Egg salad with homemade mayo for breakfast was super tasty — glad you like the Mediterranean Tuna Salad!

  • Kelly says:

    Can’t wait to hear all about it! I’m new here in the last week and am really enjoying your kick-ass take on life!

    re: workout, I have just started getting serious about Lifting Heavy Things and yesterday, after a long time of being intimidated by it, I made friends with the squat rack! I am so proud of myself! ha! I’m such a dork!

    • Mel says:

      Welcome to the crew, Kelly!

      I’m so excited for you that you bonded with the squat rack. I feel a deep affection for the barbells and racks in both my gyms, so I think you’re not dorky at all. I think you RULE!

  • Mel says:

    Can’t wait to hear more from you! Wish I could have hit up the AHS! Did you guys go eat at Animal?

    Our workout yesterday was – dare I say – fun!

    Take a partner, and you each take 1 kg weight plates. You both get into plank position next to each other, and pass each other the plates by crossing your arm over your body (e.g. use your left hand to pass the plate to the right of you). OK, so once we had this down, they turned us into groups of 4. Then groups of 8. Then we had the whole class lined up (about 20 people), passing weight plates that ranged from 1-2.5 kg back and forth across the line. Tiring but at least the game takes your mind off it! 🙂

    Then I went for a nice slow bike ride after work with a friend of mine. And it felt great. We grilled some cod and veggies for dinner, topped off with a restrained scoop of Haagen Dazs for dessert, since I don’t see her that often.

  • Tom R. says:

    Get rested and hope the doc visit went well. Re exercise, my buddies and I are keeping in the CF groove about 3-4 times a week with a Lift Heavy Things workout 1-2. Things are well. My employer has hired a local CF coach to come train a class a couple of times a week, and I am hearing from co-workers (who are good runners and otherwise in “shape”) how sore their quads are – air squats. Good stuff.

    One of my female friends here at work has talked about getting “shaky” during the day. I’m just getting to know her better but have given a little nudge in the “cut out the crappy carbs” direction in an effort to regulate her insulin better. She’s doing that and is all about some eggs, meat and doesn’t eat much garbage. I don’t think she eats enough though. She’s probably 5’6″ and 125ish and very active. Any sample daily meal plans from a female perspective would be appreciated.

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Tom! It’s totally kickass that you have a CF coach around your work — amazing and awesome!

      Your request for a sample daily meal plan has inspired me to do a blog post about a typical day of food for me, so look for that next week. Thanks for the idea!

      • Tom R. says:

        Very cool. I certainly do better with my guy friends but have NO CLUE how much an active 30 year old female should eat. I think it’s “a lot.”

  • Lydia says:

    Welcome home, and good luck at the endo office!

    On Tuesday, I got a little overexcited during my first boxing lesson, and sprained my left wrist. AWESOME! =D

    • Mel says:

      Dang! Sorry to hear about your wrist, Lydia! And I can relate. I LOVE to bang on the heavy bang – often to the detriment of my wrist/knuckles/shoulder. Wishing you happy healing.

      • Lydia says:

        I’m just glad I learned this lesson early on. I’d rather do it now, while my punches aren’t so strong yet, ya know? SILVER LININGS!

  • Mitch says:

    Long time reader, first time poster here! My fiance and I love your posts and we often share laughs and guffaws (similar actions, different sounds) while reading your blog after sharing a wonderful home cooked meal together. You’re recipes and food advice are commonly called upon in our kitchen, which is a big deal b/c we are constantly trying to find new ways to spice things up and there is a limited number of reliable sources out there! We have also been CF-ing for about 2 years now, and we recently starting working out only in our garage gym. I’ve been a garage WOD-er for a long time, however my fiance has always been part of a great CF Gym, so it has been an adjustment for her. Your posts have helped both of us stay sane while we adjust to couples WODs everyday, and we are definitely making progress in that regard!

    We have been dedicated paleo dieters for just over a year now and we love it! Although we have our occasional beer and/or ice cream sundae, we both feel better about our eating since making the commitment. I wanted to know your thoughts on personal kitchen trends (a.k.a eating the same thing for 10 days straight). My current food of focus is cabbage-I believe we have had it in some way, shape, or form at at least one meal for the past 8 days. I’ve made chicken/balsamic slaw, cabbage rolls, spicy peach salsa slaw, and my personal favorite…cabbage cooked in bacon grease (w/ pepper of course). I’ve been mixing cabbage with many other things as well, and it seems like it has taken over our meals. This isn’t a bad thing, but I wanted to know if you had any similar experiences, and what you have done to buck the trend.


    • Mel says:

      Hey, Mitch! Such nice comments… thank you!

      Working out on your own can be really tough. Good for you two for training together. Dave and I do our backyard workouts together and the dynamic is always different than when we’re at the gym. I like both options, but they’re totally different animals.

      I pretty much do exactly what you’re describing: I get on a kick for something, and I eat a LOT of it. Then I move on to something else. Oddly enough, cabbage is one of the things I tend to eat a lot of, too. LOVE it!

      Mark Sisson addressed this question from a health perspective at his one-day class here in Austin. He said that back in the day, if you killed a mammoth, you ate a lot of mammoth until it was gone, there was no, “Oh, man! Mammoth again?!” So from a health perspective, as long as you get a lot of variety over the long haul, I think it’s fine to eat the same things over and over. And some weight loss peeps actually recommend doing that because some people surmise that you eat less when you’re not constantly surprising your tastebuds. Not sure how valid that is, but I’m pretty sure you’re not going to hurt yourself by eating cabbage for a week or two.

      As for bucking the trend, I usually let what’s in season and what my tastebuds want drive my choices. I ALWAYS have a cabbage, a cauliflower, and a spaghetti squash in the kitchen — either cooked and ready to eat, or about to be cooked. Then I supplement with stuff from my CSA and I eat cucumbers and snap peas almost every day for my snacks.

      Hope this helps!

      • Mitch says:

        Great advice, thanks! I wonder what braised mammoth w/ cooked cabbage would taste like…?

        • Mel says:

          OK! Here’s what we do… FIRST, we get fancy science degrees, THEN we build a time machine and travel back in time, NEXT we hunt and kill a mammoth, FINALLY we have a feast. Let’s do it!