Cantaloupe Lime Mint Popsicles

Cantaloupe Lime Mint Ice PopsYou’ve never seen anyone eat a popsicle so slowly until you’ve seen my little sister eat a popsicle. Being the oldest I occasionally got to stay up late and watch T.V. with Mom before I had to go to bed, especially in the summer time. Before I could hang out late watching cool T.V. my little sister was told to finish her popsicle, then go to bed. It would take her a lifetime to slowly and meticulously savor that popsicle until I just wanted to scream. I mean I had shows to watch. Cool cable shows that I only got to watch with Mom if my sister was in bed. Shows that you couldn’t watch whenever you wanted because you recorded them on your DVR. No, you had to watch it when it was on or you missed it. But there was my cute blonde haired blue eyed innocent looking sister eating her popsicle slower than a snail. It always tested my limited patience.

Not all my summertime popsicle memories involve getting frustrated with my sister, but they all involve her. Every summer time involved popsicle breaks of some kind in between hours spent playing outside together. We’d often take a break from playing outside to get into the garage fridge for an otter pop. Savoring the tongue staining coldness of that that sickly sweet pop with the mouth cutting plastic wrapper. Or we’d chase down the ice cream truck so I could get an ice cream sandwich and a cherry and pineapple swirl popsicle while my sister got the more expensive whatever crazy cartoon popsicle they had at the time.

Cantaloupe Lime Mint Ice PopsWhen we were older our popsicle tastes got a little more refined. The town we lived in at the time had a teeny tiny shop that sold paletas (Mexican ice pops) in every imaginable flavor and then some. I’m not even sure how we found the shop to begin with. It didn’t have much in the way of signage and it was off the main drive in an area we didn’t normally frequent. Every time I drove near that store, and sometimes I drove us there just to get a paleta, we’d go inside. I loved that place. One of my favorite flavors was a cantaloupe paleta which I used as inspiration for this recipe. My sister often ordered a watermelon flavor that will be featured in an upcoming post. Even though we had moved on to more sophisticated flavors, that sister of mine still ate her frozen treat so slowly I was always surprised it was still frozen by the time she got to the last bite. She still eats her frozen treats that way. In contrast, I inhale mine.

I used a popsicle mold from Williams and Sonoma to make the popsicles in this recipe. Amazon has a nearly identical mold that would work wonderfully. The trick to getting the pops out once frozen is to run warm water over the outside of the mold for a few seconds, then they pull right out. You could also use Zoku Classic Pop Molds or a Zoku Quick Pop Maker to make this recipe or any other popsicle recipe.

Cantaloupe Lime Mint Ice Pops

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 to 8 Ice Pops

Ingredients
  • 4 cups diced Cantaloupe
  • Zest of 2 Limes
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • ½ Tablespoon Mint Leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, fine ground
  • ½ cup cold Water
Instructions
  1. Place all prepped ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix or pulse until cantaloupe is pureed. There will be some texture to the mixture, this is expected.
  2. If using a blender, pour directly into ice pop molds. If using a food processor transfer mixture into a bowl or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring into ice pop molds.
  3. After filling molds place popsicle sticks into mixture and place in freezer for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Remove from molds and enjoy.

FATface Skincare


 

Balance and Rhythm

San Juan Islands Trees
Relaxation here I come! Trees in the San Juan Islands.

Balance and rhythm is not something that comes easily to me. I struggle with maintaining a balance between work and school, personal and professional pursuits, working out and rest days, family time and me time. It doesn’t help that I push myself to always do my best, even at the expense of my sanity. I’ve always been a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I can be very hard on myself when I do not give everything 100%. Having as full of a plate as I do means at some point something has to give and I need stress relief.

It’s become more apparent that my balance and rhythm is out of whack. I chipped a tooth and cracked another because my nightly teeth grinding habit since I was a little girl has migrated to the day time. I was asked what that weird noise was recently and I realized it was me grinding my teeth. In the middle of the day, without realizing I was doing it. The classes I’m taking for my degree are more mentally challenging than any classes I’ve ever taken before, and writing technical papers in the third person is not something I excel at apparently.

So I gave in here and there. I let a little more dust and cat hair settle around the house. I’m changing to posting here every other week until I finish my degree (for more regular posts and updates you can always follow me on Instagram at Nourishtofuel). I got my cracked tooth fixed and I’m getting Invisalign to correct and prevent further teeth grinding mishaps. I’m making rest days as important as lifting days. I’m letting everything I have to do for school go while I’m at work, because there is nothing I can do about it then. And most importantly I’m focusing on my family when we have time together.

Having a super long 23 day vacation from work starting this Friday helps too! Especially since part of the time I will be home with my girls while they are on winter break and part of the time I will be in the San Juan Islands with my husband.

The lesson to be learned here is we don’t always have everything worked out and flowing the way we think we do or the way we want it to. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or not doing your best. Sometimes life and stress catches up with us in sneaky ways, such as grinding your teeth unknowingly during the day. The important thing is to recognize this. Step back and evaluate what can be changed, what can be let go, and move on from there.

Monthly Inspiration:

Recently HumanX Gear posted my story in the first of a blog series about eXtraordinary people. I was approached in September with a request to tell my story in more detail about transformation, what CrossFit means to me, what it’s done for me, and more tidbits after I had entered a contest to win tickets to the 2014 CrossFit games by stating briefly what CrossFit has done for me. I did not win tickets to the games, but I did get the opportunity to share my story with a wider audience. For that I’m thankful, and I hope my transformation can help to inspire others.

The second story in the series was just released and it’s pretty amazing.

Stop and Smell the Roses

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller

photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc
photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc

I do my best in the morning to get out the door at exactly the right time to avoid the worst of the traffic. Recently, it doesn’t matter what time I leave as I’ll be sitting in my car fully stopped on the freeway for most if not some of my commute. I’ve accepted this begrudgingly, and subscribed to at least 5 podcasts to occupy my mind.

This morning was one of those mostly parked then move a little bit mornings. I arrived in the city where I work and noticed a couple jaywalking across the street with an elderly woman. The couple had a hold of her jacket and were pulling her across the street faster than her legs were comfortable moving. You could clearly see it all over her face. She was scared and uncomfortable moving at that pace. It made me mad. I called my Mom and told her when her legs don’t move that fast anymore, I promise to never drag her across the street. I’ll hold her hand, we’ll go to a crosswalk, and take our time through the intersection.

Even running late to work it’s not going to make that much of a difference in my schedule to stop and wait for someone who doesn’t move that quickly to walk across the street. It doesn’t make that much of a difference to any of us. You’ll get there when you get there. Your time may be valuable and scarce to you, but if you don’t slow it down every now and again you will miss so much.

I have my girls to thank for learning this. When they were younger their little legs didn’t cover as much ground as my stride would. Plus there are all kinds of interesting things to look at. Rocks, flowers, weeds, bugs, animals, clouds, people, and everything and anything in between. They are learning through experiences and are interested in the world around them. The only way to make good time with a toddler is to carry one, and that doesn’t always go over so well because they have kid stuff to do. I stopped trying to get my girls to move as fast as I did.  I’d hold their soft little hands and look at the rocks with them. I’d limit the number of flowers they could pick at a given time to less than 5 before we had to move on. But I slowed down. To this day I stop what I’m doing and put off cleaning the house, which is hard for someone who is OCD such as myself, to just be with them in the moment.

Before my Grandma passed away I would hold her hand when we went shopping. Usually looking for the perfect grey purse. She was never satisfied with the grey purse she just bought. There was always one out there that would be better than the ones she had found before it. Most of them were never purchased because they just weren’t right (Side note: I know where I got my never ending search for the perfect black purse from). But I would hang back and walk with her. If I had moved ahead, I might have missed a purse or two but more importantly I’d have missed that connection with her. I still notice grey purses to this day and wonder if that might be the one she would have wanted.

Working in western healthcare, before I was fortunate enough to move into naturopathic medicine, you are always pushed to keep going faster. You are never fast enough or quick enough. When our elderly patient’s with cold hands needed a finger stick, I could have had them put their hands under hot water, given them a warming hand pack, or filled a glove with hot water for them to hold (my least favorite of the bunch) in order to warm up their cold hands. This is needed so the blood will flow well enough to complete the finger stick successfully. Instead, I’d sit there and hold their hands in my frequently hot hands and we’d talk. We’d chat about the weather, about their lives, about my girls, or anything in general. It was a personal connection that is so often missing in western medicine and probably one of the many reasons I didn’t fit in that area of medicine well. After all, holding hands with a patient and chatting about what was on their minds or something to distract them from whatever brought them in to the doctor, wasn’t quick or fast enough.

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Young children and elderly people are obviously at different stages in their lives. We can learn something from both of them for those of us in the many years in the middle though. The lesson is to slow down. With young children, explore together and learn about all the amazing things this world has to offer. From elderly people, reflect and observe the world as it’s changed and grown. Hold hands no matter the age and walk slowly to take it all in. Take breaks to just sit and be or inspect what’s under that rock. Don’t push those little legs or those older legs that just don’t move the same as they used to, to rush across the street and through life. We get so little time with children before they grow up quickly and so little time with those around us who are closer to the end of this chapter in their lives, that we really need to just stop, lift our heads up from our lives, and look around a little every now and again before we realize that life just passed us by.

 

 

Just Chill Out Already

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even if what you eat is perfection, you get a restful 8 or more hours of sleep a night, and you manage a balance between exercise and recovery; if you are in a chronic state of stress it still puts you at risk of disease and weight gain. Working towards successfully managing stress under normal daily stress such as traffic, family, work, and life in general is something to strive for. But what do you do when you are faced with one big stressful event or a series of small stressful events that turn into one big ball of stress? Can’t you just chill out already?

While it would be nice to be able to just take a deep breath and your stress would magically dissipate, it takes a little more than that. Practicing stress reduction techniques in times of small daily stress can help manage a stressful event. No single person is perfect at managing stress. However those who prioritize stress management better recover and recover quicker in times of stress.

Is thinking about how to manage your stress stressing you out? Stop. Breathe. And check out the list below for tips on managing your stress.

  • Traffic got you down or stuck? As in the freeway is a parking lot stuck. Find some podcasts that interest you then subscribe and download them. Maybe you want to laugh or learn something? Find a funny podcast or an informational one. Maybe you always wanted to know more about power lifting. There’s a podcast for that. Then just listen. You’ll get there when you get there. Getting upset over sitting in traffic doesn’t get you there any quicker, it just makes you upset and then you drive like an a-hole. Take it from someone who commutes to and from work in traffic that can take an hour on average each way and sometimes up to three hours.
  • No matter how much you HAVE to get done RIGHT NOW, take a moment or fifteen or sixty just for you. Everything will still be there. The difference is you can better handle it and get through it more efficiently if you’ve had a break. You look upset. Have a hot beverage, as Sheldon Cooper would say.
  • Make a list. If you have a million things to get done and it seems like it will never end. Make a brief list and check things off as you get them done. It’ll help organize your thoughts and give you a sense of accomplishment as you cross things off.
  • It’s okay if the house is a little dusty, needs to be vacuumed, or that pile in that spot that piles happen in the house is taking on a life of it’s own. Really it is okay. Really. This is hard for me as I have been diagnosed with OCD and think better with a clean house, after all both of my children could sleep through the vacuum running under and around their cribs. At some point though I had to let some of it go. The dust police still haven’t shown up and if they did I’d give them the duster.
  • Prioritize. If something is really stressing you out constantly or maybe it is a someone, does that something or someone really belong in your life? How much of your time and energy do you devout to this? It probably isn’t worth it, try phasing that person or thing out of your life.
  • When everything is negative, stop. Find the positive in the situation. Even if you have to stretch to find something that is positive.
  • Laugh. Watch funny videos on You Tube or call that friend that just gets you.

The tips above have helped me tremendously and are how I manage a full time job with a crazy commute plus being a full time student and avid cross-fitter not to mention having 2 children. Sometimes despite having laundry to do, a school paper to write, and some errand that needs to be run I’ll sit on the floor and play games with my girls. The laundry isn’t going anywhere, the paper will still be due, and we’ll still be out of this or that but the girls and I benefit much more from me laughing with them than grumpy stressed Mom.

Most importantly through all of this, is to find what works for you and do it. When you find stress sneaking up on you, take a moment to realize this to shall pass and it probably isn’t as bad as I think or feel it is. You are strong and can overcome the situation. When you practice daily stress management a wonderful thing happens, you aren’t as stressed. With practice when stress hits you like a ton of bricks, you’ve been practicing so you can kick it out the window quicker and get back to your zen.

What have you tried and found successful to manage your stress?  In the comments field, take a moment to share what has worked for you and we can build a list of more tips for decreasing stress in our lives.

 

Want more stress management advice? Check out the following sites:

Stress Management. How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Beyond Paleo: Manage Your Stress from Chris Kresser