Grain-Free Pecan Crusted Flounder (Delicious and Easy!)

Healthy pecan crusted fish recipe

This pecan crusted flounder is a recipe that I’ve been making about once a week at our house. The crunchy, nutty crust topped with pastured butter really makes it a comfort food we all love. Finely chopped nuts mimic the crunchy delicious texture of fried fish (without all the frying in rancid processed oil). The…

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A Birthday Weekend with Granddad

Hey friends! How are you doing? I have a feeling a lot of my American readers are checking in for the first time today after the long weekend. Just in case you missed it, I shared a deceptively challenging mini band booty workout on the blog yesterday if you’re looking for a low-impact way to target your glutes and hip abductors.

Our weekend was a good one! My father-in-law, Greg, arrived in town on Thursday to celebrate his birthday with us (just like last year!) and while we spent most of the weekend bundled up in plenty of layers and avoiding the windy 30-degree weather, we still managed to fill our days with plenty of fun.


Saturday was our most active day of the bunch and we kicked off our morning with a big group workout at the gym. Chase hung out in childcare while Ryan, his dad and I spent the next 45 minutes or so working up a sweat. I stuck to a simple total body workout and kicked things off with a 2000 meter row.

burn boot camp bethel park

My workout went by quickly and looked like this:

total body workout

I’m not going to lie, I showed up at the gym 100 percent unmotivated to work out, but after warming up on the rowing machine and blasting some music on my favorite Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout Pandora station, my energy started flowing. Sometimes simply getting to the gym is the hardest part of a workout!

After the gym, we piled into Ryan’s car and made our way to the local aquarium for a lovely heated indoor (<—key!) activity. Chase is still our marine life-lovin’ little man, so he was all about our adventure and made sure to point out all of the important things to Granddad, including the rays, sharks, sea turtles and fish that looked like Dory and Nemo, of course.

concord nc aquarium

We probably pushed our timing a little long and made our way back to the car with a toddler on the verge of a meltdown but thankfully it seemed to dissipate once we were all buckled in thanks to mom’s back of snacks. By the time we made it home, we were more than ready for lunch and filled up once Chase was settled in his crib and napping.

After lunch and much-needed showers, Ryan, Sadie and I headed off to a local park to shoot some quick workout pics for yesterday’s blog post while Greg offered to keep an eye on Chase’s monitor while he slept.

Sadie 10 years old

(You guys, Sadie turns TEN years old on Saturday. Or should I say 10 years young because she will live forever and ever?)

We were back within 30 minutes and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at home, watching football and entertaining Chase once he was awake again.

On Saturday night we booked a babysitter so Ryan and I could treat Greg to an adults-only birthday dinner!

ryan and greg

Ryan and I have been dying to grab dinner at Hello Sailor, a new-to-the-area restaurant owned by the same husband-wife duo who own Kindred, our favorite spot in Davidson. Hello Sailor lived up to the hype and we had the best time chatting over seafood and drinks.

hello sailor cornelius nc

Ryan’s drink had all of us laughing when it came out served in a fancy schmacy shark cup.

hello sailor drinks cornelius nc



Ryan planned a morning of father/son fun with his dad on Sunday morning, so while the two oldest Fagans headed out on their adventure, I took Chase to church for a mother/son date of my own! The service was so, so good and 100 percent what I needed to hear on Sunday morning. (In case you’re interested, the service is titled “Stay Committed” and speaks about God being with us through the hard times. I found myself in a puddle of tears at the end.)

Chase and I hit up the grocery store for some lunchtime essentials and then he helped me prep the marinade I needed to make for Monday night’s dinner before I tried to get him to nap. My efforts were futile but thankfully Ryan and Greg arrived home in time to hang out with Chase so I could get some work done since I had a 3 p.m. deadline looming over me. We spent the rest of our Sunday around the house, playing frisbee outside with Sadie, watching football and ordering Thai takeout for dinner.


Monday was a great mix of our usual weekday craziness and birthday fun! Greg’s birthday landed on a Monday this year and since he had plans to run into Davidson in the morning, he encouraged me to do my usual morning thing with Chase while Ryan worked and reconvene with him around lunchtime.

Chase and I headed off to boot camp and I went through an upper body tabata workout that was AWESOME. 

fabletics capris high waisted

(Capris: Fabletics / Shoes:  Nike Free Flyknit)

Yesterday’s workout is detailed below and had my biceps, shoulders and chest burning:

burn boot camp upper body tabata

We followed up our gym time with a play date with my friends Lauren and Laura and their girls at a local trampoline park.

w8less huntersville

On our way out, Chase spent a solid 25 minutes staring at an excavator truck in action in the parking lot before we headed home. (File “excavator truck” under the list of things I never knew the proper names for before I had a toddler.)

toddler digger truck

We made it home before Greg so Chase and I quickly got to work making his favorite chocolate cake in the kitchen as a small birthday treat. Greg arrived home just as we were pulling the cake out of the oven and Chase was way too excited to tell him about his special birthday surprise.


Chase refused to nap again yesterday so the rest of our afternoon included more kitchen activities as we prepped dinner and made buttercream icing before Ryan arrived home from work.

birthday cake

We spent the evening digging into pulled pork tacos, guacamole, roasted sweet potatoes and chocolate cake before opening presents and enjoying Greg’s final evening in town before he heads back to Florida later today.

granddad and chase

I hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by the blog today! 

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A Guide to Moving Courageously Into a New Uncertain Space

“We become brave by doing brave acts.” ~Aristotle

By Leo Babauta

I remember walking into my boss’ office at my day job to turn in my resignation, almost exactly 10 years ago today. I was quitting the life of a regular paycheck, to become a full-time blogger and writer.

I was filled with an overwhelming sensation of fear, and an overwhelming sensation of joy.

I’ve now come to associate this feeling of ‘joyfear’ with the important moments of my life:

  • The first moment I held each of my newborn kids in my shaky hands
  • Starting Zen Habits, not knowing what I was doing, jumping into the unknown
  • Creating live workshops & retreats last year
  • Publishing my first book (and every book thereafter)
  • Moving my whole family to San Francisco from Guam
  • Unschooling our kids

Each of these has been incredible for me, filled with uncertainty and joy. The fear of uncertainty can lead a lot of people to put off moving into a new space in their lives, but I’ve learned to embrace this fear, to dive into it, to see it as a place of growth and transformation and learning.

This year I’m moving into new uncertain spaces (more on that next month), and I’m practicing some more with the discomfort and uncertainty of these new wide open unknown areas. I’m practicing with leaping into the abyss with joy.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far — I’m sharing in hopes that it will help others who are moving into uncertain spaces in their lives.

Find Your Devotion

We don’t put ourselves in the middle of fear for no good reason. We do it because there’s something we care deeply enough about to push into that fearful area.

Remind yourself of why you’re going into this uncertain space. What do you care deeply about? Who or what are you devoted to? This might be a cause, it might be people who are in need or struggling somehow, it might be your loved ones, it might be the team or customers you serve. Find the love and passion in your heart for this cause or these people.

Then remind yourself, each day, of this devotion. Remind yourself of it as you do each step, each task … this is what you care deeply about.

Your devotion, the thing or people you love so deeply … is greater than your fear and discomfort.

In fact, the devotion turns this uncertain space into a space of shaky and heartfelt love.

Get in Touch with the Fear & Uncertainty

Most people either run from the fear, or try to find ways to turn it off, to not feel it, to eliminate it.

Not us. We’re going to get in touch with it, and allow ourselves to fully feel it.

Why would we want to fully feel fear and uncertainty? Because it’s nothing to hate, it’s part of our experience, it’s actually the place we want to be.

Feeling the fear and uncertainty fully, allowing it to be, even welcoming it … this shows us that it’s not so bad. It’s nothing to panic about. We can grow up from our childish need to run, and instead just stay with it patiently, with gentleness and compassion.

We can touch the uncertainty and stay with it, welcome it and even find love for it.

Practice. Get good at fully feeling it. And learn that you can take it in and transform it into openness and joy.

Move Through It with Small Actions

The fear isn’t something to run away from or otherwise avoid. It’s actually the path we want to walk, because through this fear is creation. Through this fear is learning, growth, transformation, impact on the world, beauty. Through this fear is something meaningful.

So we’re going to move through it, but in small steps. We’ll use the ideas of exposure therapy to move through the fear — the idea that we can get used to the feeling by giving ourselves small, manageable doses, gradually increasing the doses in steps we can handle.

You do this through taking small actions daily.

Want to be a writer? Write a little every day, clearing space and allowing yourself to be present with your fears of writing (and failing). Want to start a company? Take the small actions required to research it, create a website, find team members, start making revenue, experimenting and learning.

Take small actions daily, exposing yourself to the uncertainty, and building trust that you can handle it.

Find Play & Gratitude

Moving into an uncertain space doesn’t have to be an exercise in rigorous discipline or self-punishment. It can be joyous and fun!

When you move into this space, see if you can find a way to play. Can you get messy and creative? Can you turn it into a game? Can you play upbeat music that gets you moving? Can you do it with others and feel the excitement of collaboration? Can you play your music for the world and see them dance to it?

As you turn it into play, allow yourself to feel the joy of that. And yes, there’s some fear mixed into the joy, but you could also call that ‘excitement.’

And in the middle of everything, pause and see if you can find gratitude for being in this uncertain space. Gratitude for being able to be here, for being alive, for being able to serve those to whom you’re devoted, with love.

Gratitude transforms the activity from one you are forced to do, to one you get to do.

Seek Support

We are not alone in this uncertain space, even if we feel like it. There are others who are forging this path as well, and we can form (or join) a group of people pushing into it as well. We can call on mentors, teachers, coaches. We can ask for support from loved ones, team members, online forums, social media friends.

When we ask for support, we are acknowledging that we are not an island, but interconnected with everyone around us. We serve others, but in turn we are supported by thousands and thousands of others who make our food, build our houses and cars and roads, create the Internet and the devices we use, and support us in an infinite number of other ways. We humble ourselves by thinking that we can’t do everything alone, but can do so much more with connection to others.

Seek support, find gratitude for that support, and feel yourself moving into this unknown space with the help of many others. May you have a joyfear-filled journey.

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” ~Ray Bradbury

Retreat: Go Deep Into Mindfulness (in Tulum, Mexico!)

I’m excited to share with you a mindfulness retreat that I’m holding in early May …

In this 5-day, 4-night retreat, we will:

  • meditate every morning
  • do yoga (if you like)
  • dive deep into mindfulness with daily workshop sessions
  • have time to reflect & contemplate our lives on the beautiful beaches of Tulum
  • visit Chichen Itza, see the Coba Ruins, swim in the hidden Cenotes
  • eat some amazing food
  • and connect with other like minded adventurers

The retreat will be led by me (May 2 – May 6, 2018) and is limited to 12 participants.

Get more info and book a spot here.

I hope you’ll join me — I’m looking forward to playing and going deep together!

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How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food

How to get kids to eat healthy foods

At the rates kids grow, what we feed them matters greatly to their physical, mental, and emotional health. (Not mention their behavior.) What to feed children is a somewhat controversial topic and a point of frustration for a lot of parents. This is one of the areas I used to get the most questions when…

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128: ADD, ADHD & Behavior Challenges with Psychologist and Nutritionist Dr. Nicole Beurkens

ADD, ADHD & Behavior Challenges with Psychologist and Nutritionist Dr. Nicole Beurkens

I know I always say it, but I’m excited to share this interview with you because I get so many questions about ADHD and just learning and behavior problems in children in general. I’m honored to have a holistic child psychologist and absolute expert on this topic, Dr. Nicole Beurkens, on the show today. If you…

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Mini Band Booty Workout

If you are looking for a quick and challenging booty workout, grab a mini band and get ready to feel your glutes BURN. Thank you so much to Nike for sponsoring this post!

Nike Women's Hoodie

Ever since I began regularly attending Burn Boot Camp classes two years ago, I’ve been a big fan of adding challenging “finishers” onto the end of my workouts. At Burn Boot Camp, the last five to 10 minutes of a 45-minute camp are dedicated to a finisher that aims to push your body one last time. It often requires you to dig a little deeper, both mentally and physically. While some finishers are cardio beasts (sprints galore!), my favorite finishers are the ones that make my muscles feel like they’re on fire. I love a finisher that pushes my muscles to the point of fatigue and I leave the gym feeling like I left it all out there.

And that, my friends, is the inspiration behind today’s booty workout!

Mini Band Booty Workout

My workout routine is still mostly a mix of gym workouts, at home workouts and BBC workouts but when I’ve been working out at the gym or at home, outside of my BBC workouts, I find myself and adopting their “finisher” philosophy in many of my own strength workouts. I love concluding my workouts with some kind of bodyweight challenge or something a little different and this booty workout was the “finisher” I did at the end of a leg workout two weeks ago. I immediately knew it was worthy of sharing with you guys because my booty was BURNIN’.

I completed two rounds of 20 reps of the following exercises and my glutes and hip abductors were seriously talking to me by the time this one was over. Phew!

Mini Band Booty Workout

This mini band booty workout lit my glutes on FIRE in the best kind of way and if you’re looking for a serious booty burner, keep this workout in your back pocket! Don’t let the short duration or the fact that this is a low impact workout fool you… it was intense. The only thing you need to complete this workout is a mini band which are found at most gyms and can also easily be purchased for cheap on Amazon. (And this workout can also absolutely be done without a mini band if you don’t have access to one!) Please scroll to the bottom of this post for a detailed list of exercise descriptions for this workout to go along with the above images.

Workout Outfit Details + A Few More Nike Favs

  • Workout Outfit Details

Nike Fleece Rose Pink

Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece: Back in December I first expressed my love for this zip-up but since I first received it and began wearing it regularly my love for this jacket has quadrupled and grown by leaps and bounds. It’s currently my go-to cold-weather zip up that I wear to and from the gym and around town several times a week. It’s comfortable, flattering and I always, always have someone compliment it whenever I wear it to boot camp. Naturally, after loving my black zip-up so much, I had to get it in another color and scooped up this muted blush pink color that I think is feminine with a sporty flare. I LOVE this jacket so much!

Nike Free RN Shoes Nike Pro Warm Tights

Nike Pro Warm Training Tights: I’ve been a fan of the Nike Pro crops and leggings for ages because they always do a great job of staying in place and feel like a second skin. I often forget I’m wearing them during a workout since I never have to tug at them or move them into place, so I was excited to see a “warm” version of the training tights I’ve loved in the past available. They’re slightly thicker than traditional Nike Pro leggings but still have a sweat-wicking fabric and the movability I love and expect from Nike Pro apparel.

Nike Free RN Sneakers: Yep, still over here 100 percent obsessed with my Nike Frees (and my Nike Flyknits)! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these shoes pop up in my post-workout pics on my Instagram Stories shares because they’re definitely a workout staple for me. They’re supportive but still lightweight enough to feel comfortable during circuit and boot camp-style workouts that require flexibility.

  • Additional Favs

Nike Fleece Hoodie

Nike Fleece Hoodie: Somewhere from college to present-day my collection of a million casual hoodies dwindled dramatically. I have two thin pullover hoodies I love for fall and spring weather, but up until about two weeks ago, I had exactly one comfy wintery hoodie. Since I was in the market for an athletic hoodie but still wanted something that looked a little more put-together than an oversize college hoodie, I snatched up the Nike Women’s Fleece Hoodie in a heathered oatmeal color. I typically pair my hoodie with leggings and sneakers or my Chuck Taylors and am also eyeing the same hoodie in the deep gray and rose pink colors.

Exercise Descriptions

Lateral Squat Walk: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, your mini band around both thighs slightly above your knees and your hands on your hips or clasped in front of your chest. Squat down until your knees are bent about 90 degrees and as you remain in a squat position, walk five side paces to the right, pause briefly and walk five side paces to the left. (Each side pace counts as one rep for the above workout.)

Bridge with Press Out: Begin on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent and your mini band wrapped around your thighs slightly above your knees. Press your hips upwards, raising your glutes off the ground. When you reach the top of the movement, press your knees outward, pause and then bring them back in and lower your hips to the ground.

Donkey Kicks: Begin on the floor on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, your mini band around both thighs slightly above your knees and your knees under your hips. Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle and raise your leg so it is as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Squeeze your glutes at the top and carefully lower your right leg toward the ground. Complete designated amount of reps/time before switching legs.

Clam Shell: Begin lying on the floor on one side of your body, balancing on the forearm closest to the ground, with your hips stacked, legs bent at the knees, your mini band around both thighs slightly above your knees and your feet positioned behind your body. Pressing your feet together, hinge at the hip to raise the knee of your top leg, opening up your legs like a clamshell. Slowly lower and repeat. Complete designated amount of reps/time before switching sides.

Standing Kick Backs: Begin in a standing position with your mini band positioned slightly above your ankles. Place your hands on your hips and slightly bend one leg while you slowly lift the other leg off the ground, taking care to keep it straight as you press back, driving your heel behind you. Squeeze your glutes as you lift and engage your core. Pause briefly at the top and then lower. Complete designated amount of reps/time before switching legs.

Lateral Leg Lifts: Begin lying on the floor on one side of your body, balancing on the forearm closest to the ground, with your hips and feet stacked, your mini band slightly above your knees and legs out straight. Flex your top foot and, without leaning forward or backward, engage your core and lift your top leg upwards, keeping your feet parallel. Pause briefly at the top and then lower your leg back down. Complete designated amount of reps/time before switching legs.

Additional Leg and Booty Workouts

Question of the Day

  • Do you do anything special at the end of your workouts to challenge yourself a little bit more? What’s your favorite way to end a workout?

In addition to the extra challenge of a “finisher” at the end of a workout, I love to take myself through a solid 10 minutes of deep stretching and foam rolling after a workout. I just wish time allowed for that every time!

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Infrared Sauna Benefits (& the Risks)

How to get the benefits of a sauna at home plus risks and cautions

If you hang around the health and natural living communities long enough, you’ll eventually hear about things like red light therapy and infrared sauna benefits, especially for detoxification. In fact, various types of saunas are often touted for their benefits in weight loss, removal of toxins, reduction of cellulite, and much more, but it is…

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