Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I'M TURNING HEALTHY! I've always been a pretty healthy person, but since moving here I'm not gonna lie, I've put on a pound or three or five. The buttery goodness, biscuits, grits, fried everything, dining out while traveling for work.... and drinking beer at the lake, in the yard, on the couch, on the lawnmower, in a canoe, in the woods, in a tree, in the bathtub will do that to a girl. So, remember when I said I was paying an average of $22 per elliptical session. Not anymore! I'm down to $21 per session. Take that Golds Gym! 

But, especially since Country Man moved and I'm missing him like crazy, it helps to keep my mind and body occupied so I've been going more often...and trying to meet gym friends, who aren't 40 and up, real housewives of Atlanta gym friends, who like to do pilates and then go drink wine, shop and eat lunch by the pool. 

Okay, who am I kidding, I like to do all that stuff to! But, I'm certainly not a housewife. And if I ever am one, I won't be on that show...and I'll still shop at Target and I'll have goats in my backyard and make fresh goat cheese. Or, I'll hire someone to milk the goats. Sorry, sidetracked. I'll save the goat obsession for later. I just realized I really sounded kind of hickish there...oh goodness, it is innate now. Oops!
Okay, but real quick!! LOOK. GOATS!
You know you love them!!
And want to make cheese from them!
Okay, I'll stop now. I promise

Moving on!
Food tip of the day: spinach spinach spinach spinach SPINACH

When eating enchiladas do you usually eat 2? I do...mainly because that is what a restaurant will give you. Well, yesterday, I had leftover enchiladas, so I grabbed ONE up for lunch. But, I threw a big handful of spinach on top before heating it up. The spinach cooked down and warmed up with the enchilada, giving me half the fat and twice the greens, and feeling just as satisfied. Spinach can do that for you with a lot of different things. If you don't like it, teach yourself to! It is one of the Earth's greatest, natural, heart-healthy, nutrient-dense gifts to us: filled with iron, flavonoids (antioxidants), fiber and omega 3. I try to throw organic spinach into as many meals as I can - it is extremely versatile. 

I've learned to like it plain, but its also good drizzled with a little olive oil and garlic, crushed red pepper or whatever other spices compliment what you are adding it to. I throw it in pasta, on top of pizza, on burgers, in burritos and sandwiches, in omelets, in my cereal. 

Just kidding! I was making sure you were still reading and not bored by the anatomy of spinach. 
Does spinach have anatomy? I guess all living things do... 
Wow...here I go again. Always getting sidetracked. 
Now my mind is thinking of spinach with body parts. I am so weird and sick and twisted. I know.

Here is an anatomical spinach/ pasta creation. I didn't take a picture of my enchilada yesterday, and this picture was in my phone archives from about a week ago. But, my enchilada looked a little strange with spinach on top of it anyway... and I don't want to scare you. Plus I'd already eaten half before I thought to take a photo. 
Trader Joes lemon pepper pappardelle pasta cooked according to instructions, I always add extra lemon juice and fresh ground pepper after its cooked. SauteĆ© a couple pieces of cooked shrimp and sausage in olive oil and spices. Drizzle spinach with a little vinaigrette ( I used wishbone raspberry hazelnut to add sweetness with the spice) and throw in the pan with shrimp & sausage to warm for the last minute. Combine it with the cooked pasta and top with goat cheese. Of course it had goat cheese!
Again, the beauty part of the spinach is that it is a space-filler, stomach-satisfier and nutrient-provider. You'll end up eating half the amount of carbs but since it is all mixed together you don't lose on flavor. 

Here are some other spinach photos I had in my phone from all the times I pretend I am a foodie, pioneer, chef, food network star, foodographer and creative genius.
I don't feel guilty about all the meat & cheese because it is on a flaxseed sandwich thin and loaded with spinach.
haha,  I am telling you - this justification thing works.
spinach for breakfast?? You know it!
I already took a bite before I took the photo....very un-foodnetwork-star of me

 I tricked you! This one is kale. But we can save that for another day. Aren't you soooo excited?!? I sense that sarcasm! Well, you should be....because if you think spinach is good for you, KALE, my friends, is pretty much the healthiest thing that humans are capable of eating. You just have to know how to prepare it, otherwise it can be "not so gentle" on the stomach.

And if that didn't entice you, I don't know what will...
stay tuned

xoxo my turning country, turning healthy lovers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Country Man helps contribute to probably about 90% of my country-ness; just by being around him I'm automatically immersed in Southern activities. So, now that he has moved almost three hours away I'm going to have to rely on my own country instincts...this could get interesting.
Luckily I will be talking to him everyday and visiting as much as possible - so don't worry, lessons in Redneck will still be in abundance.
The day before he moved we spent some time together and I suggested that we go fishing. ME, I, suggested it! Aren't you proud? I figured it would be very fitting and also probably make him think I was the coolest girlfriend in the world for suggesting it. And I am of course! just kidding. Okay, occasionally maybe. So we strolled on down to the little pond by my house. 

I lie. 
We did not stroll.

We drove 400 feet and parked right in front of the no-parking at anytime sign.
Hey we followed the rules of resident + one guest. That's a start!

And at least we didn't park directly on the sidewalk. We are so well-behaved!
Onward to the pond!

It is a cute little pond, but I made the mistake of wearing flip flops. Very un-country of me. It had just rained and every step I took I sank into some kind of gushy muddy grassy buggy muck.
I think Country Man and I are past that phase where I pretend that I'm not grossed out by anything, can totally hang in any situation, love dirt and bugs, never complain and am pretty much an all-around badass. 
C'mon guys, you know what phase Im talking about! I'm not the only one who does it! 
Regardless, I can still grab a fishing pole, step in some dirt and throw back a beer...so its not all that bad to care about my pedicure once in awhile. Right? Justification always helps.

So, I carried on with my bright pink fishing pole and went to it.

This is where things start to get reallllly interesting! 

First I took pictures of us...

Then I drew a heart on Caleb's hand...

Then I took a picture of him walking...

Then I took a picture of a flower-plant-thing....

Then there were geese...
Okay I lied again. This was a different day, when I was on a run. I just didn't have an opportunity to show you my geese-friends yet. Now you see. Are you excited yet?

Then I took a picture of some nasty trash in the pond...


we caught nothing....
Maybe I was too distracted by flowers and hearts and geese and unicorns.
Its okay though because it was about 90 degrees and 100% humidity, and I'm allowed to say that because I'm out of the "no complaining, hang with everything" phase :)
Don't you love it?!

PS: yesterday Country Man told me he washed his hair with dish soap....

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A neglected blog is a sad blog. And I hate to say my blog is sad right now. I am so sorry my Turning Country readers that I couldn't find the time to keep you posted. I barely kept Country Man posted while I was on a week-long business trip in Reno, NV. We survived on 10 minute, in-between-meeting-phone calls and wee-hours-of-the-morning-goodnights. Needless to say, it is so good to be home. Despite the fact that I've been coughing up the Reno crud, smoke, grime, sleaziness and alcohol all week in the form of a yellowish-greenish color. Yum!
If you've never been to Reno - here are a couple snapshots. Tell me then if you feel so enticed to visit?
I would label Reno as:
wait..I didn't come up with that?




don't ask why I was here

enough said....yes this is in the middle of the bedroom


Okay, fine...I won't complain about a microbrew at lunch
like all of the dives in Vegas smashed together
Reno, NV is not exactly the epitome of class, and really, any business trip is tiring. You have to be peppy, on your best behavior, best-dressed, energetic, knowledgable, charming and awake
Puts a damper on a country-girl lifestyle - to wear slacks, skirts or heels, sip martinis and shake hands with high-rollers every night. I'm not gonna lie, once in a while, it is fun to play dress-up, mingle and dine out. But, it doesn't take long for a girl to prefer curling up next to her man with a home-cooked meal and a movie. At least it doesn't take long for me.
It didn't help that traveling was a fiasco for me!
I'll break it down for you.

Day of departure:
1. Running late and packing last minute (as always)
2. Country Man missed a turn to the airport. Not his fault that the domestic terminal exit changed - but it backtracked us quite a few miles
3. Had to check a bag (uggh) and wait in a long line (uggh!)
4. Get to check-incounter and my bag weighs...63 POUNDS! Okay, I promise I'm not that crazy when it comes to packing, I had a ton of marketing collateral with me.
5. Lady tells, me, "Ma'am you are over 50 pounds that will be a $90 overage fee"
6. I tell lady, "aww hell nah! I'll buy a $20 bag, stuff it full and carry it on."
7. I buy a $25 carry-on bag.
8. I stuff it to the brim with our marketing material
9. I wait in check-in line AGAIN (uggh)
10. Carry on bag weighed 15 pounds. Checked bag weighed 48. Success!
11. Wait in long security line (uggh)
12. Get through security, and at this point have 25 minutes until takeoff. My coworkers have already texted me that they started boarding. I, of course, blame everyone but myself.
13. I get on the Tram to head to D gate
14. Tram breaks (uuggggggghhhhh)
15. I am in terminal T (very very far from D)
16. I quickly walk in the general direction of the D gate
17. I jog towards D gate
18. Coworker calls and says "you have 10 minutes and then they are closing the doors."
19. I sprint towards D gate
20. I knock a woman in a wheelchair with my 15 pound carry-on, yelling apologies as I continue sprinting. She wasn't hurt.
21. PS: there are no direct flights into Reno and flights are sporadic, scarce and expensive.
22. Co-worker calls me again.
23. I ignore the call and continue running.
24. Co-worker calls me again
24. I pick up and he is franticly yelling, "hurry, I know you used to be a track star. Hurry. Use those legs! They said you literally have 2 more minutes to get here!"
25. I see the D gate. I see the signs!
26. I see my co-worker and the gate-security man waving their arms at me.
27. I MADE IT!!
28. I find my seat (window of course) in the packed plane and make everyone move out of my way. I shove my now-even-more-freakishly-heavy carry-on bag in the overhead compartment.
29. I sit down and continue profusely sweating and heavy-breathing for the next half hour
30. My co-worker behind me says, "Hey, Rachel. I ate a bean burrito and its wafting up your way."

 So farewell, Reno. I have many memories there. And I have learned many things, such as: you are considered one of the top meth-capitals in the world. But, beneath all of the drugs, grime and dust there are some pretty freaking nice people there. And I have a couple awesome friends who call it home. It was so nice to see you guys. Now come visit the South and get some fresh air. You won't be hacking up yellow stuff on your way home, I promise.
xoxo NIGHT
okay okay, Reno has some potential. The River Walk at dusk was beautiful.