Paleo Strawberry Salad

My favorite go-to #paleo salad recipe:

  • Organic lettuce – I like romaine and bibb lettuce the best.
  • Organic sliced carrots
  • Organic sliced strawberries
  • Uncured cooked bacon – I will cook up several slices at a time, let them completely cool, then chop it up and place in a BPA free plastic sealed container to use throughout the week.
  • Organic sliced baked chicken – Coat in 100% pure olive oil (my favorite is California brand), Real salt, and fresh ground pepper. For 1lb. bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Check that the temperature inside the chicken is above 165 degrees with a meat thermometer.
  • Olive Oil & Vinegar – I like to shake up some olive oil with red wine vinegar before drizzling on the salad.

The carrots and the strawberries add a little sweetness. The bacon adds a little saltiness. And the olive oil is your good source of fat that doesn’t overpower any of the other flavors when mixed together.

What are your favorite #paleo salad ingredients?

Pyxl: A New Chapter in My Life

I came across this quote recently and am continuing to realize just how true it really is.

“Nothing is ever the same once you discover your true purpose, your calling. The complexion of daily life and of work changes. You are able to draw on reservoirs of energy and inspiration that you did not even know existed within you.” – Conscious Capitalism, Mackey & Sisodia

When people ask how I ended up in digital marketing, I have to say that I sort of just fell into it. Back in 2008, I was elated to have landed my first “real” job after graduating from UT. What started off as a little research into social media turned into a new department at Pilot and me at the helm steering a massive ship. You could have picked my jaw up off the floor the day my boss told me the news that I was about to create and run something brand new for the company. I honestly thought I’d just be part of the team providing a helping hand.

Here we are 5 years later, and I honestly can’t believe all the amazing things I’ve been part of. Building new websites, turning customer feedback into real, actionable insights, and building out digital marketing plans to not only reach out to new customers but to also energize and encourage current ones – these are just a few of those fun things. Somewhere along the way, I realized my true and deep passion for digital marketing. I love building and bringing to life a great plan that not only excites the company but also its customers. I think relationships between companies and customers are the same as with others in life. It takes time, openness, true listening and honesty to create them.

pyxl logoAll of this brings me to a new chapter in my life. As of October 14th, I am now the newest member of the Pyxl, Inc. team! Pyxl has been a strategic partner to Pilot since 2010 with our initial project of redesigning the main website following the company’s largest merger to date.  What started off as one project, has grown to a thriving, integrated and strategic team (that also loves working together!).

Pyxl is a growing company. In fact, Pxyl made the Inc. 5000 list this year as one of the country’s fastest growing companies! With all of this growth, Pyxl has decided to open its third US office (location still yet to be determined!) in March 2014. I am taking a position as Pyxl’s Entrepreneur in Residence. After some mentoring, learning the biz and certainly some shenanigans with the fabulous Pyxl crew, I’ll be doing my absolute favorite thing all day every day – building relationships as the Managing Director of the third office. Woohoo!

Born and raised here in Knoxville, TN, this place will always be my home no matter where life takes me. This is an incredible place to grow up, work, play, and live. I wish nothing but the best for this great city!

As excited as I am to take on this new challenge, I will always cherish the time I’ve had at such an amazing company. The heart and soul of Pilot rests within the many amazing people that work there. Many of whom I am privileged to call friends. They are some of the hardest working people with the biggest hearts. I have loved every minute of the last 6 years with you all.

So thank you all for letting me be part of your lives.

May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be peaceful and at ease.

May you be happy.

(ancient tibetan buddhist blessing)

My favorite apps to stay organized

My 2013 resolution this year was to create a simpler life. I have discovered that simple = zen = happiness (for me at least!) I am a morning person. I love my sleep, and I love my daily routine. All of those things – morning time, sleep, daily routine – all come into jeopardy when I feel as though my life isn’t organized. The way I want to eat and the exercise I want to do means I have to plan those as well. I’d imagine that there are many people with busy schedules that feel this too.


So, I thought I’d share with you the apps that I use on a regular (daily, weekly, or monthly) basis to keep my life organized and my head clear.


Google DocsOrganizational App #1 – Google Docs

I have my entire life transcribed in Google Docs. My monthly personal financial budgets that my husband and I both work from to stay in the loop.  My workout schedule. My personal/side projects wish list. Recipes. Meal planning. My work projects & calendars. And my entire marketing/social media calendar is on a giant Google Doc spreadsheet.

Why I love Google Docs – I can get to it all the time, from any computer or device. Plus there’s the added benefit of getting to share it with other people who need the same info.



Organizational App #2 – TeuxDeux

I heard about this app at SXSW this year during a session with Tina Roth Eisenberg aka SwissMiss. There is a small yearly fee to use the app, but it’s the best $24 I’ve ever spent. The app has two main sections. The top is by day of the week always showing you the current day on the left side with future days proceeding to the right. On each line, you type out what you need to get done that day. You have the option to actually cross it out once you’ve completed it. However, should you not complete it, it automatically pushes forward to the next day on your calendar by the morning.

The bottom section is set up to create project lists with a title and then subsequent actions. Works the same way as the top where you can cross things out.

Why I love TeuxDeux – I rarely ever forget small tasks or follow-ups anymore. When I’m in a meeting, I can grab my phone, click on the TeuxDeux app, and type away. It’s the first thing I open every morning when I get to the office to see what I’m starting with for the day. I have never felt more organized to the minute detail level.


EvernoteOrganizational App #3 – Evernote

I’ve been using Evernote probably the longest. It’s essentially a note taking app. I am the resident scribe in most of my meetings simply because I won’t remember the conversation if I don’t write everything down.

Why I love Evernote – Syncs with everything – iPad, iPhone, and computer. Tags are awesome! It allows you to tag each note for easy searching. You can also email right from the app. For me, that means I can email meeting notes to the group within minutes of closing the meeting. Productivity madness!


These may not be the coolest apps around, but they are tried and true ones that I use everyday. I am always looking for new options too! Please feel free to share in the comments any organizational (or other) apps you love and why. Namaste, friends.

Primal reflection – 2.5 years in

I wrote about my switch to a primal lifestyle and diet almost 2 and a half years ago. It’s been an incredible road since then finding out what foods work best for me. Eliminating certain foods at one time seemed such a daunting task. The psychological, emotional, and physical hurdles that are presented to you are not easily conquered. However, with patience and diligence (and non-judgment!), I do wholeheartedly believe that anyone can do it. And that’s brings me to the topic top of mind for me today – why we eat. Just as Socrates says, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” it follows that you must truly know why you eat to be able to jump some of your eating habit hurdles to achieve great health.

Hurdle #1 – Eating as an event

Where there is a party, there usually is a bountiful spread of  grain & sugar-laden foods. One of the reasons for this is that chips and queso are cheap and lots of carbs are good to have around when there are copious amounts of alcohol. (You know, to “soak up” that alcohol as people usually say.) Examining why we drink copious amounts of alcohol is another hurdle for another day. (However, eliminating that would also eliminate the need for any foods to do the “soaking up.”)  But back to the party. We have to break our usual practice of eating as an event if we are ever going to get at the root of why we eat. For this hurdle, this is just a habit. It’s an easy way to get people together. But do we really need to be in “feast” mode every time we get together friends?

Hurdle #2 Life is and always will be stressful

My wonderful husband reminded me the other day of a phrase I used to say all the time, “you’ve got to play hard to work hard.” Many of us have extremely stressful, demanding lives – work, family, money, civic involvements, etc. They will never stop being hectic, but our approach to that can change. I’ve had to learn that being on top of my game at work, doesn’t mean that I have to have everything together all the time. I’m not a person where moderation comes easy. Most often in life, I’ve had an all or nothing view. However, I have seen first hand that moderation can be learned and is actually preferable. The moment that I forbid myself from doing something, I immediately want to do it more than ever before. But if I rationalize and allow myself to make a conscious decision on why I do something, I usually end up making the better choice and within a happier frame of mind.

Hurdle #3 The psychological and emotional side of it all

One of the most profound things I have learned in the last few years is that the mind and the body are not separate entities. You can’t master one without affecting the other. For myself, I had no clue that I was eating to make myself FEEL better. I think that often you hear something life that, and you immediately think of someone who is depressed or overweight or someone who has made lots of bad decisions in life. But in actuality, we all can do this (sometimes very subtly) in our daily lives. “I haven’t cheated once this whole week, so tonight I’m going to treat myself.” “It was a really stressful day at work and things happened completely out of my control, so I could really use something comforting to eat right now.” “I am really tired, and I already skipped out on doing some exercise so I’m just going to sit and enjoy some really good food.” The list of reasons goes on and on……. Then guilt sets in. We begin thinking extremely negative thoughts about ourselves. Judging ourselves. And then we feel worse than we did at the beginning when we decided to “treat ourselves.” It is an incredibly vicious cycle that can’t be stopped until a conscious, present decision is made to deal with the feelings of disappointment that started it off in the first place.  Let me be the first to say that sometimes dealing with those feelings at the beginning is opening a pandora’s box of all kinds of other things you had no clue were even bothering you, but with patience and non-judgment, those things can be dealt with just like anything else. Once you get at the root of the problem, the cycle begins to break down on it’s own. You’ve already taken the hardest step, chosen the long road, didn’t reach for that “quick fix,” and it only gets easier after that.

Tackling “why we eat” is an incredible undertaking, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. There is never a point in life where you can say, “Well, I figured it out so now I’m done. I’m going to just sit back and relax from here on out.” We’ve never got it figured out. We may know as much as we can for a time, but there will always be something else to understand in the future. So let me close by saying this – stop judging yourself, right now in this moment and in every moment in the future that judgment creeps in. Just allow yourself to understand – don’t force it. The mind is a brilliant and sometimes deceptive machine, but it has sustained mankind for many years and will continue to do so for many more. Respect your intellect and let it guide you. Don’t compare yourself to others because they can’t help you figure this part out. No two people can possibly think or experience thought in the exact same way. Only you know what is truly best for you – that is if you been “examining your life.” 🙂 Trust that you can and will make the better decisions.

In Response to Mark Sisson’s Post – “Women and Intermittent Fasting”

I’ve been following Mark Sisson’s (of blog post series about intermittent fasting.  Today’s post titled “Dear Mark: Women and Intermittent Fasting” brought two things to my attention: 1) I have my own experience to share on the topic and 2) We need more posts from a primal woman’s point of view. So…..I’m combining those two now.

Over the years I have experienced varying degrees of fasting, from several days to eating just 1 meal or a few small meals during a single day.  What I have learned can really be summed up in a phrase “listen to your body.”  That may sound too simple, but I’ve found that the harder you try to fight your body, especially when it comes to hunger, the worse the outcome.  Think about the hungriest you’ve ever been, then throw in some irritability and extra adrenaline. What are you going to do the moment you get your hands on food? Yep, eat like there’s no tomorrow. You may think you’ve done something good for your body by fasting, but then you’ve undone it all during the overeat. However, where I think fasting does make sense is when you really don’t feel hungry (or hungry for a full meal – I feel this often.)  If I eat just a very small portion of something sustainable, such as a small portion of protein and veggies – I’m talking a few bites of each, it seems to jive better than going without food at all for a long period of time.

So it sounds like I might be saying “eat several small meals per day,” but I’m really not. I do find it less time consuming and more fitting for digestion to eat reasonable sized meals 3 times a day for the most part. However, interspersing very small meals here in there or prolonging the period between one meal to another has proven for me to be very effective. More over, that whole “eat breakfast” thing people are always talking about….well I’ve found it to be beneficial in helping stabilize eating throughout the day. I do keep my breakfast to a small portion as well. I have found that overeating on breakfast or brunch can make my day almost worthless.

Another behavior that I think primal people try to stray away from is snacking. I believe this to be short-sided for reasons I’ve mentioned above. Mindless eating is of course not good, but you are less likely to mindless eat when you’re filling your body with protein and vegetables.  I have found that having a small snack in the mid-morning, afternoon, or shortly after getting home from work can go a really long way in sustaining you until your next primal meal.

So to sum it all up, eat reasonable meals when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you’re not hungry. Sound simple? Awesome. My job is done. 🙂 (Of course, this is just my own experience. I encourage you to explore your own and then share how it goes!)