On Friendship, Food, Tornadoes and Wire Shelving

When your best friend asks you to take a 9 day trip with her to a beautiful lake home, you would be a fool to say no-except in this case, there was one caveat-she needed some help painting this home.

Now, I’m no painter, but I knew I could help in some way. And help I did! (Lesson learned: when you live a busy life, it’s great to get away for a bit with a treasured friend.)

While Stacy worked her painting magic on the walls and ceilings in the upper and lower level (10 foot ceilings), I made it my business to cook, clean and provide the comic relief (oh, I did dismantle several wire shelving units in closets).  But by and large, Stac did the hard work. (Lesson learned: I can now remove and reinstall wire shelving. While I hope I never have to do it again, if needed, I know I am able.)

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and by Saturday I was pretty sure we didn’t bring enough food to make it to the following Thursday.  Could we have driven 30 minutes to get groceries? Sure, but that would have taken at least 90 minutes from our time and we really couldn’t afford it. 

I was fairly certain that with a “Little House on the Prairie” mindset and a willingness to appreciate all things, we could get by. And not just get by, but thrive. However, my Health Coach ego took quite a hit. I teach women every day to plan, prep and prepare meals in advance. I had severely underestimated how much 2 hungry women can eat. (Lesson learned: Manual labor makes you hungry.)

Without the Ingles’ cellar filled with root vegetables nor Pa to go out and hunt for us, I made a meal plan and diligently stuck to it. And I must say, Stacy was always surprised, but never lacking when it came to food. She offered to pitch in by going fishing (the home is on a lake) and suggested I could forage for berries (just like Ma Ingles). Thankfully we didn’t have to succumb to such antics.

Pretty sure the Ingles didn’t have a Nutribullet, but we were certainly grateful for ours and the daily afternoon smoothies (Sunwarrior Chocolate Protein Powder with Flax Milk, natural peanut butter and banana).  

Thankfully, my son had just taught me to make bread with 4 ingredients and the microwave:

¼ cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

dash of salt

1 egg

Combine all of this is in a medium size mug and whisk very thoroughly with a fork. Microwave for 90 seconds. Invert on a plate and there you have a small loaf of bread.  We cut the loaf in fourths and toasted them in the toaster (another item Ma Ingles never had). Stacy and I are both grain free (we have Hashimoto’s) and saw this as an absolute treat every day. If you have an Autoimmune Disease, eating a Paleo style diet is a great way to reduce inflammation.  However, you may want to hold the legumes (beans, peas, lentils) for a while, if you’re not making any progress with your healing. You also want to make sure you’re not overdoing it with almonds. In large amounts they can be inflammatory.

We made it to the following Thursday with enough food to actually have sandwiches on the way home, so we didn’t have to stop. Stacy reported to me that she lost a few pounds on the trip, which delighted her and we never went to bed hungry. (Lesson learned: planning, prepping and preparing meals is the smartest way to eat well-I actually already knew this, but this object lesson hit it home for me.)

We endured several severe storms while away and drove through Jefferson City, MO just hours after an F3 hit. Pretty devastating to see.  We did receive alerts on our phones about a tornado warning/take cover, which we disregarded. (After seeing Jefferson City, lesson learned: Heed the warnings!)

So this trip was not only a fun time with my best friend, but I learned a lot of new things about myself, about friendship, food, tornados and wire shelving.  I also had an object lesson on how the things I teach my clients are valuable….when you implement them!

I’m not going on any more extended trips this summer, but I am in the last few months leading up to my 2 youngest kids’ weddings (Sept and Oct). I’m sure I’ll have plenty of new lessons to learn through this process. I’ll keep you posted!