For those that have been keeping up with us for the last month, you know that the Paleo Comfort Foods clan has been apart. I’ve been living in an efficiency apartment in Atlanta thanks to the kindness of a friend. Julie and the kids were fortunate enough to head about 2 hours up the road and stay with my amazingly hospitable and gracious parents. Needless to say, this has been a challenging six weeks. I started this subchapter of our lives with high hopes of blogging a ton, developing some super recipes from a ‘less than desirable’ kitchen setup and getting in a few extracurricular activities on the golf course and gun range. As I get older, I’m slowly learning to keep my hopes high and expectations low. One can really never comprehend how the lack of a dish washer can impact the time and energy spent on keeping things clean. Adding 10-15 minutes up over the course of a week turns into several hours of work that would normally be done by a machine.

So, the biggest news I have to share…we’ve closed on a house and the family is coming back today!!

In light of my precarious living situation, I’ve managed to be fairly productive this past month. In addition to managing the purchase and sale of a home, we’ve had to two gyms to run and there was some cooking/recipe development hammered out. One project I’m grateful to have poured my energy into is the Cube Summit. This October 17th, I’ve organized a one day summit in Atlanta featuring some of the brightest and best minds in the fitness/nutrition industry to spend an entire day taking attendees through their best practices. John Welbourn, Jim Laird, Dave Werner, Robb Wolf, Mat LaLonde, Lucy Hendricks and myself will pour our energy into showing athletes and entrepreneurs the optimal strategies to living a high performance life. If you’re interested in dominating the field, gym or boardroom may I strongly encourage you to attend. I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed on Power Athlete Radio, Moveskill Radio and the Paleo Solution Podcast in recent weeks. Discounts are available for tickets through each of these podcasts. It would mean the world for our followers to help spread the word on the Cube Summit. 

Another huge accomplishment for me this month was attaining my StrongFirst Level 1 Certification in the kettlebell (SFG). We hosted the certification at our Atlanta Strength and Conditioning- Marietta location. It was three days of swings, get ups, cleans, squats presses and snatches. The StrongFirst team of trainers was amazing. Dave Whitley was our head master instructor. Talk about a STRONG dude. The man bends wrenches and nails for fun. All in all, a great weekend. The folks and StrongFirst have got a ton of stuff figured out regarding proper tension and force production. There were several light bulbs that went off in my brain that weekend…and I PR’d my snatch test at 4:02. Not too bad for a tall fella!!

Finally, I did manage to keep our garden alive and well during this chaotic time. Julie, the kids and I spent Mother’s day at the garden planting and getting things ready so that they would have fresh veggies waiting on their return. That was one of our last family outings before we parted ways. I wasn’t about to let things turn south. Fortunately, Atlanta has been blessed with frequent and adequate rain to keep things moving along. I tried to make at least 1 trip over there to harvest each week and another trip to weed. I’m happy to report that we are CRUSHING it right now. Tomatoes, okra, squash, kale, chard, peppers and zucchini are all coming in nicely. I managed to get a few plants/seeds in the ground late, so we should have a fairly extended season of all these tasty things.

OK…so lots got done, plenty did not. Cooking and blogging proved to be especially challenging. I’m actually super pumped that I was able to get a few blogs/recipes out to you kind folks. That said, most of the time I found myself just trying to avoid eating that the Whole Foods hot bar every night. That said, here are just a few of my observations over the past 6 weeks. I hope they lend some perspective to your lives and give you pause to consider how amazing each day happens to be:

Thank you to our Military Families!

OK, so I’ve had the opportunity to consult with Navy Special Warfare, train with the local Marine Recon Force and been exposed to countless veterans in my years on this planet. Coming off a mere six weeks apart from my family, I can’t imagine the toll these families face when mommy or daddy is shipped halfway around the world. Julie and the kids were just up the road (and I got to see them on several occasions throughout). Find a soldier and buy them a paleo friendly cocktail. It’s simply unfathomable to me how I would deal with that separation and also have to worry about folks shooting at me. I’m always grateful for the sacrifices our military families make…all the more so coming off this time apart.

We are so freaking lucky, it’s not even funny!

So, reading some of my previous posts, I got a little agitated at myself for making such an issue of not having a dishwasher or an oven or no internet at the house…blah blah blah. Poppycock!!! These were merely incidental circumstances that more than half the earth would kill to live with each day. It’s easy to focus on what is wrong with your life. Goodness gracious, let’s focus on what is RIGHT. I have a family that loves me, running water, a roof over my head and drive to and fro on roads. That’s a far cry than lots of folks have. I urge each and every one of you to please make an effort to spend your time relishing in the blessings bestowed to you. Don’t take a single little thing for granted. As I look at some of the poverty, war and crisis that our media seems to spend all their time on…I’m reminded about how fantastically fortunate we are to be alive.

Please go plant something RIGHT NOW!

It’s been an entire year since Julie and I had a garden. I hope Diana Rodgers can find it in her heart to forgive us 🙂 Our last house was a rental and I decided not to invest time/energy into putting a garden together. We also had quite a busy Spring last year. There will be no excuse to grand to keep me from digging in the dirt in future years. I planned for one morning each week to get over to the garden and work before the sun came up.

Look at all those tasty veggies!

Look at all those tasty veggies!

Getting dirty and listening to the world wake up is an experience that every person should take part in. We are always espousing the concept of cooking your own food to regain your health. Reuniting with the first step in the process (planting your own food) has reminded me how incredibly beneficial and inexpensive it is to grow things. I simply can’t wait to gather the family and head to the garden this week. Picking veggies as a family is one of my earliest memories of childhood…and I hope to bestow that gift to Scott and Adelyn.

Meditation should be a daily practice!

I got turned onto Headspace Julie months ago. For whatever reason, I didn’t make it a priority. This was something I decided to jump into each day for just 10 minutes. I’ve found a new level of clarity, frustration and accomplishment with each day. That 10 minutes has changed me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Yes, it’s hard to turn off your brain. The cool thing about Headspace, it doesn’t ask you to do that (very often). The program is built around managing your thoughts…not avoiding them. My challenge now is to move the meditation to earlier in the day. That said, may I recommend grabbing yourself some time and breathing a bit!

Speaking of things learned…it looks like Scott has learned to pick his nose. Bless that boy and his awesomeness!Triple Play

Charles…signing off for a few more days to get the family back in order. Get ready for some more fun updates and recipes as we get our wheels spinning again. Go forth and prosper…each of you!

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