Here is EJ Rycer, the wonderful author who has become a great friend!
Now for a little bit about me!
What are you working on?
Goodness, what am I NOT working on right now? I have five books rattling around this brain of mine, but my current WIP is Stronger. This is the story of Hayley Cross, who has decided she’s not going down without a fight. Wes Thornton was the heartthrob in high school, and is now the trainer at the local gym. Can he help save Hayley, or is it already too late?
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I don’t know that I fit perfectly within a single genre, really. Sure, my work is romance, but it’s got a hint of chick lit (I’d like to think I’m funny), and I try to incorporate my faith into my novels. The characters aren’t totally innocent, and often struggle with their faith, but I think that is a realistic portrayal of many Christians today.
Why do I write what I do?
I can’t imagine not writing, so that’s the first thing. As for the type of writing, I’d say I wanted to write books I would want to read, and I’m glad there are others out there who enjoy my books also. I don’t write anything too naughty, as I want my books to be something I can tell my dad I wrote and still be able to look him in the eye!
How does your writing process work?
Ooh, tough one! Start off strong, procrastinate, and then push it through by some super-tight self-imposed deadline. I write late at night, usually, when the house is quiet (or hubby is playing Call of Duty).
To finish up this post, I would like to pass the baton to three very talented authors…
First is Heather Huffman, the author I most admire. I love her work and I know you will, too!
Next is Lee Ryder, a new indie author who has gained quite a following with her debut novel, Broken Earth.
Last, but not least, is Candice Simpson, a fabulous blogger who took me under her wing when I was first trying to get my books out there! She is now an aspiring writer, working on her first novel under her pen name, Candi Conway!
After a workout, do you take a long shower, or short? Do you bask in the warmth, enjoy the beating of the water on your tired muscles, or do you hurry up and jump in and out, ready to crash?
I'm always torn when I'm in there. I love feeling the water massage my aching shoulder, my tired back, my weary legs. I also just want to go sit down and finally eat, sometimes at 9 p.m. or later.
What I end up with is some annoying hybrid, neither long enough to truly work out the kinks in my muscles, nor short enough to satisfy my need to just go sit down. I'd take a bath and solve the internal debate, but I know for a fact I'd fall asleep, only to be woken up an hour later, starving, cold and pruny.
So where do you stand? Short and sweet or long and relaxing?
So last night didn't go as planned. I planned to go to the gym and eat chicken and veggies when I got home. Nothing special, just reheated chicken and veggies my husband was going to steam.
And then it went to heck. But I won't get into that. ;)
He cooked our (frozen) green beans (we had fresh, go figure!) while I pouted for a bit, and then when I got over my pity, party of one, I decided to do something with the chicken. If I'm staying home, I'm gonna do something pretty awesome with it.
Enter the weirdly spiced chicken. It was AMAZING. I can't tell you why it worked, only that it did. Oh, and pecans in your green beans is pretty tasty. I'm just sayin'.
I also managed to exercise, after talking with a friend. Like he said, you can't NOT train. It's not an option. No clue what I'm training for, now that Stronger is winding down, but okay, I can't feel much worse, right?
I did 1.3 miles on the elliptical (just under 6 minutes), followed awhile later by 10 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, 30 squats and a minute plank. Work out - done. Not as much as if I'd gone to the gym, but I didn't sit around in my pity party. Yay me.
So my evening of feeling unmotivated and pitiful ended in sweat and a happy tummy. Pretty good night, if I do say so myself.
Spicy Asian Cajun Chicken
1 lb Chicken, pre-cooked leftovers or rotisserie, seasoned with salt and pepper
Coconut milk - about a cup, cup and a half
Cilantro - either fresh or the stuff in the tube (I used tube)
In a large skillet over medium heat, pour just enough coconut milk to cover bottom with about 1/2 inch of milk. Sprinkle a light layer of garlic, onion, pepper, salt and cajun seasoning. (Go lighter on the pepper and cajun seasoning until you taste it, especially if you're not into hot food!) I like mine spicy, so I did extra of both.
Add strips of chicken and cilantro. I added about a 1/2 tsp of cilantro paste.
Cook over medium heat until liquid is mostly evaporated. This will integrate the flavors into the chicken and leave it tender and moist. YUM!
Whole 30 - Week One Wrap-Up
Okay, show of hands, who thought I would have quit by now? Eaten cheese, or dessert, or oohhhh, bread! I love bread!
Nope! Still at it. Okay, so today is day 5, and technically a full week hasn't passed, but as it's the end of the work-week, I'm calling this week dunzo. We've shopped midweek. We've made do. I've even been out to eat with my dad. And still - we've done it!
So how does one eat out at a Mexican restaurant full of chips, tortillas, and that yummy, ooey gooey melted cheese? You order the chicken fajitas: no cheese, no sour cream, no rice, no tortillas, por favor y muchas gracias, senorita!
It was good! I realized that without all of the things I'm not supposed to have, I was still pretty hungry. After all my veggie portion was pretty lacking compared to what I eat for dinner at home, but I drank a lot of water to make up the difference. I said no to the sopapilla triangle offered to me. When I tried the salsa, I "drank" it off of a chip and then set the chip down. If you know me and chips, you'd know that's one of my favorite parts about Mexican food! Hate the bagged stuff from the store; love the stuff in the restaurant!
I ate my guacamole, even though it was far from fresh, and I even ate the beans. Okay, so legumes aren't allowed, but Whole 30 allows you to make the best of your situation, and it was a better choice than the rice. I considered it more of my fat for my meal than a veggie, and given my new outlook on food, I actually enjoyed refried beans for once in my life!
Monday I did kickboxing & learned that I'm going to need WAY more fuel on KB days! Burning 1600+ calories when you taken in less than 1200 is no bueno for energy, and you DEFINITELY need energy for that class! Wednesday I skipped class and went to the gun range, where I shot my first gun. It was AWESOME!! My hand is still bruised and sore two days later, but I want to go back as soon as possible! More research for Stronger, which is coming along nicely. Looks like it might very well be another novella, or perhaps just a short novel at 40k, but it will tell the story it needs to tell. No extra words just for the sake of word count here, folks! (I hate that, don't you?!)
If you're interested in Whole 30, I encourage everyone to try it. You can do ANYTHING for 30 days, right? Nothing is so difficult, or important to you food-wise that you can't give it up for 30 days. And just think, if it's not healthy, you might not even want to go back to it at the end! If you start while I'm still going, I'd love to be accountability partners. Everyone can use a person giving them the "YOU CAN DO IT!" speech once in awhile.
Tata for now!
I've stuck with the kickboxing, but I still feel like I need a kick in the pants. (no, not literally. Try it and see what I do! haha) I want to get on the elliptical more and get my running and endurance up, but I realized it can't all be fitness. Some of it has to be nutrition, as well. No, not the ugly D word (diet, for those of you who just got pervy) but nutrition. Fuel for my body to be able to function throughout the day and then exercise without feeling like I'm dragging a boat behind me with every step.
Enter Whole 30. I shopped Saturday at Fresh Market (whoa, those prices! But - some were actually on par with Publix and Kroger - good to know!) and followed up at Kroger for some odds and ends we forgot. Sunday was prep day - I boiled eggs for salads, roasted veggies, cooked nitrate-free, organic, nearly fat-less turkey bacon that didn't remotely look like bacon, and made a beef curry.
So food today - breakfast was fruit (berries, yay!), carrots, olives and that turkey bacon. I was expecting dry, gross, tasteless stuff, but it was moist, yummy, and better than the real pork bacon. Don't tell anyone, but I'm a convert, at least bacon-wise.
Lunch today is going to be a salad with a homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette. It is SO good. I tweaked a few recipes to make my own, and I'm pleased as punch at the result. (Recipe will be below) I'm also putting in some of those eggs, cucumbers, and the greens are baby bok choy leaves, organic green leafy lettuce and baby spinach.
Dinner tonight is that beef curry, and I'm going to make steamed broccoli to go with it. I can't tell you how excited I am for it! I tried it last night and it was AMAZING! (Again, recipe to follow!)
So this clean eating, tougher-than-Paleo Whole 30 thing is so far so good!
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
(makes approx 6 servings for a decent size salad)
(makes approx 3-4 servings)